Really apologize for the insane delay on this. I’ve had these clips and notes dialed up for more than two weeks, but then things like Thanksgiving and Bedlam and hoops got in the way. But figured with the break before the Cotton Bowl, it would be better to put this out late rather than not at all.
Hope to have Bedlam Film Study up by the end of the week. But don’t hold me to that.
Plenty of position groups got praise in the Cowboys’ dominating win over Baylor. And rightfully so.
But let’s look at the defensive front — led by the stout DT duo of Calvin Barnett and James Castleman — and the role that group played in stalling Baylor’s potent offense.
First, one more look at the easiest forced fumble and fumble recovery Castleman will get in his career.
Of course, Baylor running back Shock Linwood shouldn’t have put the ball out for Castleman to swipe. But the reason Linwood tried to stretch the ball is because the hole was clogged. Also look how Barnett quickly jumps into the backfield.
Here’s a second-quarter play where Barnett was great — look at him blow by All-American Cyril Richardson and lay the hit on Bryce Petty — but Petty was a bit better, getting the ball off just in time to hit Levi Norwood for the first down.
A first-down play that worked well for Baylor. Linwood gains four yards before Castleman drags him down. You’ll take that on first down every time.
Here’s an example of the defensive tackles allowing someone else to make the play. On first-and-10, Linwood gets the carry. But the middle is clogged, forcing him to bounce outside, where Daytawion Lowe is there for the tackle for no gain.
Fun package! On this third-and-10, OSU brought heavy pressure from the right side, allowing end Jimmy Bean to make the sack and force a punt. But Barnett was one of the other Cowboys coming for Petty.
Here’s a big-time, third-down stop. Barnett pushed around Desmine Hilliard, letting linebacker Caleb Lavey shoot through the hole and make the tackle for loss.
Another big play from Lavey on this strip — with an another assist from Barnett, who had gotten the first hand on Linwood.
This perhaps best illustrates how valuable Castleman and Barnett have been for OSU this season. With both of them out of the game and replaced by Ofa Hautau and Anthony Rogers, Baylor is able to keep those DTs blocked (the biggest by — surprise! — Richardson) and open a hole for Devin Chafin to burst through for 20 yards. The very next play, Petty hit Antwan Goodley for the 24-yard touchdown that finally got the Bears in the end zone.