Oklahoma State defense refocuses on forcing turnovers
Skeptics of the Oklahoma State defense last season often pointed to its NCAA-best 44 takeaways as part luck, even though the Cowboys’ trend of forcing turnovers dates back to defensive coordinator Bill Young’s arrival in 2009. From 2009-11, OSU led the nation with 108 takeaways, 17 more than second-place Oregon during that span.
But so far in 2012, OSU has forced just two turnovers in two games, including zero against Arizona in Saturday’s 59-38 loss.
The emphasis on turnovers starts with a two-whistle system — and general aggressiveness — during practice. And defensive end Cooper Bassett said that’s where the Cowboys need to refocus.
“Our mentality kind of was like a lot of the fans who said it was lucky and how it was just going to come to us,” he said. “Obviously, the past two games, it doesn’t just come to you. You make your own luck.
“Whenever you do the right things, when you fly around to the football, it’s amazing how much more lucky you did. We just got to get back (to it) in practice. I’m looking forward to it.”
Keep this in mind, though. Through two games last season, the Cowboys had forced only three turnovers. They went on to snag 41 takeaways in their final 11 contests.
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