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OSU football notebook: Defense! Defense!

By Brandon Chatmon, Staff Writer, Modified: August 22, 2010 at 9:51 am •  Published: August 21, 2010

Defense ruled the day during Oklahoma State's second scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. The Cowboys young secondary was solid during the 100-play scrimmage.

"The defense performed very well," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "The offense didn't play very well which allowed the defense to make a number of plays."

After a solid scrimmage last week, the offense struggled on Saturday.

"We have plenty of guys who can make plays (on offense) but we just didn't perform tonight," Gundy said. "We needed somebody to step up and show leadership on that side of the ball."

One offensive highlight was a acrobatic touchdown catch by redshirt freshman Michael Harrison. Freshman cornerback Justin Gilbert had another highlight with a 80-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Injury troubles

The injury bug has hit OSU's linebacking corps with three of the Cowboys' four scholarship middle linebackers likely out for the season with injuries. Senior Orie Lemon is the lone scholarship player who remains healthy at the position.

"Before camp that was the deepest position on the defense," linebackers coach Glenn Spencer said. "We had Orie, Tolu (Moala), Kenny (Alexander) and I've never, in my career, lost three guys at that position before the first game. Tyler Johnson was No. 5, all of a sudden, he's No. 2.

"It's not a good situation."

Spencer said Moala tore his ACL and partially tore his MCL knee in practice earlier this week and would miss the season. Alexander (knee) and Lavey (arm) were injured shortly after fall practices began.

Fortunately for the Pokes, Johnson, the former baseball player who entered the program as a walk on this season, has been one of the most pleasant surprises of camp. However, Spencer said Johnson isn't necessarily next in line to play after Lemon because senior Justin Gent has been taking reps at middle linebacker in recent practices.

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