STILLWATER—Markelle Martin and Shaun Lewis were working out together earlier this week when they saw a headline on the TV about their Oklahoma State Cowboys.
“No ‘D' in Stillwater.”
But no series of events illustrates the Cowboys' formula on that side of the ball better than Baylor's first drive of the game Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
After Baylor took the opening kickoff and drove to the OSU two-yard-line, the Cowboys stuffed the Bears on four straight running plays to keep them out of the end zone and ignite the home crowd.
Then the Cowboy offense answered with a 99-yard touchdown drive, which began OSU's 59-24 rout.
“We wanted to go out and prove that we are a good defense,” Martin said. “I think that fire (Saturday) was lit, and we all shined.”
How you evaluate the OSU defense depends on which statistics you choose. The Cowboys came into the game ranked 103rd in the nation in total defense but second nationally in turnovers forced and tied for 23rd in red zone defense.
Either way, they're 8-0 for the first time since 1945.
And their homecoming game performance only bolstered the Cowboys' rankings in those categories.
Baylor, which came into the game ranked second in the nation in total offense, ran 105 plays and gained 662 yards. The Bears drove into OSU territory on every possession but one — when the first half clock ran out after two plays. Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III passed for 425 yards.
But the OSU defense forced five more turnovers. It stopped BU twice on fourth-and-one, including once at the one-yard line. It twice intercepted Griffin III, who coming in had thrown two interceptions all season.