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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys primed for Bedlam after demolishing Texas Tech

JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — Oklahoma State's suddenly surging defense has put Oklahoma on notice heading into next week's Bedlam showdown.
by Jenni Carlson Published: November 17, 2012

The chant echoed through a half empty Boone Pickens Stadium.

“Beat OU! Beat OU!”

That's not impossible.

Especially not after what happened Saturday.

On an afternoon Oklahoma State throttled Texas Tech 59-21 and ushered Cowboy fans to the exits early, the Cowboys served notice that they are capable of upending the Sooners again.

The reason?

A suddenly surging pass rush. It forced Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege into two interceptions and even more mistakes. It wrecked havoc on the top passing offense in the nation.

Pretty sure Landry Jones remembers what that Cowboy pass rush looks like.

He sees it in his nightmares.

The Cowboys pressured the Sooner quarterback into all sorts of mistakes a year ago. Incompletions. Interceptions. A first-half fumble that resulted in a backbreaking touchdown.

But through OSU's first nine games of this season, that dogged pass rush was nowhere to be found.

Saturday, it returned.

With a vengeance.

“Honestly, I don't know what happened,” Cowboy defensive tackle James Castleman said of the return of the pass rush. “We just wanted to get to the quarterback as quick as we could.”

Mission accomplished.

The Cowboys managed only three sacks, but they tacked on four quarterback hurries and had several big hits early on Doege. All of that seemed to rattle the quarterback, who threw two interceptions and managed only 230 yards passing.

The Red Raiders came into Saturday averaging 370.0 yards passing a game.

The Cowboys were in the Red Raider backfield and in Doege's head.

“I can only go on my experience back there,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said. “It's no fun. As a QB, it's not very much fun when you know there's a chance you're getting hit.”

The Cowboys took advantage of the Red Raiders' wide splits on the offensive line, but they also threw a variety of looks at them. Show blitz, then peel back into coverage. Move a defensive end into the middle. Line up three, then rush four. They tried to be unpredictable. They tried to keep Doege and his offense from getting comfortable.

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by Jenni Carlson
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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