Should Oklahoma State coaches be concerned that Dez Bryant didn't catch a pass Saturday? Yes and no. No, because the Cowboys won by 44 points and put up rather impressive offensive numbers doing it.
But there's reason for a little concern in that Bryant could eventually be in contention for postseason awards and all-America nominations, and a catchless day will hurt his numbers. Sure, that sounds vain and a little shallow, but for a program that is trying to build its national reputation, those things are important. They catch the eyes of potential recruits, as well. In what areas is it most important for the OSU defense to improve? Overall, the Cowboys have made significant defensive improvements. In the two previous seasons, OSU held one opponent to less than 200 total yards. They've done it twice in three games this year. But if they're going to hold up under more pressure against tougher competition, the Cowboys need a stronger pass rush from the defensive line. Opponents have thrown 105 passes, and the Cowboys have two sacks. Defensive coordinator Tim Beckman hasn't blitzed much, but better competition will also be better at picking up the blitz. And OSU has only three takeaways so far. Beckman's head will explode into a ball of fire if his team only averages one turnover per game for the entire season. How has the crop of junior-college transfers from the 2008 recruiting class performed so far? Head coach Mike Gundy says they're about on track compared to most junior-college transfers, and he says this is the time you generally begin seeing more contributions from them.
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Oklahoma State's Jamie Blatnick grabs ahold of Missouri State's Cody Kirby as he passes during the Cowboys' 57-13 victory at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday. by Doug Hoke, THE OKLAHOMAN