NORMAN, Okla. – As Oklahoma's defense fell apart late last season, linebacker Corey Nelson often felt like a man without a position.
Starting with a late-season game against West Virginia, the Sooners often left their linebackers on the sideline and played seven defensive backs in an attempt to slow down the up-tempo offenses they were facing.
The no-linebacker strategy failed. Against West Virginia, Oklahoma gave up a school-record 778 yards and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops acknowledged he'd done the linebackers "an injustice."
As No. 16 Oklahoma (1-0) prepares to host West Virginia (1-0) on Saturday, Nelson is back in his role as an anchor of the Sooners' defense. He led the Sooners with eight tackles and a sack in a season-opening 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe.