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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys defensive shortcomings were magnified

OSU REPORT CARD — Oklahoma State's 51-48 overtime loss at OU featured a good Cowboy running game. But OSU's inability to get more pressure on Landry Jones and stop the Sooners on third down proved fatal.
by Jenni Carlson Published: November 24, 2012
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Not a great night for a unit that's normally rock solid. The Cowboys gave up a punt return for a touchdown, then made a couple questionable squib kicks on kickoffs that gave the Sooners good field position. They got nothing spectacular in the return game to negate the other missteps.

ADVERSITY RESPONSE: A

The Cowboys kept fighting. They had several opportunities to fold in the face of adversity but always had an answer. OU had a big touchdown drive right before halftime, but OSU came back with a quick touchdown of its own. The Sooners had the punt return for a touchdown, but the Cowboys came back with a 77-yard touchdown drive. The only time the Cowboys didn't answer came at the end of the first half and at the end of regulation; in neither case did they get the ball back with enough time to respond.

THIRD- AND FOURTH-DOWN DEFENSE: D

The Cowboys just didn't get off the field enough when they had the chance. The Sooners converted 10 of 19 times on third down and 2 of 3 times on fourth down, including Blake Bell's game-tying touchdown at the end of regulation. It's difficult to win close ballgames when the opponent converts nearly 55 percent of the time on third and fourth down.

WALSHING MACHINE: C

An average day for the special package for J.W. Walsh. He did save OSU's last scoring drive with a one-handed grab of a high snap. One play later, the backup quarterback scored on his only running attempt. But Walsh attempted no passes and handed off more than anything. Not that that's a bad thing. The package just wasn't as effective as it was when it debuted a week ago against Texas Tech.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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