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Cowboys' defensive line keeps showing improvement

BY GINA MIZELL Published: October 16, 2011

“Those guys continued to make plays and chase the ball,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said of Blatnick and Nicholas. “We don't have a lot of depth there, so it's important that those guys get good, quality reps.”

Gundy might not be satisfied with the depth on the line quite yet, but it's a group that is clearly making progress. Gundy and defensive coordinator Bill Young would not be sending guys like Bassett, Youman and Castleman out onto the field in a 12-point game in the fourth quarter in the first place if they did not feel they could adequately fill in for Nicholas and Blatnick while they got a breather on the sideline.

And those players did not just fill in — they performed.

One troubling aspect of OSU's defensive effort Saturday was that it allowed 231 rushing yards to UT, including 135 yards and two touchdowns from freshman stud Malcolm Brown.

That will need to improve this week when the Cowboys face another stout running team in Missouri, as Henry Josey tallied 129 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State on Saturday and dual-threat quarterback James Franklin added 84 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The 2011 Cowboys will not be remembered for their defensive line, but it's a unit that is steadily developing some depth. And on Saturday, those players made their biggest impact of the season.