Young: Stopping Griffin Will Be A Challenge

With memories of Nebraska's Taylor Martinez still fresh in the Cowboys' minds, Oklahoma State is in the midst of preparing for another one of the nation's elite dual-threat quarterbacks. In what will be a meeting of the Big 12's top two offenses, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III poses a difficult matchup for a Cowboy defense that has well-documented struggles with dual-threat signal callers.

Griffin has been on a tear in Big 12 play and ranks second nationally in passing yards with 2,592. He also plays nearly mistake-free football with 20 touchdown passes against five interceptions; he has also taken the second fewest sacks in the Big 12 this season with 10. OSU's Brandon Weeden has been sacked only seven times.

In addition to Griffin's explosive abilities, he doesn't give defenses many opportunities to catch him off guard, and he is the ringleader of a Baylor attack that has caught OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young's attention.

"With the athleticism that they have and the skill positions they have, if you miss tackles it will probably be a touchdown," Young said. "So obviously we have to do a great job tackling. I think that the best thing we did last week as far as tackling was trying to wrap up the runner more and we will have to do that this week."

And tackling, especially on Griffin, will be a key in OSU's ability to beat the No. 22 Bears.

"He's given everybody fits," Young said. "He'll be a big challenge for us and, obviously, we've got to be aware of our containment … They use him a lot in the run game and anytime you have an athlete at quarterback like that they outnumber you in the box, so to speak. They basically have an extra running back.

"It's very difficult to get enough numbers to be able to eat up all the blocks and get somebody free to make a tackle on the quarterback."

And that problem Baylor creates by creating confusion near the line of scrimmage has led to Griffin accumulating 23 plays of 30 yards or more this season. Griffin has always been a feared runner and has 400 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground this season but his development as a passer is what has the Bears in the Big 12 mix. Griffin leads the conference in total offense (373 yards per game) and has six touchdown passes of 50 yards or more to his name.

"He's got an extremely strong arm, I mean, he'll throw off his back foot and it will go 50 yards. He's getting better and better, I think I read an article somewhere that last year he spent all year studying football and he's much more intuitive as to what's going on. So, when you play with confidence, that's everything," said Young.

And that confidence has led to wins for Baylor. Baylor is first place in the Big 12 South and is bowl eligible for the first time since 1995.

Young said his Cowboys, who are already bowl eligible themselves, need to build on the defensive success they experience in their 24-14 victory against Kansas State on Saturday in order to be mentally prepared for a much better Baylor team than OSU has seen in many years.

"You always hope that your last game helps you with your next game and winning always helps, I don't care what anybody says," Young said. "The film room was very positive about things and now we know we're up for a big challenge in Baylor. We need to work hard this week to get ready."


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