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Oklahoma State Football

Cowboys Defense vs. Texas: A Tale of Two Halves and Two Interceptions

October 23, 2022

STILLWATER – The numbers, it is always about the numbers and after the first quarter Texas led  14-10 and had 89-yards rushing on just 11 carries, that’s over eight-yards a pop. They had 173-yards total offense. Then at halftime the Longhorns had 161-yards on just 16 carries so now it was up to over 10-yards a carry and the total offense was 351-yards even with a five-star quarterback in Quinn Ewers floating and missing with his passes. Not good and the worry was that Texas would do the same in the second half holding a 31-24 lead.

Halftime in the Oklahoma State dressing room was without panic, but the defensive staff took longer in their meeting together and then defensive coordinator Derek Mason had to bolt to get back to the press box in time for the start of the second half. Safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt, who also is in the box stuck around longer than normal to coach his guys through some adjustments for the second half.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Mason Cobb gets after Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers.

Those adjustments, simple coming from Mason after the game.

"Numbers to the ball,” Mason said showing the relief that the adjustments made a decided difference and Texas had just 53-yards rushing the second half and only 172-yards of total offense. Most important the Longhorns scored only three points.

“We were short numbers early and as much as we were trying to get it adjusted, it wasn't until guys could see it, and truly see it, and understand it and talk through it, then it gets better. So, here's the deal, we're young, right? So, when you're young it's not like you're talking to veteran guys and making veteran adjustments. You're talking to young guys, so young guys need to see it and understand it and feel it, and halftime just seems to be a better feel for those guys because it's not frantic. It's the ability to be in the room and talk about what needs to be adjusted."

Obvious those adjustments and the explanations and diagrams worked. For veteran safety Jason Taylor II he was seeing things well, an interception to start the game leading to a field goal and an interception to end the game helping to lead to closing out the win. He also led the team in tackles with nine and linebacker Mason Cobb was right behind with seven stops.

Pat Kinnison - Chief Photographer
Taylor celebrates his first interception vs. Texas.

“I just tried to go out there and poor my heart out there for my teammates,” Taylor said. “I kind of forgot about the first interception when I got the second one. I’m glad we could get the win and with me going out the younger guys stepped up there at the end.”

Yes, a big scare that may turn out to be not as bad as it looked. Taylor was back in the Oklahoma State locker room a little late from the training room and the hope was he dodged a big injury when he rolled out of bounds with his second pick of the day.

“I stuck my foot in the ground and it got caught in the ground. It kind of banged it up a little bit, but I’ll be okay,” Taylor said.  “I’m so proud of them. We had so many things go wrong in that game and have had so many things go wrong this season and we are so resilient. The younger guys stepped up right where they needed to go.”  

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Taylor and the Cowboys will know more about his status as the week goes on. He will still be closely observed and evaluated.

Meanwhile, the Cowboy defense has seen the suffocating numbers they inflicted from a season ago climb. The outcomes have stayed mostly on the Cowboys side and the defense has had plenty of say in making sure those Saturdays have been victorious, maybe not as pretty. They have been better than a blueblood program like Texas.

"I think the outside world looks and the reality is, we play football too,” Mason said triumphantly. “They've got to go play, so do we. They're a good program, so are we. So, with that, it's a game that we won today, and we get a chance to lick our chops a little bit and heal up and go play Kansas State."

And hopefully, do it with many of the same players out there for the win over Texas.

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Cowboys Defense vs. Texas: A Tale of Two Halves and Two Interceptions

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