OSU notebook: Cowboy offense doing its part for high turnover margin

J.W. Walsh's second-quarter interception against Lamar — a high pass that bounced off the hands of Jhajuan Seales and into the grasp of Branden Thomas — is OSU's only turnover so far this season.
by Gina Mizell Published: September 21, 2013
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Oklahoma State is tied for 18th in the nation in turnover margin at plus-4, which is certainly a nod to a defense that produced five takeaways through three games.

But the Cowboy offense has also done its part. J.W. Walsh's second-quarter interception against Lamar — a high pass that bounced off the hands of Jhajuan Seales and into the grasp of Branden Thomas — is OSU's only turnover so far this season.

That is paramount in OSU's spread system, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said, because of the need to run at a high tempo and make plays in the open field.

“We really emphasize ball security in every drill we do,” Yurcich said. “Everything revolves around taking care of the football, being able to run at the pace we do and being able to get our athletes in space while understanding the importance of ball security and practicing those fundamentals. We want to be able to keep that going.”

GLENN SPENCER: LYNDELL JOHNSON NEEDS TO BECOME MORE DISCIPLINED

Lyndell Johnson became one of OSU's biggest playmakers last season, using his range and athleticism as a hybrid linebacker to record 28 tackles (6.5 for loss), two sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry in nine games.

So far in 2013, Johnson has seven tackles but has yet to make one of those signature impact plays from his new position of safety.

Cowboy defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can attribute that to one thing: Discipline.

“The times when he's not able to make a play, it's usually a discipline issue,” Spencer said, “and it's him (not) doing exactly what he's supposed to do. As he grows in that position and those roles that we put him in, he'll get better at that.”


by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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