And as injuries mounted, the effect of eight straight games without a bye took its toll on players.
Guys were worn slick.
So was Young.
“It's wearing,” he admitted. “We had so many issues this year from injuries, just so many things distracting.”
While Young recognizes those issues, he takes responsibility for what happened against OU and Baylor.
“The bottom line — I've got to coach better,” he said.
He intends to do just that against Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. His face brightens and his voice accelerates as he talks about the chance to get on the field one more time this season.
“I'm looking forward to playing this game and redeeming ourselves,” Young said. “Personally, I just hope we can go out and play the way we're capable of playing and look good doing it.
“That's what I would hope — make ourselves feel better, especially as coaches. We put a load on ourselves. It's our job. We've gotta get it done.”
It's a job Young has gotten done for almost half a century, but as he approaches 70 years old, he's started to ask himself just how much longer he wants to coach. But he's also got a fire for football that still burns.
So, how much longer will he coach? How much longer will he keep his dream job, coaching the defense at his alma mater? How much longer will he continue doing what he's done since the Vietnam War raged and “60 Minutes” debuted?
I don't know.
And at this point, I truthfully don't believe Young knows either.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.