Gundy feels last week will help the defense improve their tackling and they were better in the second half.
A major reason for defensive optimism is the amount of talent on the defense. There is loads of depth especially at linebacker and in the secondary. The defensive ends in Emmanuel Ogbah and Jimmy Bean are very talented and the defensive tackles played pretty well in their first trial.
Now the depth could be needed this Saturday. I know, Central Arkansas is an FCS team, but they do have talent on offense. They had 462 yards in their opener. They threw the ball 69 times and they snapped it 103 times officially, and with plays wiped out by penalty there are 109 plays overall.
"It's fast-paced. They run a lot of formations. They have a lot of skilled receivers and running backs catching the ball out of the backfield and running wheel routes," Glenn Spencer said of a team that got handed a 45-16 loss last week at Samford, but a year go scared Texas Tech to the end in the opener losing 42-35.
"It gives the defensive coordinator a lot of headaches because the defense has to get lined up right and cover the vertical threat, which they're going to test us a lot more than we had last week."
Spencer said he was proud of the way the defense played last week at Central Michigan in limiting the Chips to 78 yards rushing, 343 yards total, and an average of 4.9 yards a snap. Spencer has a goal that opposing offenses see a constant when they turn on the computer and watch the Oklahoma State defense.
"I think when you turn that film on, I think about what the next opponent is going to see," Spencer said. "The next opponent is going to see some guys giving tremendous effort. The couple times that it wasn't what we wanted, it's pretty evident that there's something that I need to bring to the guys attention. I thought we defended the run real well.
"The linebackers did a great job of seeing the ball, coming off of blocks and making the play they’re supposed too. When you stop the run like we did, it's the front seven doing a good job."
Agreed, the defensive line did a good job and for the most part new starters Vincent Taylor and junior college transfer Motekiai Maile, along with backups like freshman Darrion Daniels and Eric Davis made plays.
How did Spencer feel his defensive line played?
"Good," answered the defense coordinator. "Anytime you stop the run like we did, that's the main goal. What's great about our side of the ball is people try to give credit to someone when things go good, and try to put blame on somebody when things go bad. Most of the time people don't know what they're talking about. It's a combination of the front seven understanding, and sometimes the safety will do his job. He might not make a play, but that back is going to make a cut. The big thing is that they did their job responsibility wise."
Improvement is there with room to get better but this week all hands on deck will be required to conquer the tempo the Bears will bring into Boone Pickens on Saturday night.