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Oklahoma State point/counterpoint: Was the Cowboys' defensive performance vs. Arizona an aberration?

BY YOUR NAME Staff Writer Published: September 14, 2012

I'm not ready to write this defense completely off after one poor performance.

Are there issues? Absolutely, most noticeably at strong safety and in the nickel package. The linebackers also struggled mightily against Arizona.

What we've learned is that this defense still needs to force a lot of turnovers, something it has been able to do ever since Bill Young became the defensive coordinator in Stillwater in 2009. But the turnover machine in 2011 didn't start churning until the third game, as the Cowboys forced three turnovers in its first two games and then 41 over the next 11.

By the way, Young returns Saturday following two weeks off to recover from a medical procedure.

Is this an elite defense? No. I never believed it was. But if it returns to its aggressive, turnover-forcing style — and stop the personal fouls — then things will go much better than that disastrous night in Tucson.