STILLWATER — Tim Beckman's magic number is eight.
That's how many takeaways — which include interceptions, fumble recoveries or three-and-outs — the Oklahoma State defensive coordinator wants to see from his team each game.
The Cowboys achieved that number Saturday night. In the first half.
Five first-half turnovers and three three-and-out series for Texas A&M led the Cowboys to their fifth straight win, a 56-28 victory over the Aggies Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.
And it was just the type of confidence boost the Cowboy defense needed as it prepares for its toughest test to date, a 7 p.m. meeting with No. 4 Missouri next Saturday in Columbia, Mo. The Tigers boast one of the most prolific offenses in college football this season.
“There's so much talk outside of our building about the offense, outscoring everybody and can the defense hold up,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “They scored two touchdowns for us and set us up on a couple others. It was a great lift for them.”
Gundy's rhetorical question about the defense's ability to hold up will be asked several times again before Saturday's game against the Tigers offense, which went into Saturday's action ranked No.