Mike Yucich Has Respect For West Virginia's Defense

Oklahoma State will continue to work on improving its running game as it prepares to face West Virginia.

Coming out of the 36-34 win Saturday over "Uncle" Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats football team just how should the Cowboys feel? Quarterback J.W. Walsh told the media they feel very good and that the two close wins will be a catalyst for more wins this season, some close like the last two and some complete blowouts.

Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich seems to feel good about his offense. Unfortunately, this is not the time to pat yourself on the back, a very time wasting move, but an experience all should have. 

Last week Kansas State had a pretty stout defense with a second spot in scoring defense at an average of 18 points per game. They are also fourth in total defense, tops in rushing defense, and eighth in passing defense. West Virginia is better than Kansas State in all of those defensive categories. 

"What an experienced defense," Yurcich said of West Virginia. "They have seven starting seniors and all three of their linebackers are seniors. They are also very athletic in the secondary. Their safety, Karl Joseph, is one heck of a player who plays free safety at times for them and covers the entire field. We have to be aware of where he is at. He has five interceptions to date. They also have a unique ability to play an eight-man front to take away the run, but also drop eight in coverage." 

Head coach Mike Gundy said that he won't make a habit out of passing some 55 to 60 times and he told the media at his Monday news conference that they will continue to work on running the football. Gundy didn't think the offense made any strides in running the football this last Saturday, but he did say he thought the offensive staff as a whole did a great job.

Yurcich thinks the running backs replacing starter Chris Carson and backup Rennie Childs did a good job. 

"I think Jeff (Carr) and Raymond (Taylor) did a heck of a job," Yurcich touted. "You have to give them a lot of credit. Raymond was running on the goal line as physical as you can get. He made some good runs and tough yardage down there at the very end. Kansas State was second in the conference in rushing yards, so we knew they were stout."

Yes, and West Virginia is first in scoring defense, second in total defense, and third in rushing offense. The Mountaineers are third in passing defense. Yurcich has an extended plan to run the football. Money has been collected and yes, pride would be something as well if the defense plays well. 

"It's an extended handoff or can be. You're alleviating the amount of time an offensive lineman has to sustain a block. Your quarterback has to be accurate. There has to be some sort of rhythm to it with everybody on the same page. I wouldn't say it substitutes for a run game, but it sure wears down and helps neutralize the defense," Yurcich said.

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