Monday Morning Quarterbacks

The Cowboy defense has come hard at opponents all season. However, with No. 1 Oklahoma on the horizon, does somebody need get in the face of the State defenders and recreate a Burgess Meredith-to-Rocky Balboa pep talk before the fourth quarter begins? Matt and Brandi discuss...

Does the OSU fourth quarter defense need a jump start before heading to Norman?



By Matt Palmer


Oklahoma State will hit a brick wall Saturday if things don't begin to change.


The past three games, OSU has been outscored 48-13 in the fourth quarter. The blame lies on both sides of the ball.


Until the game against Texas A&M, the Cowboys hadn't had a fourth quarter touchdown dating back to Louisiana-Lafayette.


Meanwhile, the OSU defense allowed Kansas State's Ell Roberson to pass for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the final quarter. Texas Tech's B.J. Symons upped that with 217 yards and two touchdowns in the final 15 minutes the following week.


The Aggies didn't fair too bad themselves, tallying 155 yards of total offense (42 percent of their game total) and all 10 of their points.


Lucky for OSU, they have had the plays in them to win, but, against Oklahoma, a fourth quarter meltdown won't fly.


The Sooners boast the No. 2 rated passer in the country in Jason White and the No. 5 ranked defense in college football.


If that's not enough, OU is ninth in the nation in both passing yards per game and total yards per game.

And don't forget their No. 1 ranking and the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation.

If OSU keeps its philosophy, this could be the weekend where the Cowboys' defensive bend breaks.


Palmer can be reached via e-mail at



By Brandi Ball


There is no doubt Oklahoma State's fourth-quarter defense needs some fine tuning -- or at least some of that new Ice Gatorade to revive it for the last 20 minutes. But, OSU isn't 7-1 for nothing, kids. Like grandpa always says, "If it ain't broke, ain't nothin wrong."


Part of being a good team is having all components work together for the greater good. When people were questioning the OSU secondary's ability to effectively stop Kansas State's Ell Roberson -- the offense came out firing. When then-Heisman contender B.J. Symons showed up at The Boone ready to pass for 600 yards, the offense made sure the defense had some cushion. A good offense knows when its defense is struggling, and vice versa.


It has worked so far. Sure, Texas Tech came back with a vengence two Saturdays ago, but the OSU defense stepped up and ran through the rite of passage. When it came down to it, they did what it took to come out on top. A sack from Antonio Smith, followed by an interception by Jon Holland. They saw the end was near unless they took it up a notch.


Doing "just enough" to get by isn't all that glamorous, but once the gas is running out of the orange Chevy, the Cowboys know how to do what it takes to bag the win.


It isn't a mentality that should take place against the top-ranked Sooners in Norman this weekend, but since when do we try to predict what happens in a Bedlam showdown? Logic tells us the Sooners should run the table. But logic is what had the Vegas bookies scrambling the last two years. If the Cowboys lose Saturday, it won't be the result of a late-game meltdown from the defense. All bets are off -- fourth-quarter defense troubles, Heisman quarterback contenders...and all that comes with the yearly circus.


Brandi Ball can be reached via e-mail at

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