Oklahoma State football: Cowboys maintain turnover focus

Defense is more determined than ever to keep forcing fumbles, interceptions
by John Helsley and Gina Mizell Published: August 17, 2012
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OSU's defense had its critics a year ago. And by the numbers, some of it was understandable.

The Cowboys, after all, ranked No. 107 in total defense, a point pounded home by national analysts.

Yet those same critics either ignored, or dismissed as luck, another number of note: No. 1, the defense's ranking in takeaways. And they're back at it again, with many suggesting the Cowboys can't possibly keep it up.

In Stillwater, however, the Pokes are more determined than ever to force turnovers, not only in halting opponents but to ease some of the pressure on an offense breaking in a freshman quarterback in Wes Lunt.

“It's a point of emphasis,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. “And gosh, we better emphasize it, because it's going to be a difference for our football team. We've got to help the offense, shorten the field and give them good field position. We did a little bit of that last year and it's something we've got to do this season.”

As for any luck attributed to OSU's takeaway abilities, Young said his guys will plan on continuing the good fortune. His defenses have finished in the top 11 nationally in forced turnovers each of the past three seasons.

“Nobody in the country works harder on it,” Young said. “And nobody emphasizes it more. And it's paid dividends. It's a new day, a new year, who knows what will happen? But it's definitely something we're expecting to happen and it's something we're putting on our players' shoulders, that we anticipate them doing it.”

DANIEL KOENIG, DEVIN DAVIS BATTLING FOR STARTING OT JOB

Michael Bowie's departure just before fall camp left the Cowboys with a hole on the offensive line — and an opportunity for backup tackles Daniel Koenig and Devin Davis to break into the starting lineup.

So far, it's been Koenig getting the majority of the first-team reps at right tackle after Parker Graham moved to Bowie's old spot on the left side. But Davis, a redshirt freshman with tons of upside, is making a push, offensive line coach Joe Wickline said.


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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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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