Blatnick Shines In Pokes' Victory

The Oklahoma State offense was so dominant in Saturday's trouncing of Kansas, even a Cowboy defender started to fancy himself a receiver.

Senior defensive end Jamie Blatnick made an impressive snag to reel in an interception in the Cowboys' 70-28 victory and also recovered a fumble, snatching the ball out of the air, to be the enforcer of two of KU's four miscues on the day.

After the game, Blatnick described the first interception of his career.

"I got both hands on it. They had thrown that same ball earlier in the game, the tackles cut down and I kind of got a key on it," he said. "I saw them cut so I knew the ball was coming. So I put my hands up and I got a hold of it. I saw the end zone but I couldn't quite get there."

Fellow senior end Richetti Jones joked about Blatnick's receiving prowess after the game.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if he comes to practice Tuesday in one of those split jerseys that Wilson (Youman) wears," Jones quipped. "He's going to be talking about how he was one of the leading receivers."

Obviously the OSU offense put on a show, scoring 56-straight points in the first half, but Blatnick and the Cowboy defense routinely put the offense in a position to succeed, as they did in the victory against Texas A&M. In fact, in those two games the defensive starters have forced eight turnovers in their past two halves of football (second half against A&M and first half against KU).

OSU's defense is finding ways to force turnovers in all situations and Blatnick was the catalyst today, even though he might be an unlikely candidate as the senior snagged his first interception.

"We were all standing there like, ‘Really? Jamie? What is going on? You're a defensive linemen and you're out there getting interceptions and picking fumbles out of the air?'" Jones said. "I was so happy for him and I just love when d-linemen do stuff like that because we look ridiculous."

Maybe linemen do look a little ridiculous with the ball in their hands but the way OSU has learned to force turnovers is no laughing matter.

"Our goal is to get five turnovers in practice every day," defensive coordinator Bill Young said. "We post a sign on our meeting room doors about how many takeaways we got in practice the day before. So we definitely emphasize that aspect of the game."

Blatnick backed up his coach's claims.

"If we don't get five turnovers in practice we have to run. And that's our goal in a game is to get five," he said. "We got four today so we were just a little bit shy, but it's still good. Most of the time we get five in practice."

Corner Brodrick Brown also had an interception in the victory and linebacker Shaun Lewis had a fumble recovery to go with Blatnick's two takeaways.

Young zeroed in on why Blatnick was able to have such an impact from his defensive end spot.

"He's a great fundamental football player. He rarely ever busts an assignment. So he is in the right spot most of the time. He plays with a lot of effort and the harder he works, the luckier he gets. That has kind of become his philosophy."

While Blatnick might be all business on the field, he was certainly having a good time after the game, even joking that he has "above average hands" and that he's going to be bragging about his performance to former tight end and current defensive end Wilson Youman for the foreseeable future.

"Me and Wilson, we kind of get after each other about who's the better athlete," Blatnick said. "I always tell him, ‘Wilson, you're not athletic. I can beat you. If Ihad been a tight end I'd be better than you.' We just kind of play with each other and have fun. I'm going to rub this in his face a little bit; at least for this week."

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