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Mark it up: Cowboys play defense
Second week in a row for shutout in the first half

By Mike Baldwin Published: October 14, 2007
LINCOLN, Neb. — Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman places a mark on his players' wrist bands for every three-and-out, every turnover and every possession the defense takes over on downs.

The goal each week is to have Beckman mark defensive players' wrists eight times. The Cowboys compiled nine during their historic 45-14 romp over Nebraska Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

OSU's defense turned in its best performance of the season. The offense was impressive. But for the second straight week the defense pitched a first-half shutout as the Cowboys led 38-0 at halftime.

"I want to be part of the defense to where people expect the defense to make plays, guys you can count on,” said linebacker Jeremy Nethon. "I don't ever want to hear people say, ‘Let's hope our offense can outscore them.' We can be a good defense. We're on our way.”

The Cowboys limited Nebraska to 216 yards through three quarters. Nebraska didn't score until the first play of the fourth.

OSU's defense produced four three-and-outs, forced three turnovers and twice took over on downs.

"Any time we can hold our opponent to 17 or less points, we feel we're going to win with the offense we have,” defensive end Nathan Peterson said. "We're trying to get more respect for our defense.”

OSU's national rankings defensively are atrocious. But a closer look reveals the defense has played pretty well the past 14 quarters, dating back to the second half of a win over Texas Tech when the Cowboys held the Red Raiders to 10 second-half points.

"The guys are getting used to me, the way I am, and are getting used to what we're trying to install,” Beckman said.

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