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Second-half performance can be building block for Cowboy defense

by Berry Tramel Modified: September 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm •  Published: September 23, 2007

e ball glanced off Tech flanker Michael Crabtree's shoulder pad, and the Cowboys had an amazing victory.

"They don't give W's and L's for the amount of yards you give up,” said State linebacker Donovan Woods.

Points are what matters, and OSU scored last, on Pettigrew's nifty, 54-yard catch-and-run, in which the 260-pound tight end lumbered away from the Tech defenders to score with 1:37 left.

Ninety-seven seconds is an eternity in Tech's offense.

Robinson looked at the clock as he ran off the field in celebration. "I said, ‘You know, there's a lot of time left on the clock,'” said OSU's new quarterback.

Same thought struck defensive end Nathan Peterson.

"He scored a little quicker than I would have liked,” said Peterson, who had been rejoicing at Pettigrew's touchdown. "I thought, ‘Oh man, a minute and a half left.' I quickly got serious.”

Tech, of course, took about 15 seconds to go 55 yards and reach the OSU 17-yard line. But then Tim Beckman's defense stiffened, with Patrick Lavine and Jacob Lacey and Marcus Brown and finally Price making plays to stop Harrell's assault.

Beckman's administration needed this. The first 3

games seemed to exonerate the deposed Vance Bedford, Mike Gundy's defensive coordinator the previous two years. But holding Tech to 10 second-half points is a building block. A big building block.

"It's important for us to finish the ballgame,” said Peterson, a senior who has been on the wrong end of so many OSU defensive meltdowns. "This is absolutely something we can build from.”

Turns out Pettigrew played it right. Scoring so early did more than give Tech a chance to win. It gave OSU's defense a chance to shine.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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