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Oklahoma State Football

Defensive Review: Not the Finish in Fort Worth the Cowboys Pictured

October 16, 2022
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STILLWATER – Defensively for the Cowboys the showdown with fellow unranked Big 12 contender and top 15-ranked team TCU came down to curtailing the Horned Frogs big play offense. The Frogs and new head coach Sonny Dykes and his offensive coordinator Garrett Riley were using primarily 6-4, 215-pound wide receiver Quentin Johnston and quarterback survivor Max Duggan for a nation leading number of explosive plays. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy approved of new defensive coordinator Derek Mason’s plan that worked for most of regulation before failing late in a 43-40 double overtime loss to TCU.

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Gundy liked the defensive plan. 

“I think our plan was good. We were going to make them drive the ball 8-10 plays to score,” Gundy admitted. “It was a really good plan and it worked for a long time, and they hit us late on those two touches (touchdowns). It worked out really well on handling number one. It is going to be this way in this conference. There are not any guaranteed wins in this conference.”

No, not in Fort Worth and not the rest of the way with Texas (ranked No. 20/21), Kansas State (ranked No. 17) and Kansas (receiving votes) up the next three weeks. Back to TCU and the plan to keep the Frogs from making any big jumps in the game on Saturday. Johnston was the player of the game overall with eight catches for 180-yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 14 times and Cowboys cover corner Jabbar Muhammad (5-10, 185-pounds) played him tough on some of those misses.

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One of the plays that Johnston made with Muhammad (&) behind him. 

“They got him on the deep ball early, but he won some battles too.” Gundy said of Muhammad. “There were a number of times they tried to get the ball to him, and we did a good job in a number of those situations.”

“I knew I was going to have a challenge. I prepared all week, and I heard all the first-round talk. I wanted to challenge myself,” Muhammad said. “He’s (Johnston) a good player, but I wanted to show what I was capable of.”

Most of the time Oklahoma State protecting against deep balls to Johnston and some of the other TCU receivers played a light box and dropped seven and eight in coverage. The box was often four or five players. Especially late, TCU running backs Kendre Miller (22 carries for 104-yards and the winning touchdown) and Emari Demarcado (nine carries for 62-yards) and Duggan (57-yards) took maximum advantage of the light box and Oklahoma State’s ragged tackling.

“Momentum swung their way and when you have ebb and flow and it moves away from you instead of towards you, it winds up being one of those deals where when you’re fighting hard to get momentum back, a play here, a play there you know, you wish you made a better call here, a better call there,” explained defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

Again, with TCU you kind of pick your poison unless you are able to stop them cold and no one has. The better call or better execution was badly needed on the second play of the first overtime. After a no gain on first down, Duggan used play-action to pull the safety up, The other back wheeled out of the backfield and with the diversions, Johnston got wide open on the post for a touchdown.

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When not throwing to Johnston, TCU mainly ran the ball and finished with 224-yards on the ground.

“It was a certain call, good call by the offense, and it was a certain play where they got us out-of-position,” Muhammad said. “Not pointing fingers at anyone, but they was supposed to be there and wasn’t. It was a good scheme by the offense.”

“Missed opportunity for us, that’s one of those you say you want a better call,” Mason said. “I thought they were booking us for cover two and I think (Duggan) was surprised, he sort of Lolli popped it in there, and it wound up being a touchdown.”

The next overtime, Oklahoma State played the light box and TCU ground their way to finishing the win.

Discussion from...

Defensive Review: Not the Finish in Fort Worth the Cowboys Pictured

2,448 Views | 12 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by CaliforniaCowboy
PistolD
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In other words, our secondary is poor and we must play soft to protect them by giving yards and completions hoping for a mistake in number of plays it takes to score. So, we're back to the Bill Young and Glenn Spencer defensive days due to our lack of recruiting people that can match up in man coverage.
Joe Khatib
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Hey Robert ,turn a couple of the threes in sevens and OSU wins by 10 points, not that complicated!!
eecowboy
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Other than Cobb, some of the poorest tackling so far this season. And, at some crucial points in the game based on down and distance. If the tackling is that poor, it really doesn't matter what scheme is chosen. New guys, veteran guys … it didn't matter, very subpar.
Zen
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I think the coach's recruit some top guys but those guys don't choose OSU as their top school. Fact
of life. So they develop the talent who are willing to play for OSU, and it obviously is not always good enough for Big 12 play. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. The media proclaiming OSU to be heir apparent to OU at the top of the Big 12 might be premature. Our predicted weakness in the secondary and the continuing weakness and lack of health in the offensive line is responsible for how the conference games are being played. This might turn out to be an off year for the Cowboys. That was an injured QB who carved us up.
A battle between 2 injured QBs. Just like Knowles took time before he figured out the Big 12, Mason will also need time to figure out these opposing teams. Expect more next season, not this season.
tulsasig
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Typical Mike Gundy tactics - sitting on a lead. It might work against somebody like Missouri State but not a good team like TCU. Sonny Dykes played to win. Mike Gundy played not to lose. Two field goals in the second half!!?? What made Gundy think he could eat clock by running the ball. We haven't run the ball well in maybe ten years. We got totally outcoached in this game. Last year we might have been able to rely on our defense to hold the lead but not this year. We took the money we should have given to Jim Knowles and gave it to Gundy. Very disappointing.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Zen said:

