OSU football: Defense will be ready for spreads
Defense will determine the 2011 season for Oklahoma State football. One thing going for the Cowboys is consistency. Not just the starters and veterans returning, like Shaun Lewis, Johnny Thomas, Brodrick Brown, Richetti Jones and Jamie Blatnick. But the offenses OSU will see.
Spread offenses again will dominate the Big 12, so OSU should be getting more and more acclimated to defending the wide-open attacks. Oklahoma runs the spread, though the Sooners do use some power game. Not so with Missouri and Texas A&M, which don’t employ fullbacks at all. Same with Texas Tech, unless Tommy Tuberville drifts more away from the Mike Leach, which Tech did not do last year. And Baylor, with quarterback Robert Griffin. Texas, who knows? But for the most part, OSU’s defense will be seeing much the same thing it saw last year.
“You get good at what you see,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. And that includes Cowboy practices. “We see it every day in practice,” Young said.
Young harkened back to 1976, when he joined his alma mater’s staff and most teams in the Big Eight employed some kind of option-oriented offense. “We could play the run really well,” Young said. “But we didn’t defend the pass worth a flip.” Young said when he was with John Cooper at Tulsa in the early ’80s, TU could defend the run rather well but had trouble with the pass. Much of that staff moved to Arizona State in 1984, and the Sun Devils had difficulty stopping the run but was adept at defending the pass. “They rushed the passer like crazy,” Young said.
The moral of the story? A team like Texas, which could be going back to a more power-oriented offense, could reap dividends. Same with Kansas State, which likes to play smashmouth.
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