STILLWATER — Now through the one-third mark of the schedule, the Cowboys carry a good news/bad news analysis.
OSU is 4-0 and ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll.
And yet, the Pokes still haven't put a full four-quarter effort together in any of the four games.
Bad News. Or is that good news, too? The Cowboys have won and been impressive, despite the lapses in games, which suggests there's more to come if they can put it all together for 60 minutes.
“We certainly talk to our players about that,” said OSU coach Mike Gundy. “Defensively, we've been really good at times, and then we've been bad at times. I think we can improve and be more consistent in that area.
“I think offensively, at times, our coaches and the general public and the fans expect too much. You can run 500-600 yards on somebody and get 50 points and people are concerned with what happened.”
RUN DEFENSE DIGS IN
In the days leading into the Texas A&M game, there was much concern aimed at OSU's run defense.
Through the first half Saturday, those concerns appeared legitimate. The Aggies totaled 147 yards and were averaging 7.7 yards per rush, with a 65-yard touchdown romp by quarterback Ryan Tannehill providing a big boost.
The Aggies netted just 15 yards after that, taken away from the run game by the Cowboys defense and their own mistakes.
“We were missing a lot of tackles to start out with,” said OSU safety Daytawion Lowe. “We would have them in the backfield, almost. And we'd miss a tackle. And they'd get 5 and 6 and 10, when we should have had them for a loss.
“We came in and we made those adjustments and really executed in the second half.”
The adjustments were somewhat simple.
“It was our run fits,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young. “We were getting blocked out of our gaps. And you've got to give (A&M) credit, they were doing it.
“But our kids, we were pretty much in the right gaps in the second half. And they did a good job getting off blocks.”
OFF WEEK FOCUS: FUNDAMENTALS
The Cowboys aren't congratulating themselves on their 4-0 start during this off week in the schedule.
They're back at work, looking to fix and fine tune. And the list demanding attention, according to Gundy, is lengthy.
“Just basic fundamentals and gap defense and being in the right spot and timing on routes and ball handling and twists and just different things,” Gundy said. “The basic fundamentals we need to get better at.
“And we'll work on Kansas — we'll probably start on them Wednesday. But we've got a lot of things we need to get better at, and this week's a good opportunity and gives us an opportunity to get a little head start on Kansas.”MEMBERS OF ARMY VISIT COWBOYS The Cowboys had some special visitors Tuesday as about 40 soldiers from the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade of the U.S. Army were on hand to watch practice. The soliders, who are based at Fort Sill, also toured the athletic facilities and ate dinner with the team. “They were able to talk to the team about their accountability to each other and their training,” Gundy said. “If they have a missed assignment, it’s a bad thing, compared to what we have. And (we wanted to) just thank them for their service. We don’t do enough for them.”