On Saturday the Oklahoma defense found itself without two key components in the middle in defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and linebacker Corey Nelson. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, neither will return this year.
It was announced last week that Nelson would miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral, and on Monday Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Phillips would miss the rest of the year as well thanks to a chronic back issue.
"It isn't one specific injury," Stoops said on Monday. "It's bothered him for the last couple years and is not improving like they [the doctors] want it to."
Phillips will undergo surgery on his back.
Phillips had already missed the last two Oklahoma games, and was replaced by redshirt freshman Jordan Wade, who will continue to start in Phillips' place the rest of the year. Torrea Peterson will also see more time in Phillips' absence.
Heading into Saturday's game against Texas the Oklahoma defense had been allowing 113.2 rushing yards per game and 13 points per game. Without Nelson and Phillips anchoring the defense against Texas, the Sooners allowed 255 rushing yards and 36 points.
So, obviously, their absence has already been felt, and they will not be easy to replace.