Oklahoma's defensive tackle position took another hit against Texas Tech as Adrian Taylor tore his achilles tendon during the game. Taylor will miss the rest of the season and face a sixth month rehab process.
Taylor's injury was disturbing as the senior tackle had battled back all season from a devastating broken leg suffered in last year's Sun Bowl against Stanford.
"Those guys all care about Adrian and they all were hurt to see him devastated again," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables after the game.
The loss of Taylor puts more strain on an already thin defensive tackle position. The Sooners expect to get former starter Casey Walker back this week for Baylor. Walker has missed most of the season after spraining his knee against Cincinnati earlier this season.
But even with Walker returning, the Sooners are likely to need defensive end Pryce Macon as an extra tackle against Baylor.
"I think (Macon) will have to stay inside, with him included we've got four guys," said Venables.
Jamarkus McFarland and Stacy McGee were forced to play the tackle position without rotating after Taylor went down against Texas Tech. McFarland actually had his best game of the season as he logged five tackles, two tackles for loss and one pass breakup on the day.
But Baylor's combination of Robert Griffin and Jay Finley will stress an OU run defense which has been giving up big gains on the ground this season.
"(Griffin's) a beast and Finley's a really good back and they've got a lot of chemistry and they've got great skill outside," said Venables. "They force you to defend every inch of the field. They've just got a lot of explosive athletes that are put in successful situations and make a lot of plays. They're very dynamic in what they do, they're different in a lot of ways and there are some similarities to the spread offenses, but they're a very difficult challenge."
The Sooners defensive line will be bolstered by Ronnell Lewis at defensive end who Venables says took between 45 and 50 snaps against Tech.
"Ronnell played well," said Venables. "He really played well. He was strong, he was explosive, he had good awareness and he held up really well. He had a nice game and I know he did some nice things in the kicking game as well. It was good to get him back."
Venables was not sure of true freshman Daniel Noble's as the Sooners begin practices later today. But Noble can only be considered questionable for Saturday at this point in the week.