Tracking Bill Young’s five preseason goals
by Brandon Chatmon
1. Focus on finding the best 11 on defense. And then the next 11.
Analysis: The Cowboys have been willing to move guys around to make sure they have the top 11 on the field at all times. Linebacker James Thomas has emerged as a guy who makes plays and is often on the field with the first team. He’s athletic and seems to be around the ball on a consistent basis. The move of Derek Burton inside appears to be a good move as well. The senior from Muskogee has held his own in the interior.
Grade: B. Young has been hampered by injuries at the safety position. The Grambling State game was the first game they had Markelle Martin, Johnny Thomas, Victor Johnson and Lucien Antoine available at the same time. It will be interesting to see how Young uses their talents because its clear they are among the best defenders on the squad.
2. Keep implementing the package.
Analysis: I’d imagine OSU’s defense will continue to evolve and the packages will continue to change each week. I won’t be surprised to see three, maybe even four of those safeties on the field at the same time especially against spread offenses. That will allow OSU to have speed but with Martin and Antoine closer to the line of scrimmage, also give them the ability to handle the pass.
Grade: B. OSU’s defense hasn’t been completely installed but they run packages that cause problems for offenses and have resulted in good pressure on the quarterback thus far. When they’ve had problems the culprit has been tackling not scheme.
3. Create turnovers.
Analysis: OSU has forced nine turnovers in four games. That’s 2.25 turnovers per game, that’s an excellent ratio. If they can continue to do that, that will change games and could be the difference in big games like Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
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