STILLWATER — Ugo Chinasa carries comforting thoughts of the west end zone at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Not dreamy thoughts of the luxurious new locker room, a major perk from the latest phase of renovation. No, Chinasa’s best moments as a Cowboy occurred right in that stretch of turf last October against Texas A&M.
There was a 35-yard fumble return and a 6-yard interception return for a score.
And yet, Chinasa knows there must be more good times. More big plays all across the field.
As the Cowboys push to improve on defense, they could sure use an anticipated breakout year from the junior defensive end.
"Ugo’s the prototype of what you’re looking for,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. "He has the height, the athleticism and the attitude.
"I’ll be shocked if it isn’t a breakout season for him. I think he’s going to have a sensational year.”
One of the headliners in OSU’s 2006 recruiting class, Chinasa redshirted his first year after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon. He contributed as a reserve in 2007, then showed signs of coming on a year ago, when he started every game.
A&M, of course, delivered the highlights. But he also recorded a career-high seven tackles against then-No. 1 Texas, with a sack among three tackles for loss. Chinasa finished as the leading tackler among down linemen with 24 total stops.
Still, coaches want more.
"We’re expecting him to make plays,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy.