STILLWATER — Georgia raised old questions and concerns about Oklahoma State’s defense, marching 80 yards to a touchdown on the opening possession of the opener.
And familiar ughs rippled throughout Boone Pickens Stadium — "Here we go again.”
Then Perrish Cox got going.
And with a three-down stretch of utter denial, Cox calmed the Cowboys, shut down a full quadrant of the field and essentially announced — as had been hinted throughout the preseason — that things had indeed changed, with him and his defense.
Here’s how it happened, after the Bulldogs earned a first down at their own 24 on their second series:
Georgia’s star wideout A.J. Green hauled in a quick toss, but Cox raced up, stuck a shoulder in his back and drove him into the turf. Green gained 3 yards and gained an awareness of the Cowboys cornerback.
"That really set the tempo for us,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young.
Another pass headed Green’s way, but Cox soared over the receiver’s back and swatted the ball away.
This time, Michael Moore was the target, but again Cox was there for the breakup.
And that was only the beginning.
Cox kept showing up, eventually putting the wraps on his most complete game. He had a heavy hand in holding Green, a Preseason All-SEC receiver, to four catches for 52 yards, effectively putting a damper on the Georgia passing game. He finished with a career-high four pass breakups — he had eight all last season — and was up to his old tricks in the kicking game, energizing the stadium with a 74-yard kickoff return to start the second half, setting up OSU’s second touchdown.