Oklahoma State football: Defense can redeem itself against Texas

The Longhorns run the ball well, but their passing game is only so-so. The OSU defense should be able to play better against Texas than it did against Arizona. Frankly, it has to play better.
by Jenni Carlson Published: September 21, 2012

STILLWATER — Wes Lunt is injured, J.W. Walsh is taking over the offense, and Texas is coming to town in a week.

So, of course, you know who's under pressure.

The Oklahoma State defense.

When last the Cowboys played a big game, conventional wisdom put Lunt in the crosshairs. First road game. True freshman quarterback. How he played at Arizona would determine the outcome.

Instead, the Cowboy defense was the problem, going to the desert and melting down.

It allowed 52 points and 501 yards against the Wildcats. It committed seven penalties, five of them of the personal foul variety. It had no takeaways and no red-zone stops, calling cards during last season's magical run.

Want to atone for those sins against Arizona?

Texas is a great place to start.

These Longhorns are better than a year ago when the Cowboys went to Austin and won going away. The improvement starts with the defense, which is led by a stout line. It will present all sorts of challenges for OSU, which is bound to be more run-oriented and more one-dimensional with Walsh at the helm.

The Cowboy offense is going to have fits and starts. It's bound to happen playing a first-time starter in a big-time game. So, if the Cowboys find themselves in a high-scoring game, I don't like their chances.

The OSU defense can make sure that doesn't happen.

Texas, after all, is solid offensively but not spectacular. The Longhorns run the ball well, but their passing game is only so-so. They average just 254.0 passing yards a game, a paltry number in the pass-happy Big 12.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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