Oklahoma State football: Cowboys' 'fun' defensive package up and running

by Gina Mizell Modified: September 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: September 19, 2013
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photo - OSU defenders stand on third down during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Lamar University Cardinals at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
OSU defenders stand on third down during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Lamar University Cardinals at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

On a third-and-7 play against Lamar last Saturday, Oklahoma State's defense crowded the line of scrimmage with 10 players. And every Cowboy — including big defensive tackle Calvin Barnett — was standing up.

Lamar quarterback Caleb Berry couldn't get the snap off in time and was called for delay of game, essentially showing that look can be baffling for offenses and fun for the OSU defense.

No, really. It's called the “fun” package, another wrinkle that helps illustrate the more aggressive style new coordinator Glenn Spencer has implemented this season.

“It's kind of like, ‘What's going on here?'” end Tyler Johnson said of what the package tries to do to the offense. “That kind of mindset. They really don't know who's coming (on the blitz) or who's doing what. I think that's the benefit.”

The goal is to create confusion for the opposing offense right before the snap, and a moment of hesitation right after it. The offensive linemen don't know who they'll need to block, while the quarterback doesn't know where the pressure will come from and where the throwing lanes might be.

But even though the pre-snap package may look like a jumbled hodgepodge of players to the outside eye, it's actually quite organized.

“You're creating pre-snap chaos, but there's still a system to it,” Spencer said. “You still have to be sound. We know that. We're just trying to disguise and confuse some things.”

Mission accomplished, said Cowboy quarterback J.W. Walsh, who said he “hates” facing that look in practice each week.

“You've got guys standing up, moving around,” he said. “They're just trying to disguise everything and come at you from different angles. It's just the factor of not knowing who's coming where or who's gonna drop back.

“It makes it tough, because when the ball's snapped, you've got to make a quicker decision than normal.”

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by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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