Built on Speed, Oklahoma's defense suffers from a bit of an identity crisis, but nobody in Norman is about to say anything. With a takeaway in 81 of Bob Stoops' 91 games and 17 interception or fumble returns for touchdowns during this coach's tenure, the defense has a reputation of, well, being a little offensive in its approach. The Sooners' attack-style defense, long appreciated for its speed and aggressive attitude, is perhaps best known for its consistency. OU has ranked among the top 13 teams in the nation in total defense for six consecutive years. Outstanding players have dominated the landscape. Twice in the last five years, a Sooner has been named the best defensive player in the nation. Oklahoma has forced at least one turnover in 81 of 91 games (89 percent) over the last seven seasons. With 42 sacks in 2005 and another 38 in 2004, the Sooner defense has 80 sacks over the last two seasons. The Sooner defense has had at least one interception in 60 of 79 games (76 percent) over the last six years. Sooner defenders have scored 23 touchdowns, an average of three per year, since Bob Stoops took over atOklahoma. Since Bob Stoops arrived in 1999, the Oklahoma defense has surrendered an average of just 16 points per game. The Oklahoma defense has registered eight shutouts under Stoops.
The OU defense has established itself as one of the best with two Butkus award winners, two Thorpe Award winners, two Nagurski award winners, one Lombardi Award winner, one ABC Defensive Player of the Year and 10 Defensive All-Americans. The OU defense under Stoops also has players who have been a finalist for the Hendricks Award (3), Lott Award (1), Lombardi Award (2), Nagurski Award (2) and the Butkus Award (4).