NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Just because Oklahoma's defense was good enough to reach the BCS championship game doesn't mean the Sooners are happy about it.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables says his players heard the talk leading up to the championship game that the Sooners' D was "a joke," and they took it to heart during the offseason.
Between 2000 and 2005, the Sooners were ranked among the top 13 defenses in the country every year. That slipped to 16th in 2006 and 26th in 2007 before last year's big drop-off to 68th.
Now, players are talking about coming out with a new attitude, one that's mean, nasty and stingy.
Venables says experience should help create that intensity. The Sooners return nine starters and need only to fill holes at both safety positions.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)