Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, Cowboys Know OU Has Weapons

Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer says the Oklahoma Sooners have plenty of weapons in quarterback Baker Mayfield, running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon, and receivers Sterling Shepard and Dede Westbrook, but the Cowboys must find a way to slow them down if they hope to get the Bedlam win Saturday night.

A lot like last week is what Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer says in preparing his defense for an Oklahoma offense that does seem to have the same kind of firepower that racked the Cowboys defense for 700 yards in the team's first loss of the season 45-35.

Baylor combined a run game that surprisingly showed Big 12 leading rusher Shock Linwood averaging 4.6 yards a carry, Devin Chafin (3.8 yards) and John Jefferson (3.6 yards) but kept the Bears moving the chains with an explosive passing attack and now Oklahoma comes in with hot quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back tandem Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon along with several explosive wide receivers.

"Similar to last week, just a lot of weapons," Spencer said. "Both of those running backs are dangerous and I don't think I've seen, watching the tape through the year, as many missed tackles as I've seen teams playing against them. It would have to be each team's all-time high for missing tackles. The weapons they have - Shepard, Westbrook and the backside of the backfield."

There is so much discussion as to whether Mayfield, who suffered a concussion following a targeting shot that TCU linebacker Ty Summers was ejected for, will play. Mayfield met with the media in Norman on Monday and I have no doubt that he will play. Spencer will work his defense with the idea that is who they will see as he also said OU does little different regardless of who they have in at quarterback.

"He's not a pocket guy," Spencer said of Mayfield. "He'll take shots, but then when it's a pattern to read, he reads it and then he'll keep staying free until they come open. They're just gaining confidence every week and making plays. They're clicking along pretty good right now. You can see it.

"I think they do a good job of scheming every week in the run game. Coach [Lincoln] Riley and those guys are doing a good job of seeing the defenses and scheming up their run game. He definitely wants to run the football, and maybe even more recently because they are seeing that they can run it effectively as that offensive line has gotten better throughout the year. He's saying, 'We've got two of the best backs in the conference and maybe in the nation, so let’s run the football.' I think they've found a way to do that these last few weeks pretty effectively."

So what does the Oklahoma State defense need to improve on to fair better against the OU attack over the way they came out against Baylor? "Just tackling, defending the deep ball, you name it," Spencer answered. "There was a lot of good going on. The amount of plays we played was unbelievable. The tempo was unbelievable. It just doesn't give you a chance to catch your breath or sub out or a lot of things like that."

Spencer won't say it but the offense can help. The Cowboys can stay on the field, drive the ball, score points, and keep Mayfield and company on the visitor's sideline.


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