NORMAN, Okla. — The young Florida State defense knew at some point that Oklahoma would go to its no-huddle offense, and the Seminoles worked in practice to slow it down.
"Monday, we did no-huddle, did extra running and all kinds of stuff just for this game," FSU redshirt sophomore DT Everett Dawkins said. "And it just didn't work in our favor."
The no-huddle offense seemingly befuddled the Seminoles on Saturday, especially in the first half, when Oklahoma took control of the game en route to its 47-17 win.
"You never know when it's coming. But when it's coming, it's like a train running full speed ahead. And you have to put your feet in the dirt and try to stop it," said redshirt senior S Ochuko Jenije, who moved from cornerback in August.
"We knew what we had to do. It was just high-tempo," sophomore CB Greg Reid added. "And (defensive coordinator Mark Stoops) was calling the plays from the sideline. And by the time we looked over to the sideline for the call, they were up on the center already. It's a lesson learned."
Well, that wasn't the only problem for a revamped FSU defense, still adapting to a zone scheme that Stoops installed with an eye toward limiting big plays. FSU's defense was porous last season and, statistically, one of the nation's worst.
Too many times, the Seminoles — including Reid — simply hurled their bodies at Oklahoma receivers and running backs and failed to wrap their arms around them.
Short gains turned into long gains and touchdowns as Oklahoma rolled up 487 yards.
"I'm surprised, but they're still a young group," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said of his defense.
"I still think we can have a good defense. We've just got a lot of work to do."
A bright spot: Fisher said it was good to see his players keep fighting regardless of the scoreboard as evidenced by FSU's final series.
With just 43 seconds left and the Sooners fans booing that Fisher was using his timeouts to extend the game, backup QB EJ Manuel drove the Seminoles for a score. Redshirt junior WR Taiwan Easterling caught a short pass and broke three tackles to race 47 yards as time expired.
"I said this last week (after the Samford win). When we were up 53 points, I was happy that they took pride and had a goal-line stand," Fisher said. "And at the end of the game, we took pride and tried to go down and score again. … Some folks may think that's very trivial. I don't.
"I think it sets a standard for your program and how you play that you play the last play like the first play, and the scoreboard doesn't matter."
Numbers game: Despite his struggles, Reid finished with a career-high 10 tackles. His previous best was four.
LB Mister Alexander, who last week was arrested for a failure to appear (he had been cited for driving a motor vehicle without a license), had a career-high seven tackles.
Dustin Hopkins tied his career long with a 52-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
A nice moment: About an hour before kickoff, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops shared a moment with Mark Stoops, his younger brother, near midfield. After the brief chat, the two hugged and went their separate ways.
Said Bob Stoops after the game of going against a sibling for the first time: "It's a rotten place to be because I appreciate the way we played, but you just cannot separate blood. I just don't like it, and I knew that going into the game that I didn't. And I'm positive of it now after the game."