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Oklahoma State DC Glenn Spencer on coaching from sideline: 'I wanted to look them in the eye'

Gina Mizell Modified: September 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm •  Published: September 4, 2013

Thanks to his two sons, Glenn Spencer has seen the GIF (a short animation photo) of himself jumping and expressing raw excitement after a big defensive stop during the Cowboys’ dominating performance against Mississippi State in his first game as the full-time defensive coordinator.

“I’m normally not like that, because I’m thinking about the next play,” Spencer said. “So that was kind of strange. I guess I’ve got to be careful with what I do on the sideline now. Being in the box, I didn’t have to worry about that.”

It had been a few years since Spencer was fully visible during a game — 2008 to be exact, his first season at OSU. And he’s going to stick with coaching from the sideline, noting that the advantages of being close to the players in his new role outweigh the advantages of the press box view.

“For me, (it helps) to be down there with quick corrections and quick challenges to them,” Spencer said, “and just to control the, ‘Hey, what’s this next series got for us?’

“I would do that in the box, but I wanted to look them in the eye.”

Even if that occasionally leaves Spencer vulnerable to being captured by television cameras during emotional moments. Spencer thinks his jubilant reaction came when, after a big kickoff return by Jameon Lewis put the Bulldogs on the OSU 34 to start a drive late in the first half, the defense held strong, with Tyler Johnson and Calvin Barnett getting to Bulldog quarterback Tyler Russell for a sack on fourth down.

Holding the opposing offense to three points or less after what Spencer calls a “sudden change” in momentum — an OSU turnover, a big return, etc. — is one of the coordinator’s biggest goals. And the Cowboys certainly responded on that defensive stand.

“You don”t have that opportunity every game, but boy, we had that opportunity,” Spencer said. “… They came away with nothing. That’s huge. So I was so proud of them for going up there, bowing their necks and getting them stopped. That was a big play in the ballgame.”