After a rough start, OSU's defense has played better in recent weeks. In conference games, the Cowboys rank third among Big 12 teams in scoring defense (24.6 points) and fifth in total defense (400.8 yards). Those are acceptable numbers in the Big 12.
But the landscape is about to change. The Cowboys have played the four lowest-ranking offenses in the conference. They are about to begin a gauntlet of West Virginia (36.8 points, 451.2 yards per game), Texas Tech (32.5, 450.5), OU (42.0, 488.4) and Baylor (39.2, 589.2).
Bill Young's defense has not created the turnovers it created a year ago. The Cowboys always have given up yards, but takeaways last season allowed OSU to lead the league in scoring defense.
West Virginia is not in the habit of committing turnovers. Quarterback Geno Smith has thrown 346 passes, with just three interceptions this year. But Saturday in Stillwater, Young's defense needs to create turnovers, else OSU's solid defensive status will slide along with OSU's hopes for winning.