Eyes On The Prize: Venables Keeping Defense Focused For Stanford

Logan RogersCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2009

    With the showdown with Stanford still weeks away, and finals knocking on the door, it could be easy for some of the Sooners players to relax a bit during the lull between games.

    It could be, if not for Oklahoma defensive co-ordinator Brent Venables.

    With all the defensive talent he has, with all the high draft picks waiting to be chosen, Brent has not lost sight of what's important.


    "We need to get better, with all of our guy's, across the board." Venables remarked.

    That says alot.

    The first being that the Bill Snyder product will not play favorites.

    On his defense, everyone has their part to play, none being more important than the next, no matter how many stars sit next to your name.

    Also, it shows that no matter what else may be going on, coach Venables will stay the course.

    Some OU fans may feel that a team like Stanford is not a good enough cause for worry.

    Big mistake.

    The kind of error that gets you beat in this buisness.

    One that Venables refuses to make.

    "Really," he responded when told of the news, "How many games have they seen of Stanford's?"

    "I talked to Mike Stoops (Arizona's head coach and Bob's brother) last Thursday, and he knew we were gonna play a Pac-10 team in all likelyhood," Brent revealed. " He said 'You better hope you don't play Stanford'."

    "Well, here we are."

    Here we are indeed.

    Mike Stoops is a good person to go to for advice on the subject, seeing how he is one of the few head coaches to lead his team to a victory against the Cardinal this year.

    A feat that USC's Pete Carrol, or Pac-10 champ Oregon's Chip Kelly could not accomplish.

    A fact that has not escaped Venables.

    "They (Stanford) beat the tar out of Oregon, then they beat USC into oblivion," Brent said. "So that's how we look at it."

    A comforting statement for the Sooner nation that badly wants to end the year holding a trophy.

    But more importantly, it speaks to his strong work ethic.

    Which will go a long way to getting said trophy.

    A work ethic that has undoubtably rubbed off on his players.

    Who, exept for one bad outing at Texas Tech, have played as well as any defense in the country.

    So, if some of the Sooner nation wants to take a 'laxed' approach and feel like Stanford may be an 'unworthy' opponent.

    That's fine by coach Venables.

    Because he knows what type of challenge Stanford presents, and that they are not to be taken lightly.

    So come December 31st.

    He, and his players, will be ready.