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OSU football: Second-half adjustments have benefited Cowboys

Oklahoma State has owned the second halves of games this season, outscoring teams 161-82 over the final two quarters, when they've regularly confirmed control.
by John Helsley Published: November 14, 2013

The halftime scene inside Oklahoma State's locker room: half calm, half chaos.

And yet, wholly effective.

OSU has owned the second halves of games this season, outscoring teams 161-82 over the final two quarters, when they've regularly confirmed control.

So what's going on with the Cowboys at the break?

No Knute Rockne speeches, although there's no lack of passion.

Nothing all that complicated even.

Just two simple, yet vital elements: solid corrections and adjustments, along with veteran intelligent players to understand and execute them.

“That's a big part of the game, making second-half adjustments,” said OSU senior guard Brandon Webb. “If you don't adjust, what are you going into halftime for?

“You've got to talk about it, and you have to have it in your mind to adjust, to think of different things to do.”

Every team talks adjustments at halftime. Some carry them out better, whether due to superior plans or superior players or a combination of the two. Older, savvy players make an impact, too.

“I give our guys all the credit in the world,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer. “It's not only halftime, it's as the game goes on. But when we want to adjust something at halftime, it's not like you have to have a 10-minute dissertation of why you're doing it and how it affects something else.

“I'll draw it up, and they'll look at me and say, ‘OK, let's roll.' And then they go out and they perform it. I'm proud of how they're going about their business.”

OSU has outscored its opponent in the second half of all but two games this season. And both were special circumstances.

At UTSA, the Cowboys led 35-7 through two quarters, before the Roadrunners posted 28 fourth-quarter points against deep reserves in an eventual 56-35 OSU win.

Against TCU, the Cowboys were outscored 10-7 in the second half, yet led 17-0 at halftime and 17-3 into the third quarter before winning 24-10.

Every other time, OSU has won the final 30 minutes. Even at West Virginia, when they suffered their only loss, 30-21, the Cowboys outscored the Mountaineers 7-6 after intermission.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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