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Oklahoma State football: Why Bill Young is this week's Big 12 coach on the hotseat

OSU-WEST VIRGINIA — Oklahoma State's defense has played better in recent weeks. Better isn't going to get it now that the Cowboys are entering a stretch against the best Big 12 offenses, starting Saturday with the Mountaineers.
by Berry Tramel Modified: November 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young's job gets tougher starting this week as the Cowboys start a stretch of games against the top offenses in the Big 12. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman.  BRYAN TERRY
Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young's job gets tougher starting this week as the Cowboys start a stretch of games against the top offenses in the Big 12. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman. BRYAN TERRY

After a rough start, OSU's defense has played better in recent weeks. In conference games, the Cowboys rank third among Big 12 teams in scoring defense (24.6 points) and fifth in total defense (400.8 yards). Those are acceptable numbers in the Big 12.

But the landscape is about to change. The Cowboys have played the four lowest-ranking offenses in the conference. They are about to begin a gauntlet of West Virginia (36.8 points, 451.2 yards per game), Texas Tech (32.5, 450.5), OU (42.0, 488.4) and Baylor (39.2, 589.2).

Bill Young's defense has not created the turnovers it created a year ago. The Cowboys always have given up yards, but takeaways last season allowed OSU to lead the league in scoring defense.

West Virginia is not in the habit of committing turnovers. Quarterback Geno Smith has thrown 346 passes, with just three interceptions this year. But Saturday in Stillwater, Young's defense needs to create turnovers, else OSU's solid defensive status will slide along with OSU's hopes for winning.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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