The Cowboys got a massive test against Florida State, were less than stellar in a game with Missouri State, and were very good against UTSA. None of those offenses resemble the "air show" that is the Red Raiders.
"They've got probably the best vertical passing threat that we've seen all year. So anytime that's out there, there's a possibility of getting a big play," Spencer said. "It only takes one. They could throw it out there five times, and if the sixth time's a big play then it's well worth it. We've got to defend the vertical game. They've always been a great screen team. And then once they get you spread out, they go run the ball."
Spencer has a more experienced defensive line and middle linebacker in Ryan Simmons, but teaching the discipline to young safeties and outside linebackers to work against and not allow receivers to run loose is a step.
"Every week, for us, it's a different attack," Spencer added. "It's not like we just have a base amount of plays like an offense does. We've got to defend what we're seeing, so it's a different velocity coming in this week."
That in part is why Spencer is not even giving quarter grades. He doesn't want to throw out A's because the next challenge is up this week.
"It's a week-by-week deal," the second-year Pokes defensive coordinator said. "It's still very much a growth process with this bunch. The last game, which is what I go on, cleared up quite a few mental errors, which I think resulted in some consistent play for that night. That's gone, that's put to rest.
"The challenge is now a new screen, new attack and how we're going to react to what we're going to see next Saturday. Every week is going to be that kind of process for these guys, and you've just got to hope that improvement shows a little bit more every week. If that happens then we'll be pleased."
Then there will be another challenge the next week, and the next, and then in November against the likes of Baylor and Oklahoma.