Steele Jantz #2 of the Iowa State Cyclones gets spun around by his face mask during the first quarter by linebacker Corey Nelson #7 of the Oklahoma Sooners on November 3, 2012 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- 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 prepares to host West Virginia 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.
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