OSU's native Texans defend their 'home' turf

Vernon Grant, Marque Fountain, Jamar Ransom, Pagitte McGee, Brad Girtman, Victor DeGrate, Darrent Williams...the list goes on and on. Cowboy defenders from the state of Texas felt like they were at a home game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas -- they played like it too.

DALLAS -- Oklahoma State powered over Southern Methodist Saturday on the arm of quarterback Josh Fields and seven touchdown receptions by Rashaun Woods.


However, the true heroes in the game had to be the OSU defense that, in the first half, gave up zero points, 33 total yards and only two first downs to the Mustangs.


"The defense played an extremely aggressive football game to start and really set the tempo with intensity," said OSU coach Les Miles.


The Cowboys' defensive intensity was fueled by cornerback Darrent Williams. On SMU's second drive, Williams intercepted a pass by Mustang quarterback Richard Bartel and ran it back 19 yards to the Mustang 3-yard line.


The turnover set up the first Fields to Woods combination touchdown.


Williams drew some of his energy from the opportunity to play somewhat in front of a home crowd. Williams is from Fort Worth, Texas.


"There's a number of guys from Dallas, and from Texas, that were fired up to get out there and play," Miles said.


On the next drive, defensive end Greg Richmond came from the opposite end of the field to hammer running back Keylon Kincade to the turf on first down. That play was followed by two solid tackles by safety Fath' Carter and a blocked punt that gave the Pokes the ball at the SMU 38.


The next four drives for the Cowboys started at the SMU 24, 34, 32 and the OSU 48 respectively. Field position was key to OSU's offensive production.


"We really hurt ourselves with field position," said SMU coach Phil Bennett. "Playing on a short field is always tough. Six of their eight scoring drives were less than 35 yards."


The high score created by field position gave OSU a chance to bring in several young players that were equal to the challenge.


Freshman linebacker and DeSoto, Texas native Victor DeGrate and freshman defensive tackle from Houston Brad Girtman both ended the night with five tackles, tied for second on the team.


Freshman defensive lineman from Missouri City, Texas Marque Fountain added two tackles and one of the Cowboys' four sacks to the cause as well.


Richmond said the game plan allowed for several players to be effective.


"We did some good things today," Richmond said. "We had a great scheme against the offense because it put us in a position to make plays."


Another motivating factor was simply to improve upon last year's 52-16 performance against the Mustangs.

Players like cornerback Vernon Grant, who had nine tackles, and linebacker Lawrence Pinson, who added three tackles and a sack, used last year's meeting as a measurement for improvement.


"The defense came out and really played hard," Miles said. "I think we had a number of guys that wanted to better the mark they had a year ago against this team on the defensive side, and I believe they did so, not only in the score, but in the yardage."


The Cowboys ended the game only allowing 233 yards, mostly in the second half when several young players saw action. They also kept the dangerous Kincade under 100 yards rushing, only allowing him to reach 75 yards on 20 carries.


The win has the defense, along with the team, happy and ready to enjoy their week off before facing Louisiana-Lafayette in two weeks.


"Next Saturday, I'm just gonna kick up, rub my big ole feet together, and watch me a couple of games," Richmond said.





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