Young Won't Underestimate Hurricane

Bill Young knows exactly what Tulsa's mentality will be entering Saturday's game at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Oklahoma State defensive coordinator was on the Tulsa coaching staff from 1980-84 and even though his stint with the Golden Hurricane dates back longer than most of the player's in this weekend's game have been alive, Tulsa's mentality remains the same — they want to prove they belong.

"I used to coach at Tulsa so I already know the mindset going into this game," Young said. "A lot of their players are guys that maybe should have been recruited here, but weren't. They want to prove it to everybody. That's a fact."

Young said, in addition to a high-powered passing attack, the Golden Hurricane's chip on their should makes them even more dangerous.

"Without question," he said. "I spent five years there and that's the way we felt (about Oklahoma State)."

The schools will be meeting for the 71st time when they take the field at 6:05 Saturday evening but the series has seen a lull in recent years, as the team's play for the first time since a 38-21 Cowboy victory in 2004.

Young said he doesn't think the time away has lessened any of the enthusiasm for the in-state series, particularly in how much Tulsa wants to upend the Cowboys.

"I don't think there's any question. It's always been that way," Young said. "I coached at Arizona State and every one of our players thought they were good enough to go to Southern Cal. First game we beat them 24-0 and we beat them in Los Angeles the second time, so we'd better be ready."

Making the Cowboys' (2-0) task this weekend even more trying will be the explosive nature of the Tulsa passing game.

The Golden Hurricane rank fourth nationally in passing offense per game (387.5) and fifth in total offense (562.5), while the Cowboys rank 85th in pass defense.

Young said one of the keys to slowing Tulsa down will be to continue to force turnovers. OSU forced four second-half turnovers in a 41-38 victory against Troy on Saturday and the Cowboys lead the nation in fumbles recovered with six.

"It's something we focus on every single day," Young said. "When we're going against the scout team we go until every last effort has been made to strip the ball out in practice. It's a point of emphasis and we feel like you get what you emphasize. We're certainly not where we want to be, we want even more than we got."

Though the strong part of the victory against Troy was answering adversity and the Cowboys may face a number of adverse situations against TU because of its unique style of offense.

Young spoke to the multiple formations and unbalanced sets used by the Golden Hurricane to confuse opposing defenses. After the Cowboys struggled against a similar approach from Troy, Young said the defense's main goal this week has been simple.

"The biggest thing is to get lined up and be assignment sound. That's where we had some failure Saturday and that's something we've really worked on this week."


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