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Film study: OSU offense puts defense in tough spot

by John Helsley Modified: November 28, 2010 at 8:51 pm •  Published: November 28, 2010

By Bedlam's end, the numbers assigned to Oklahoma State's defense disappointed.

*47 points.

*588 total yards.

*468 passing yards surrendered (an OU record-tying total).

*107 plays.

Yet after our weekly film study session, we're here in defense of the defense.

Bottom line: the offense's hit-and-miss struggles overtaxed the defense, contributing heavily to the ugly numbers and two late backbreaking big plays by the Sooners.

Yes, the Cowboys D could have helped itself getting off the field, especially on third down. But it was a weary defensive unit trying to survive, which it did for much of the game, while waiting for the offense to fire.

Consider: In the first half, the Cowboys defense forced three punts, yet faced a staggering 60 plays (OSU ran 66 for the game), as the offense managed but six first downs and committed two turnovers. One interception set up OU at the Cowboys 30 and led to a touchdown. The OSU defense provided three interceptions of Landry Jones, yet the Cowboys would manage but 17 first-half points.

In the second half, the OSU defense shut out the Sooners in the third quarter, then held them to three field goals inside the 4-minute mark of the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, offensively, after an opening second-half drive to a touchdown, the Cowboys went three-and-out and tossed an interception before a wild final flurry.

Of the Cowboys' 41 points, 14 came on a defensive touchdown and a kickoff return for a score.

The OSU defense draws focus for the two late big plays: an 86-yard scoring pass on a third-and-12 play and a 76-yard scoring pass on second-and-7; two plays that tacked 162 yards on to OU's total.

On the first, OU's Cameron Kenney spun Cowboys cornerback Brodrick Brown on a post route with safety help late to arrive.

“It was a situation where a guy ran a post route on us and we were getting back and worn out and the guy ran by us,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young.

On the second, credit OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson with a bold call, going to the air when logic says run the ball and the clock. With the Cowboys focused on the ground game, Hanna shifted from the left side to the right, then went back in motion to the left, before running past everyone.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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