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Oklahoma State football: Did Saturday provide reason to worry or reasons for optimism?

OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL — Oklahoma State didn't look all that great in a 20-14 win over Kansas on Saturday, but the Cowboys were playing with a depleted roster. Add those facts to the wild day that was in the Big 12 on Saturday and you could look at what happened Saturday as a good thing or a bad thing.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 13, 2012

Do you at least rest assured that when Lunt and Co. return, things will get better?

Seems likely.

But what to make of this defense?

OSU is still struggling to force turnovers, something that became the Cowboys calling card a year ago. They had no turnovers against the Jayhawks.

A year ago, OSU had four of them against Kansas.

But on a positive note, the defense did make five fourth-down stops. Those weren't turnovers in the true sense of the word, and yet, the defense did manage to get the ball back.

Add in the fact that Kansas was 6 of 18 on third down, and OSU held on those late-down situations almost three-fourths of the time.

“That's awesome,” co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said. “Add those two up and you've got a tremendous day on defense, especially for as many times as they were going for it on fourth down.”

Still, the defense gave up two big plays late that led to touchdowns and gave the Jayhawks a chance to win the game. Spencer said there was a mental bust on one and a coverage error on the other.

Definitely correctable problems, but against woeful Kansas, you expect better.

Moving forward, the Cowboys better get more from the offense and the defense.

And fast.

Season wrecker Iowa State comes to Stillwater next week. League newbie TCU follows. Then comes a murderous stretch to end the season — at Kansas State, West Virginia, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma, at Baylor.

And remember, the Cowboys have nary an off week.

A close call at Kansas doesn't exactly provide a confidence boost going ahead.

“It's definitely not what most fans expected or even what we expected coming in here,” kicker/punter extraordinaire Quinn Sharp said. “It's not the prettiest win that we'll have in the record books, but it's still a W, and we'll take it.”

Where the Cowboys take it from here, though, is anyone's guess. The way the league looks, they could win every time they step onto the field or they could lose six games. Either scenario seems entirely possible.

How are you going to look at this one, OSU fans?

Well, that depends on how the Cowboys finish this season. A close call against the Jayhawks is either going to be a blip on the radar or a sign of bad things to come.

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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