Most of the scorn following Oklahoma's 66-59 win over Texas Tech has fallen on the Red Raiders' defensive unit but, still, Oklahoma allowed 59 points. Oklahoma isn't used to allowing 59 points.
In fact, the Sooners, sitting atop the Big 12 at 4-0 in conference play, have allowed 40 points or more in four of their last five games and currently rank 115th nationally at 36.7 points per game. Oklahoma has similar ranks in total defense (No. 116) and yards per play allowed (No. 101).
Speaking to the media Monday, Bob Stoops came to the defense of a unit headed by his brother Mike.
"It's business," Stoops told the Associated Press. "You go over it and you study it. But again, it's all of us, too. It isn't just my brother and I. It's also (Kerry) Cooks, (Calvin) Thibodeaux, (Tim) Kish, everybody in there. Didn't complete a sack, ball caught between the two linebackers, ball caught on a secondary guy. It's all of us together.
"... It's the same coordinator that also we led the league in every defensive category a year ago, and made it to the final four. We're not running a new defense. He didn't bring in something different. It's the same defense. If it's worked before, it'll work again, and I've got confidence in it. And I'm also part of what we're doing."
Oklahoma ranked 16th last season in yards per play allowed and in the top 30 in scoring defense during last season's Big 12 championship, College Football Playoff semifinal season.
Now in his 18th season, Stoops has settled into a cyclical pattern in Norman: he cycles upward -- national championship in 2000 and BCS/CFP appearances in 2003, '04, '08 and '15 -- and he cycles downward, typically immediately after an up year. See: his 8-4 finish in 2005, his 8-5 mark in 2009 and his 8-5 mark in 2014, a year removed from the famous Sugar Bowl destruction of Alabama. Like an ace pitcher, Stoops's ability to fight through less than ideal circumstances and forge successful seasons when he doesn't have his best stuff at his disposal is one of his most impressive qualities. Like this year, when he may win the Big 12 and return to the Sugar Bowl with a defense ranking in the 100's.
With his tenure now reaching legal adulthood, Stoops has the tenure to point out his track record and has won enough trust to ride out tough circumstances.