Doubt This Cowboy D At Your Own Peril

After Oklahoma State's 59-24 dismantling of Baylor, maybe Markelle Martin's Facebook status summed up what transpired in Boone Pickens Stadium best.

"One word. Defense!!!! 8-0."

While that word describes what propelled the Cowboys to victory, there is plenty to say about the way the OSU defense played on Saturday night in front of OSU's Homecoming crowd of 58,274.

The Cowboy defense gave it up its fair share of yards, allowing 622 to a very talented Bears' offense led by Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III, but the defense stiffened when it mattered the most — in the red zone.

The Cowboys routinely turned the vaunted Bears offense away without anything to show for drives that ate up yardage all over the field. At the end of the third quarter, the Bears had 429 yards of total offense and just three points to show for it.

The much maligned Pokes' D forced five turnovers from a team that had committed just 10 through its first six games. They recorded two sacks and they locked down the line of scrimmage in short yardage situations.

And Martin said that success is directly related to the trust this defense has in one another.

"We just believe in each other and at that point you just have to dig down deep and find something inside yourself and not let them in the end zone," Martin said. "We didn't make it easy on them … we just kept on fighting."

And that fight, or rather fire, lit within the Cowboy defense should go a long way toward silencing the doubters. National pundits had the Cowboys on upset alert and, again, the reasoning was the Cowboys' defense. And that talk is starting to get on this unit's nerves.

"It motivates us a lot, especially this week," Martin said. "Me and Shaun Lewis just happened to be working out and saw a headline come on the screen, ‘No D in Stillwater.'"

That headline didn't sit well at all with two of the Cowboys' defensive leaders so they set up a team meeting with the other Cowboy defenders.

They wanted to make a statement. And they had the opportunity to do it against the nation's No. 2 offense in total yardage entering Saturday.

"Yep, we saw that come across ESPN, ‘No D in Stillwater,'" safety Daytawion Lowe said. "That's always motivation. It just keeps us going … We did alright today, I'd say."

But Lowe doesn't expect the national perception to change.

"No matter how good we're playing they'll always find a way to say something about us," Lowe said. "I love it. It's nothing but motivation."

Sophomore corner Justin Gilbert, who intercepted a Griffin pass in the end zone, said he doesn't expect the perception to change either, but continuing to prove them wrong on a weekly basis is part of the fun.

"It's given us all the motivation in the world to go out and prove them wrong," Gilbert said. "There is no better feeling than just making those people look stupid. They're just trying to drag us down on the defensive side; that makes it our job to go out there and prove them wrong."

"You would think we'd have earned some kind of respect as a defense now but we're still not getting the respect that we deserve and it's still motivating us."

In this case, the numbers do lie. In addition to the 622 yards allowed, Baylor also had nearly 40 minutes of possession time, an average of nearly 6 yards per play and long strikes of 72, 41 and 34 yards. But the vast majority of that damage came long after the game had been put out of reach and a lot of the starting defense had moved on to the bench, a fact that won't show up in the box score.

But that doesn't matter to Gilbert or any of the Cowboy defenders. They'll just keep using it as motivation and keep forcing turnovers.

"We pretty much showed what we can do in the first half," Gilbert said. "We're going to just keep bringing that every game until people are forced to take notice of it."

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