... and it obviously is not always good enough for Big 12 play. ... Our predicted weakness in the secondary and the continuing weakness

. Expect more next season, not this season.
keep in mind that our two best guys in the secondary were not only "good enough to play for the B12", they were bribed by Ohio State and LSU to join their teams. They were plenty good to play for any league, without them, we had to try to quickly develop some lightly experienced guys to replace them.

I'm actually expecting less next season, unless something magic happens. (like Gundy or Rangel take over and don't give the reigns back, or Brooks and Collier turn out to be magic linemen...

All expectations were on last year and this year, we'll be loosing too many from the DLine to sustain this level of play, IMO.

I'm not going to sell this team short just yet, but our toughest games are in front of us, not behind us. (OU, Texas, KState, KU, ISU..... that's a steep uphill climb)



Duke Silver
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eecowboy said:

Other than Cobb, some of the poorest tackling so far this season. And, at some crucial points in the game based on down and distance. If the tackling is that poor, it really doesn't matter what scheme is chosen. New guys, veteran guys … it didn't matter, very subpar.
This.
Everyone knew spencer needed help. All he needed was the defense to get 1 stop.
Guitar54
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"Not pointing fingers at anyone, but they was supposed to be there and wasn't. It was a good scheme by the offense."

Hmmm. Somebody missed an assignment.
CaliforniaCowboy
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Duke Silver said:

eecowboy said:

Other than Cobb, some of the poorest tackling so far this season. And, at some crucial points in the game based on down and distance. If the tackling is that poor, it really doesn't matter what scheme is chosen. New guys, veteran guys … it didn't matter, very subpar.
This.
Everyone knew spencer needed help. All he needed was the defense to get 1 stop.
hmmm....

what we needed actually was a 1st down... burn some clock..... run the play clock down... anything other than what happened.

From the time that we kicked our last FG to go up 30-16...

we mad TCU punt 3 times (the other 2 drives were TDs)
while OSU had to punt 3 times and had an interception thrown on our other drive....

the defense got 3 stops, the OSU offense got goober-smacked... shut out.... dominated
Guitar54
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CaliforniaCowboy said:

Zen said:

... and it obviously is not always good enough for Big 12 play. ... Our predicted weakness in the secondary and the continuing weakness

. Expect more next season, not this season.
keep in mind that our two best guys in the secondary were not only "good enough to play for the B12", they were bribed by Ohio State and LSU to join their teams. They were plenty good to play for any league, without them, we had to try to quickly develop some lightly experienced guys to replace them.

I'm actually expecting less next season, unless something magic happens. (like Gundy or Rangel take over and don't give the reigns back, or Brooks and Collier turn out to be magic linemen...

All expectations were on last year and this year, we'll be loosing too many from the DLine to sustain this level of play, IMO.

I'm not going to sell this team short just yet, but our toughest games are in front of us, not behind us. (OU, Texas, KState, KU, ISU..... that's a steep uphill climb)




I have to agree with you. NIL will destroy programs like ours. Our culture, which is legit, will only take us so far as a selling point. Money talks and BS walks. Our only hope will be the Portal. And we didn't do well in the portal this year either. Enjoy this year while it lasts.
backphil
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With the trend of the game that set up overtime, Gundy missed his chance to win the game with one 3-yard 2=pt conversion in the first overtime. We have all heard how Casey Dunn and Gundy had developed a play book for short yard goal line plays, since the debacle last year against Baylor in the conference championship game. We heard all through Spring and Fall that we had practiced these plays, with Spencer under center, so that that situation would never haunt us again. Gundy even mentioned that Dunn told him he was ready with a play to go for the win in OT, but Gundy's conservative streak struck again, and we kicked the extra point. The TV announcers had even pointed out how our team had been baking in the 90 degrees plus sun on the visitor's side, while the Frogs were relaxing in the shade in 70-degree temps on their side of the field. Add that to an obviously hurt throwing shoulder for Spencer, which was on display with him underthrowing the ball, and even getting intercepted, Gundy made a huge coaching error in judgment by not going for the two-point conversion and the win.
Class 1980
CaliforniaCowboy
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bleh... fans always 2nd guess the guy making the calls, that's what fans do, but that does not make that opinion correct.

like this: Sanders is so bad and was hurt, so Coach Gundy made a huge mistake by not putting in Gunnar to see of somebody could get something going.

agree, or disagree.... it's only a fans opinion.
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