Getting defensive

According to Darrent Williams, the OSU defense is far from finished. Causing more turnovers, causing fumbles, and intercepting more passes is crucial to the success OSU has in the future. Matt Palmer agrees...

While Oklahoma State's first-team defense shut down Wyoming's passing game last week, there is still much work to do.


After giving up more than 250 rushing yards to Nebraska, the Cowboys allowed Wyoming's backs to tally 124 yards last Saturday.


"We did well defending the pass, the deep ball, but they ran the ball on us up the middle," said cornerback Darrent Williams. "We just let these guys run down the field on us when they shouldn't have been a team that should be able to run the ball on us."


OSU's defensive tackles and linebackers have to step up in order for the defense to compete against teams like Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma later in the year.


Thankfully, the Cowboys have three games to get it together, and this week should be a great opportunity.

OSU's interior will be facing a running game in Southwest Missouri State that posted 353 rushing yards in their season opening blowout of East Central, 48-0.


SMS tailbacks Tommicus Walker and Cody Pratt both ran for more than 100 yards in that game.


The talent level for the Bears should be higher than Wyoming, and this could be OSU's toughest nonconference game of the season.


"I have a couple of friends that go there (SMS), and I know they get a lot of ex-D-I players that go there," Williams said. "They probably have better athletes than Wyoming, probably more speed-wise."


Everyone can easily say the offense is back on track, and that the secondary is much-improved over last season. However, holes in the middle exist for other teams to exploit.


And holes like that can cost a game here and there against quality opponents. Not many teams can win by only throwing, but rushing is a horse of a different color.


Nebraska has been winning games with the run for decades. Oklahoma used to do it, too.


Turnovers are another concern for the OSU defense. It posted only three in its first two games.


"We shut ‘em (Wyoming) down pretty good, but we were going through the game expecting to get more turnovers, more interceptions and fumbles," Williams said.


Turnovers will be crucial for the Pokes if opponents continue to have success in the defensive interior.


Defensive tackles Clay Coe, Kyle Hix, Efe Mowarin, Mike Williams and even freshmen Brad Girtman and Xavier Lawson-Kennedy have three games in which to become solid.


These next three, regardless of how many rushing yards are put up, should be easy wins for the Cowboys.


Hopefully, these games will be enough practice to get them on track. The competition gets stiffer after that, with four of their remaining opponents hanging on to Top 25 spots.


It could mean the difference between a six- or seven-win season and a Big 12 title. They will come together, but for now the interior is the Cowboys' kryptonite.


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