Scouting the Mustangs

On offense, the Cowboys may get a prime opportunity to tune up the passing game and on defense, the key is stopping SMU's running game which will have a new freshman standout contributor. Special teams should be a slam dunk for OSU. Get there early as SMU has a good campus atmosphere on game days.

Scouting Report & Cowboy Notes
Friday, September 19, 2003
Bennett Will Be Aggressive, Cowboys Can Pass
The problem the Cowboys had last week with Southwest Missouri State backing their corners and safeties way off the line of scrimmage won't be a problem in Dallas. Former A&M linebacker and longtime assistant coach in the Big Eight and Big 12, Phil Bennett, won't sit back and let the Cowboys run over and through his defense. Bennett can't help himself. He is true to his style and personality. At time, to allow for more pressure up front in the form of blitzes and stunts, Bennett will have his secondary in cover two. There will be times that the corner will come up and get in the face of the Cowboy wideouts in press coverage. Bennett feels he has good athletes in his secondary, three starters run better than 4.5, but he feels his corners are not as good in man situations.
Fields needs to be ready to get the read on what SMU tries, and then check into the right play. My guess is the Cowboys will be able to mix the run and the pass. Fields should get some opportunities in the passing game. Do remeber this. I was told by two different coaches this past week that while the offensive line has had problems with protection, that they are better run blockers, even better at blocking the run than last season's offensive line, so the run will continue to be a main form of transportation for these Cowboys..
The passing game did look okay in practice this week. I really feel like it is a matter of time, hopefully short time to get the passing offense going. They are holding back certain aspects of it in games. They have also been using the tight ends in max protection about the same number of times that they send them out on routes. That is likely to change up more and more as the o-line improves it's pass protection.
Check The Run, Not The Pass
On the offensive side the Mustangs are decent at running the football. Senior Keylon Kincade is a good back averaging 103-yards a game. His offensive line is okay, but could be overmatched by the OSU defensive line. Also, Bennett is springing a new one on the Cowboys as he is taking freshman tailback Richuel Massey out of redshirt. The 5-10, 210 pounder out of Hillsboro, Texas, is a speed burner that is also strong and powerful. Last week in practice he rushed for more yards playing on the cout team offense than Rashad Armstrong of Baylor could manage in the game. Bennett said he doesn't want Kincade taking all the carries.
If the Cowboys stop the run then they will be fine because SMU quarterback Richard Bartel has been average and worse. He's thrown four interceptions in two games, and watching tape of the Baylor game he really struggled with accuracy, even on short passes. He looks good at 6-5 in the pocket, but that makes him a big target. Remember Wyoming, the Cowboys defensive line should be licking their chops again. Turnover have been prevalent for the Mustang offense, and quite frankly, OSU defensive coordinator Bill Clay made popping turnovers a major emphasis this week for the defense. A few of those should go the Cowboys way.
Special Teams No So Special At SMU
SMU has been atrocious on special teams. Their return teams have struggled averaging 17.4-yards on kickoffs and 4.3-yards on punts. They have given up over 35-yards on kickoff returns and 18.6-yards on punt returns. They have missed clutch field goals including one that would have tied the game with Baylor and sent it into overtime. The Cowboys have struggled some with coverage units, but look for some new faces on those units on Saturday. Special teams coordinator Joe DeForest isn't going to put up with opponent's returns any longer. This is an area that Oklahoma State should really be able to expose on Saturday, one that could lead to multiple scores.
Injuries A Sore Topic
Pardon the pun on this one. Oklahoma State is in pretty good shape, but did suffer two injuries during the week that could be lineup altering, one on either side of the football. Head coach Les Miles is very touchy about injuries right now. We will respect that and not go into any detail, but you will have to be alert on Saturday. Out of last week's game safety Jon Holland (stinger), tailback Tatum Bell (bruised left foot), safety Elbert Craig (ankle) are all okay and practiced this week.
One bit of bad news as it appears that safety Charlie Ward may have to have season ending surgery on his other ACL. Ward was lost in the SMU game last season because of an ACL tear. He is still being evaluated, so we will see. You have to wish Ward the best.
Get Their Early, Great Atmsophere
For Oklahoma State fans that have never seen the four-year-old Gerald Ford Stadium at SMU, you are in for a treat. According to estimations from the OSU ticket office in consultation with the SMU ticket office there should be some 10,000 OSU fans in attendance at the game. With the new stadium on the SMU campus, Mustang fans have jumped into tailgating and plenty of campus football atmosphere on gamedays. It is not a very large campus and is pretty. Get there early and soak it up as the SMU folks should be friendly. The stadium itself seats 32,000 and is state-of-the-art. It is a great facility for players. For fans there is not a bad seat in the house.
Checking Juniors
Now that Oklahoma State has a commitment from Gosnell, Ark., power forward Jeremy Parnell the coaching staff is heading down to Texas during the rest of the recruiting period to see and be seen by some of the talented juniors in that state. Parnell is a defensive oriented player that collects enough garbage to average 19 plus points a game. He will be a good addition to a recruiting class that includes 6-3 high school guard Neiman Owens, 5-11 juco standout point guard Jamaal Brown, and 6-11 center Julius Lamptey, who will hope to get eleigible by midterm by passing the ACT. You have to add the player who is the top addition to team in Baylor transfer point guard John Lucas III.
Now Sean Sutton, James Dickey, and Glynn Cyprien will be on the lookout for juniors as the Cowboys will be looking for juniors as they have five scholarships to give in the 2004-2005 recruiting class.

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