From the Coordinators: Todd Monken

There are all kinds of problems in going down to Texas A&M and playing the Aggies this coming Saturday. Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken is aware of the situation.

He was at Oklahoma State previously and coached against some good Aggie teams while working for then Cowboys head coach Les Miles. Monken did not have to face current A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter. DeRuyter was making his image at earlier stops including Air Force. He has come to be known as a guru of the 3-4 defense and the strain of that scheme that really has been effective against spread offenses including Dana Holgorsen and Houston twice and Oklahoma State last season.

"They are a disruptive defense and it is made for spread teams," Monken started on sizing up the DeRuyter attack. They are three down, they'll blitz from every angle, and they'll bring every guy on their team and they give you a lot of different looks to confuse your quarterback and your guys up front and confuse your protection schemes. They really do a great job and they have good players. They have recruited well and they will be a challenge for us. It's our job to find ways to effectively move the ball and not turn it over."

This Oklahoma State team has an edge over last year's team in that they did have a prep game against the 3-4 defense in Louisiana in the opener.

"The first game we played against Louisiana, that prepares us probably just more schematically because they're three-down and the same kind of system, so we'll have something to rely on," Monken added. "The last two weeks have been all four-down. I think it's enabled us to play in preparation for what they do. Playing three games and not losing anybody, the preparation from what we do is getting better."

Communication becomes more difficult with all those Aggie cheers and the loud military notes being played in the stands by the A&M Marching Band. It is a very loud place.

"You don't want to go backwards. You don't want to give up lost yardage plays, you don't want to give up pre-snap penalties," Monken said. "You have to commit to what you're going to do offensively, you have to keep it simple, you don't want to have a lot of checks for your quarterback. If you look at last year at the start of the game against A&M - pre-snap penalties, lost yardage plays, quarterback getting hit - that's what they try to do, they try to disrupt your rhythm and try to get after the quarterback, which is smart. And they come from all angles; there's not one guy on their team that won't blitz. You have to be sound in everything you do and make sure you're able to run the ball and throw the ball with equal efficiency."

The best thing is that Oklahoma State has an experienced and confident offensive unit that has a little bit of a defensive and aggressive mentality in that they won't back down against anybody and especially from a challenge. It's really the same attitude their coordinator had last year and the same one their coordinator has this year. The only difference is one drinks Red Bull and the current one prefers Diet Coke.


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