Previewing Oklahoma State: A Look At The Cowboy Defense

LAWRENCE KS - NOVEMBER 20: Quarterback Quinn Mecham #8 of the Kansas Jayhawks is sacked by Richetti Jones #99 during the game on November 20 2010 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Offensively the Oklahoma State Cowboys may be a bit overwhelming but defensively they at least appear to be less threatening. The Cowboys give up 26 points per game (6th in the Big 12) and more importantly may have a critical weakness particularly when matched up against Oklahoma's offense.

CB

Andrew McGee

38 Tkls/5 Ints

DE

Jamie Blatnick

23 Tkls/5 Sks

DT

Chris Donaldson

18 Tkls/2 Sks

DT

Shane Jarka

10 Tkls

DE

Ugo Chinasa

28 Tkls/3 Sks/1 Int

 

CB

Brodrick Brown

65 Tkls/1 Int

LB

Shaun Lewis

43 Tkls/1 Sk

LB

Justin Gent

59 Tkls/1 Sk

 

LB

Orie Lemon

107 Tkls/2 Sks

S

Markelle Martin

46 Tkls/2 Ints

S

Johnny Thomas

51 Tackles/2 Ints

 

Against the run the Cowboys are fairly solid. They're allowing opponents to average a modest 3.7 yards per carry and a game average of 138.9 yards. Linebacker Orie Lemon makes a living cleaning up running backs by having good speed and taking good angles. 

Attacking this defense, initially, on the ground isn't a great idea but as aggressive as they are against the rush a play-action based game plan could be effective. Oklahoma's biggest threat is Ryan Broyles running free somewhere in the secondary. Play-action could help against a defense that already struggles against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks are completing almost 63% of their passes for an average of 258 yards per game.

Don't look for the Sooners to completely abandon the run but with OSU ranked 9th in the conference in passing defense the point of attack has to be through the air. Look for the bubble screens and sideline flares that we love so much to try and get the Cowboy safeties to move up a bit and the linebackers to move out. If that happens, then OU will have opportunity to both stretch the field through the air and run the ball. If the Cowboys don't move up and out then we're looking at short to mid-range passing all night.

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