Now Monken and company prepare for the challenge of Kansas State, a defense ranked second in the Big 12 in total defense averaging giving up 381.2 yards per game, 24.5 points per game, and is allowing a paltry 36 percent on third down conversions. Of course, Kansas State just played the most athletic offense they've seen this season in Oklahoma and surrendered 690 yards, 58 points and OU converted on 70 percent of their third down situations.
Monken is familiar, as are the Cowboy offensive players, with the Wildcats defensive style.
"We've played a number of teams like this: four down linemen, gap-sound, play hard, have good players, good coaches," said Monken. "They're not a gimmick defense by any means - by coverage or by front - so you have to execute. I'm sure they pride themselves on not giving up a lot of big plays, so you have to find ways to drive it. They play off their defense like we do. They play off their defense in not playing a lot of snaps; we play off our defense with all the turnovers."
One of the major questions for the Cowboys on Saturday was how the team would play without Hubert Anyiam at the other wide receiver opposite of Justin Blackmon. Blackmon got loads of attention, but answered with 13 catches for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns. the Cowboys were also minus inside receiver Josh Cooper.
"I thought they played hard," said Monken of Isaiah Anderson and Michael Harrison. "Unfortunately, it didn't work itself out to where they got a lot of opportunities. I thought Isaiah Anderson played better than he did the week before, but it won't show up in the stats. Mike Harrison played fine; we just didn't get as many opportunities. We wanted to target Justin Blackmon a little more, and we had all those long runs and that took away from the drives. There's no way we go into the game thinking we're going to have those long runs. All of them came on draws, so you wouldn't anticipate you'd have 200-something yards rushing on draws. It's just the way it kind of turned out, so that takes away opportunities for those guys."
The Cowboys also have the Wildcats at home, even with the home win last Saturday over Baylor it has still seemed like Oklahoma State has spent more time on the road. Being at home is nice.
"I just think it helps you through some of the tough times during the game; critical times during the game like third downs, and in the red zone," added Monken. "It can be disruptive to a team's communication. it's not as bad anymore because a lot of teams use silent cadence. Just the emotional rush your players get, and we practice here. I think there's a lot more comfort playing here because we're practicing in it; the background that you have throwing it and running it, the field and then playing to the crowd."
That is one thing the offense has no trouble with. they play to the crowd very well.