Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Jerry Montgomery: A little better call, Bob

Jerry Montgomery

Bob Stoops’ hire of Jerry Montgomery as defensive line coach doesn't seem as baffling as hiring Bill Bedenbaugh as o-line boss.

Montgomery and Bedenbaugh are supposed to be great recruiters. That’s fine and good, but a lot of time high school studs don’t turn into football stars on the collegiate level. Like Bedenbaugh, Montgomery's ability to coach 'em up is debatable.

Montgomery spent the last two years as Michigan’s d-line coach, and two years prior to that, he held the same position at Wyoming. Coaching the d-line the past four years for the Wolverines and Cowboys, Montgomery has produced no All-Americans and only one first-team all-conference honoree (tackle John Fletcher in 2009 at Wyoming). Defensive end Josh Biezuns was named to the Mountain West's second team a year later, and tackle Mike Martin was a second-team all-Big 10 honoree at Michigan.

Not very impressive. During the same four years, OU had one All-American (Gerald McCoy twice) and three first-team all-Big 12 players (ends Frank Alexander, Ronnell Lewis and Jeremy Beal).

What is impressive, however, is that Montgomery‘s defensive front was a part of a unit that ranked 13th in total defense (320 yards per game) last year, a slight improvement from an already strong 17th (322.1) in 2010. The Sooners ranked 64th (398.3) and 55th (376.1) during those same two years.

Let's compare Montgomery’s defense against OU’s defense the past two years by using the stats of all defensive linemen for both teams. Both teams played the same number of games (26) during the 2011-12 period:

*Michigan had more tackles (411 to 379), sacks (29.5 to 28) and fumble recoveries (7 to 3).

*The Sooners barely had more tackles behind the line of scrimmage (65 to 64½), broke up more passes (21 to 11) and had a lot more quarterback hurries (33 to 9).

*Both team had the same number of forced fumbles (7) and interceptions with (2).

Also, it's notable that Montgomery has not had much experience with a 3-4 alignment, which has been the talk that OU will switch from 4-3 to 3-4.

Montogmery should be given a few years to see if he can mold a championship defensive line, but it's disappointing that he has been given oversight of the defensive ends. That has been Bobby Jack Wright’s responsibility for the last few seasons, and he’s done a helluva job with them.