Young, OSU Defense Prepared For Sooners

Bill Young may have been born in Texas but the second-year Oklahoma State defensive coordinator knows as much about Bedlam as anybody. Young has been on both sides of the heated rivalry between the schools. Young played linebacker and defensive end at OSU in the 1960s before three coaching stints with the Pokes in three decades. Young was the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma from 1996-97.

But after nearly 50 years in or around the series, Young knows this year's addition of Bedlam is special as the teams collide for the right to go to the Big 12 title game. In fact, this could be argued as not only the most important Bedlam ever for OSU but it could be the biggest game in school history.

"It is a huge game for our program and it is a huge game for our coaches and players," Young said. "We are just going to go out and do the best that we can do. We are further along than anyone anticipated and we have had a heck of a year."

While coaches typically tell their players not to get wrapped up in the hype of a game, Young said this game might be different.

Do you savor that this is one of the biggest games OSU's ever played or push it away?

"I think that you embrace it, I don't know what the stance of coach Gundy or our whole program is, but I think you embrace it and be happy you're there," he said. "We're going to go out and play the best football that we can play … we feel very good about our opportunity to be in this game."

And the opportunities abound for the No. 9 Cowboys if they win but Young's defense will have its work cut out for it on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Boone Pickens Stadium.

The Sooners are one of the only teams in the country to have a threesome similar to OSU's Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter.

The Sooners' trio of Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles and DeMarco Murray has given opposing defenses fits this season but Young said it's the team's depth and athleticism in addition to its three stars that really sets them apart from other offenses they've faced.

"They're a heck of a talented football team, if you get out one-on-one with them they either break a tackle or make you miss a tackle and make a play," he said.

Yound said stopping the speed and talent of the No. 13 Sooners isn't the only test their offense presents. Because of OU's rapid-fire rate of play calling, the speed and frequency with which the Sooners get off plays makes it difficult for defenses to adapt and rotate the appropriate personnel on and off the field.

"(OU) plays at such a high tempo that it's going to be very difficult for our defenders to rotate in and out," he said. "We need to get our substitutions solidified and get in fast to be in position to play football. We're focusing on that and we'll have to do our best to get it done."

And one thing that could be hard to stop but could definitely add to the flair of Bedlam is a formation the Sooners have implemented into their offense. The formation is a take on the ‘diamond' set OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen created for the Cowboys earlier in the season, leading some OSU fans and state media to suggest the Sooners stole it.

Young didn't bite on the theft aspect but he is familiar with how OU runs it. Stolen formation or not, Young has been around the rivalry long enough not to offer any ammunition for the other team. He's just focused on getting his Cowboys ready to stop whatever Oklahoma throws at them.

"I'm not sure if they stole it from anybody, but they just incorporated it into their offense and it fit their personnel really well," Young said. "Instead of having a wide receiver in motion, they just line them up in the backfield. It's just one more thing we'll have to get prepared for."


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