NORMAN â€” The philosophy of Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young is not exactly bend don't break.
But it's close.
Realizing the OSU offense is going to score in droves, Young doesn't feel compelled to take chances with man-to-man coverage or all-out blitzes. Instead, he's content to make opposing offenses earn their way down the field and wait for them to make mistakes.
To knock off the Pokes, Oklahoma will have to accomplish the former and avoid the latter.
â€œThey make you work,â€ Sooner coach Bob Stoops said. â€œThey have gotten turnovers and stops in different ways. That's the idea going against them. You've got to be able to hold it together, sustain drives and get your big plays when you can.â€
OU is going to get its yards. But whether the Sooners also get their points depends on if they can bubble screen their way down the field, manufacture a couple of big plays and avoid turning the ball over against the nation's sixth-best defense at causing turnovers.
â€œI wouldn't call them a bend-but-don't break team by any means, but they're not going to let you just run by them and throw bombs,â€ said OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. â€œThey don't give up a lot of big plays. They don't give up a lot of cheap scores. And what I see from afar is a defense that plays with a lot of confidence. Meaning if the other team has some success on offense, I don't think their defense gets rattled because they know their offense is going to do well.â€