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Oklahoma State Football

Cowboy Defense Faces Biggest Run Game Test Yet Against Texas

October 12, 2021

STILLWATER – The Oklahoma State defense has been solid all season long, especially when it comes to defending the run. The Pokes are allowing just 91 rushing yards per game, good for second in the Big 12 and 12th in the nation.

However, with as good as they’ve been through five games, Saturday is going to be the toughest challenge yet for the Pokes as they face one of the best running backs in the country in Texas’ Bijan Robinson.

“I feel like this is going to be a big test for us, especially because his explosion and all the jump cuts he does, so I feel like this is going to be a good game for us and battle, especially up front for the D-line,” said Tyler Lacy.

Robinson is averaging more than 130 yards on the ground per game and just over six yards per carry on 125 carries on the season. He’s posted 789 yards and eight touchdowns, with 11 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns to go with it.

“Good back, they run their offense through him, so we’re just focused on stopping him and going from there to be honest,” said Devin Harper. “He makes his body hard and makes it hard to tackle and a good open space back, so we’re looking to stop him before he gets to open space.”

Jim Knowles has created a defensive front that’s pretty solid which features guys like defensive ends Tyler Lacy and Brock Martin, and defensive tackles Israel Antwine, Jayden Jernigan and Brendon Evers. A pretty solid group if there ever was one, but there’s a pretty big group of rotational players that make the front really solid.

“Trusting the defense, trusting the guy beside you; I’ve got Brendon Evers, Jayden Jernigan, or Brock [Martin] on the other side, just trusting them that they’re going to do their job and I hold my edge and hold my responsibility and put trust in coach [Jim] Knowles’ defense,” said Lacy. “I feel like coach Knowles puts us in very good positions to be on the field and it pays off and you can see the stats.”

While they may not have the most glamorous job, the group mentioned above have combined for 49 total tackles on the season, 13 quarterback hurries, 6.5 sacks and even one pass break up thanks to the game sealing PBU from Evers against Baylor. Throw Collin Oliver and Sione Asi into the mix and the total tackle number climbs by 17.

The Cowboys have been solid all year defending the run and Robinson is one of the best backs in the country. However, Knowles’ group can take some comfort in knowing the Longhorn run game can be slowed down as OU held them to just 128 yards on the ground this past weekend. Can we expect a similar performance out of the Pokes in their first Big 12 road game of the season?

Discussion from...

Cowboy Defense Faces Biggest Run Game Test Yet Against Texas

479 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by CaliforniaCowboy
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our problem with the Texas offense is that it is not totally dependent on the rushing game, and their QB (and Sark) will find a way to throw over the box, especially to the Freshman WR stud Worthy, who can get behind you in a hurry. This is going to be a total team effort to stop the Texas offense.

I'll be interested in the coming article from Pokes Report about how our offense is going to exploit the Texas defense... OU certainly got lots of yards and lots of points, so did Arkansas. Tech put up 35 on Texas and TCU put up 27. It's not like Texas has all that great of a defense, so I'm interested to hear how we're best suited to exploit them (other than the obvious, put in Illingworth). But absent of putting in a passing QB, where has Texas been giving up huge chunks of real estate? On the ground? deep over the top? on the edge?

Do any of you fellow Pokes have any thoughts on the key weaknesses in the Texas defense?
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Cal, I watched most of the OU game with UT. I thought the short middle passes were open a lot, but one Texas corner was exploited long on the sideline/left it seems. I agree, not great backfield overall but there are one or two opportunistic and capable safeties as regards interceptions which worries me. Spencer has I think 5 passing touchdown vs 4 interceptions. We can't afford a couple turnovers, let alone 4 which I think is what we gave them in Stillwater last year.
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Revisiting the Texas defense

... in their last 3 game TT, TCU, OU in addition to the points listed, they gave up

TECH Offense
Total Yards: 520
Passing: 392 (11.5 ypp)
Rushing: 128 (3.9 ypc)
Plays: 67 (2 TOs)

Total Yards: 351
Passing: 182 (6.5 ypp)
Rushing: 169 4.1 ypc)
Plays: 69 (3 TOs)

Total Yards: 662
Passing: 323 (8.1 ypp)
Rushing: 339 (8.3 ypc)
Plays: 81 (2 TOs)

Which seems to translate (hopefully) into about 4-5 ypc, and at least 300 yards passing, which should be enough.... the number of TOs that Texas has gotten per game has me a bit concerned, that could be our demise.

hopefully our defense plays well again ....

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