"They've played two power-running football teams (the past two weeks), and there's no denying that presented some problems for them defensively," answered Monken. "Unfortunately, we're not that. What they see every day in practice is pretty much what we do, so we'll have to play awfully well. I think they do a good job on the perimeter. Like I said, where they've had their issues is just those teams that mash you and run the ball, and that's not us. So we have to find a way to, every week, be balanced in what we do and play better and not turn it over."
It cuts both ways as last season Oklahoma State went in and beat Tech in Lubbock 34-17 and having former Texas Tech offensive coordinator and Mike Leach lieutenant Dana Holgorsen in tow had to help. It was a breakthrough of sorts for the Cowboys in beating Texas Tech on their turf. The good news is the Cowboys offense is loaded with confidence and seems to be able to respond in practically every situation.
"The good news is, what we do offensively, we didn't have to do anything different," said Monken in addressing how the OSU offense handled needing to score to come from behind late in the game against Kansas State. "It's really what we do, there wasn't one call that was any different that wasn't in the normal game plan. We're no-huddle, basically a two-minute offense anyway, so it wasn't as if they had to do anything different.
"Obviously, there was some comfort there in doing that, and the reality is we thought we had an advantage there," continued Monken. "It's not as if we were facing a daunting task that they had been harassing our quarterback and covering us. That wasn't the case, so it was just like 'Let's go play.' We have good players and hopefully they'll turn out, that's just it. Luckily, when we called certain plays, they ended up in the right coverage that fit. You don't know that for sure. There's other times in the game we had certain shots called and they weren't in the same look and you don't get the same throw down the field and all of a sudden it doesn't happen at that moment, but the good Lord looks after you and you hit it and everybody seems real happy."
The biggest threat to the Cowboys now seems to be injuries as they are somewhat mounting at the wide receiver position. Hubert Anyiam is out for the year. Josh Cooper missed last Saturday trying to get that hamstring in good health and Michael Harrison injured an ankle in the K-State win and missed the fourth quarter. Monken is right, nobody will line up to feel sorry for the Cowboys.
"We're hopeful Josh Cooper will be back, but injuries are part of it," said the coach who has an offense averaging 557.3 yards and 50.1 points per game. "No one really seems to care if you lose guys or not, just like no one is going to care with OU and their guys out, it's just the way it is. Does it change things? Of course it does. You can't be as efficient the more you lose guys you counted on; they're starters for a reason. I thought Isaiah Anderson played well the other night, I thought Colton Chelf played well, I thought Josh Stewart played better. I thought there were a number of guys that played better, so you just have to have those guys prepare the best they can and go out and play, and you have to do things that maximize their strengths."
Something Monken has done well all season long.