From the Coordinators: Todd Monken

On Saturday afternoon in the visitors locker room at Texas Memorial Stadium the Cowboys offensive coordinator Todd Monken was congratulating the Cowboys defenders. He was a big fan. Of course, the Cowboy defenders have felt likewise often during the last season and a half.

"Our defense has played well all year," said Monken enthusiastically. "They've created turnovers. When we've had our ones out there on defense, we haven't given up a great number of yards and scores. I think they've continued to get better and better, so I think you always count on that. And sometimes when we're going fast and we're scoring fast, that adds to the number of plays they have to play. It's always hard to use statistics when you're playing your backups when you're ahead so much because it all goes into one pot. I think they've played well all year."

Fast forward to Monday and for the first time there has been a smattering of second guessers and little complainers among the Oklahoma State fans wanting to know what was up with the offense on Saturday at Texas. Monken is a proud coach and was a little miffed about any second guessers out there, but he has an explanation.

"They can run pretty well and they did a good job matching up against us," said Monken. "They do a good job of overloading pressures, which puts you under duress a little bit, but I thought we handled it pretty well. It wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, but there was enough good things - a couple fourth down conversions, one that went directly to a score and another led to a score. I thought our guys played really hard. I thought our running backs did a good job in protection. Our receivers I thought played hard. Whether it's them or it's us, we didn't have the same flow, but you're not going to have that every week."

Quarterback Brandon Weeden said the same thing. I asked Weeden, Monken, and wide receiver Hubert Anyiam that if they were a defensive coordinator opposing Oklahoma State what they would do. Weeden said he would sell out to stop the pass, Anyiam did too. Monken wasn't sure how he'd defend his offense. His more important job is to make sure no defensive coordinator does completely shut the Cowboys down. The focus this week is Missouri.

"Everybody is just a little bit different depending on who you play. I think they play hard, they're well-coached," said Monken of the Tigers defense and what he has seen on video. "They do a nice job mixing looks, because we have some pretty good film of them playing OU and Arizona State and they do some spread stuff. They do a nice job of trying to disrupt your quarterback with different looks. They run a number of coverages. They're not just going to sit back and let you dictate to them, so I think they're doing a real nice job."

Like Texas on Saturday, the Tigers have given up some big run plays and some explosive plays through the air too. That's all OSU fans want to see, more explosion in Columbia.


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