The Cowboys are third best against the run in the conference, allowing a paltry 109.8 yards a game, and ninth in pass defense, giving up 267.3 yards a game. The numbers are interesting but little of that matters going into the game Saturday with TCU in Fort Worth.
Glenn Spencer's young, talented and depth challenged defense will try to hang with TCU's offense that averages 45.8-points, 510 yards, and 83.4 plays per game. It's an offense that is coordinated in part by former Oklahoma State offensive guard and assistant coach Doug Meacham, who served on Mike Gundy's staff through the first eight years that Gundy was head coach.
Spencer is glad Meacham has done well since leaving Stillwater, first for Houston and now TCU. "Doug is a dear friend of mine and I consider him a great friend," Spencer said. "I am happy for him and happy for my family."
Can Spencer get inside Meacham's head? "I don't want to get inside his head," Spencer laughed. "No, we will try to do some things we do well and they will do the things they do well. We are all formed by what we've done in the past and what he is doing now is exactly what he wants to do. It is similar to the offense when he was here."
A key to the TCU success is quarterback Trevone Boykin, who has taken to the new offense like a fish to water. He beat out the hand-picked competition in August and now is fourth in the league in passing with 292.6 yards a game with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He is the ninth-leading rusher in the Big 12 with 61 yards a game and three touchdowns. He is a nightmare with that run-pass combination that makes defensive coordinators cringe.
"I think he is getting the ball out of his hand a lot faster," Spencer analyzed on Boykin. "They are running the ball well. They are averaging 181-plus running and when you run for that you will have success throwing.
"They spread it out and that clears up the reads for the quarterback. You spread the field and they have him seeing the right things. He can pull it down and run it and he is a running back and dangerous. It is very difficult and they have thrown in the option game in there to add to the pain and misery."
TCU presents many challenges, but the OSU defense has been up to the challenges thus far and Spencer will be preparing them to do as well this Saturday. But despite being pressed it won't be because he wants to show up a friend.
"It's happened, I've been doing this 26 years and it has happened a lot," Spencer said. "He's doing with his kids what they need to so and we will do with our players what we need to do to be successful. When it is over, it's over.
"It's about the players. It's bigger and more about those players. If I felt that way (personal) when I was younger then thank goodness I graduated from that. It is all about these players now."
No personal victory at stake Saturday in Fort Worth, it's because he wants his players to win another game and have another successful Saturday memory.