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Mike Sherman: OSU's special teams couldn't stop K-State when it counted

The Oklahoman's Mike Sherman took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chats. Here's a recap of today's Q&A.
Oklahoman Modified: November 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012
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The Oklahoman's Mike Sherman took questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chats. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here's a recap of today's Q&A:

Has OSU's Bill Young ever put a consistently good defense on the field against quality opponents since he has been in Stillwater? This year was supposed to be the year he had the best players he has had during his tenure. OSU doesn't seem to be able to stop anyone good when it counts.

I love this question. We have such short memories. Didn't the Cowboys stop Stanford and Andrew Luck enough to win the Fiesta Bowl? Oklahoma State's first BCS bowl appearance and victory. Is that a quality enough opponent for you? Do the 2011 Oklahoma Sooners count as a quality opponent? It was Bill Young's defense that absolutely devastated the Sooners in Stillwater last December. The amount of pressure OSU put on Landry Jones was overwhelming and gave OSU the Big 12 championship. Bill Young is not the OSU special team's coach. That was the unit that couldn't stop Kansas State when it counted. And those four interceptions and five turnovers? That wasn't an OSU defensive problem. I'm not saying he oversees the Steel Curtain, but defense wasn't the reason OSU lost Saturday in Manhattan.

Why is Kansas State still before Oregon in the BCS? If anyone is going to end the SEC championship hopes it is Oregon, not K-State.

This may be hard to believe, but Oregon's nonconference schedule is way worse than Kansas State's. Oregon: Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. Kansas State: Missouri State, Miami, North Texas. Miami is the best opponent among those six by a long shot. That stuff counts. Miami isn't The U anymore, but it's sure better than Arkansas State. Plus, Oregon has the Colorado albatross. The Buffs get beat by four touchdowns every week, unless they're losing to Sacramento State. Computers are penalizing Oregon for that. Now, which can beat Alabama? Probably neither, but I'd probably go with the team with the better defense.

Something is missing from the Thunder. I know Kevin Martin had a big game, but it seems like the James Harden intangibles are what's missing.

The Thunder offense was capable of stagnating with James Harden, and often did. Is effort an intangible? I didn't see a lot of it on defense last night. Saw a lot of guys on the perimeter standing around, and I'll mention one of them here in a minute in response to a question. I'm going to go out on a limb and say from what I've seen I think OKC would be 1-2 with Harden. Seems early to panic, though.

A lot of OSU fans are pretty fired up about Clint Chelf's performance, and he did play well under the circumstances. Not to take anything away from him, but do you think he benefitted from some softer coverage since they were down like 3 TDs when he came into the game?

Great point. Unless the Wildcats were trying to set a single-game interception record — not Bill Snyder's style — there was nothing to be gained from playing press coverage up multiple scores late. I'd attribute most of the optimism I sense about Chelf's performance as fans being happy for a guy who hung in there and didn't quit. It's a nice story. There may be people saying he can rally the Cowboys and lead them to a Bedlam win in Norman, but I haven't heard them. What Chelf proved is that he can manage the offense capably. We don't know if he can win.

Is it true that on the missed chip shot field goal by Pitt, that Notre Dame had 2 players with the same jersey on, and should have penalized — thus Pitt should have had another chance at the field goal? If so, ND is the luckiest #4 ranked team I have ever seen.

Galileo, you are correct. The Irish had two guys out wearing No. 2 while trying to block Pittsburgh's field goal attempt. If officials catch that, Pittsburgh gets a first down at the Notre Dame 11. That was lucky. That's also the kind of thing that would be easy for officials to miss. The duplicate number thing is a quagmire. It's a wonder it doesn't happen more often, but it's not a wonder it goes undetected.

Indications seem to be that OSU's Wes Lunt suffered a concussion. If he sits this week, and considering the injuries he's had this season, do you think there is a chance OSU will just sit him the rest of the season and go with Chelf? He's had a tough go and had some erratic play as you would expect for a true FR. On the other hand, he obviously needs as much experience as he can get.

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by Mike Sherman
Sports Editor
Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman, where he has a combined 18 years of service during two stints as a writer and an editor. He covered high school sports for The Oklahoman from 1984-93. He also worked as a news writer for the...
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