NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma's scorched secondary is about to get tested again.
The 13th-ranked Sooners (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) gave up more than 450 yards passing to each of the top 10 passing teams they've faced this season, and they lost both times.
Next up is a game Saturday night at No. 3 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) and an offense that ranks second in the nation in passing behind quarterback Brandon Weeden and All-American receiver Justin Blackmon.
"We need to be able to cover people, to be in the zones we're supposed to be in - whether we're zone or (man-to-man)," coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday. "We have to have some discipline and responsibility in where we're going."
The Sooners were embarrassed both times they faced opponents with top passing attacks.
Texas Tech, which ranks seventh in the nation in passing, ate up Oklahoma's defense with short screen passes and long runs after the catch. Baylor, which ranks fifth, went over the top repeatedly with Robert Griffin III connecting for deep passes to several receivers. The Bears ended up with 616 yards - the most ever allowed by the Sooners - and 485 came through the air.
"Anytime you let an offense do that to you, not only as a secondary but as a defense, that's crushing. I do feel like it is a challenge," safety Aaron Colvin said. "When you hear some of the things that people say to you, constantly hitting you up -'Blah, blah, blah, how did you play that bad?' - you do take it as a challenge and you do want to prove people wrong."
Sam Proctor started last week at free safety in place of Javon Harris, who was picked on several times against Baylor, and Oklahoma held Iowa State to a season-low 245 yards and forced four turnovers in a 26-6 victory.
The question is how relevant that performance is to this week's game. Iowa State doesn't pose the same passing threat as Oklahoma State, and the windiest game day in Norman since 1964 made it difficult for the Cyclones to pass regardless of the defense.
Stoops said the secondary also needs the front seven to provide help by getting pressure on Weeden, who is far less likely than Griffin to take off and run. But Stoops doesn't expect starting defensive end Ronnell Lewis, who has 5.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss, to return after missing last week's game with a sprained ligament in his left knee.
Lewis was hurt in the second quarter of the Baylor game and Frank Alexander, the other starting defensive end, has been playing the last few weeks with a stinger in his left shoulder. Trainers had to attend to Alexander's shoulder twice in Saturday's game.
"When somebody goes down, you've got to be able to keep moving and play for them and play through them - take a piece of how they used to play and go out there," fellow defensive end R.J. Washington said. "Take a piece of Ronnell with you and play with it. You've got to play harder because we're a couple people short.
"We've had a couple big injuries this season and we can't control that. The only thing we can control is our work ethic and preparation and playing smart."
Last season, the Sooners rolled out a brand new defense for the Bedlam game and held Oklahoma State 173 yards below its season average on offense and 106 yards below its usual passing output in a 47-41 victory.
Stoops wouldn't commit to keeping the same starting lineup from the Iowa State game, saying "we'll mix it up some."
"We can really be good if we really focus on what it is that we have to do and keep our eyes in the right spots," cornerback Demontre Hurst said. "I know we're young, we're growing, we're learning, experiencing new things.
"So, basically our defense - our secondary - we just have to really step up. This is one of the biggest challenges here in the season. No one wants to back down from this. The challenge is there for us. We just have to match it."
Weeden, who threw for 257 yards with three interceptions in last year's game, said he still respects Oklahoma's secondary.
"I wouldn't say they really have a weakness in the middle of the field," Weeden said. "Whatever play's dialed up, you've just got to execute that play - whether it's inside, outside a run play, it doesn't matter. They can cover. They've got good cover guys.
"I don't really see any big gaping holes in their entire defense."