Later in the quarter, the Tigers marched to the OSU 4, threatening to again make it a one-touchdown game. But on second-and-goal, Youman stripped Franklin and Lewis was there to scoop up the bouncing ball and return it to the Mizzou 21.
Three plays later, touchdown, 38-17.
Richetti Jones and Brodrick Brown added fourth-quarter interceptions, snuffing out two more possessions.
Critics keep pointing to the Cowboys' takeaways as if they can't be counted on, as if they can't possibly keep coming.
Except they do, with at least turnovers collected in the last five games.
“They've done it every week,” said OSU receivers coach Doug Meacham, who admits that he's become accustomed to waiting for them on the sideline. “Maybe a little less pressure on us offensively, because we know our defense is going to bare down at some point and get a turnover. Every week.
“It is unbelievable. They bend a little, but they play sound defense and they pick their spots. And somebody steps up and makes a play.”
This is nothing new for the Cowboys, who have made a living of forcing turnovers since Bill Young took over as defensive coordinator. We've heard of all the emphasis on takeaways in practice and all the work that goes into it.
But doesn't everybody work hard on such things?
“I don't think everybody works as hard to get them as we work to get them,” said OSU safety Daytawion Lowe. “It's an everyday effort.”
Said Blatnick: “We know we're going to get the ball. Just believe it and it's going to happen for us.”
Must be magic.