O-line orations

Oklahoma State's Matt Hardison realizes that OSU has the opportunity to be the third team in school history to win nine regular season games. But he also knows that the offensive line is banged up, and the team will need to play as hard as possible to beat the 3-8 Baylor Bears.

Matt Hardison


When Oklahoma State running back Vernand Morency cruised for 269 yards against Kansas, the offensive line played the silent hero. They opened holes for Morency the whole night, especially in his 170-yard third quarter.


"We really didn't know until the end of the third quarter, but once you see a guy get 270, you start thinking 300, 3-plus. We were hoping he'd get out there in the fourth quarter and get a little more.


"That just boosts our whole morale, makes us think that we can do more and more.


"It's gonna make people respect our run more, which is going to make us pass better. That's something that's going to help us out in the long run.


"All those guys are great, Bell, Shaw, Morency."


The Cowboy line hopes to carry that performance over to the game against Baylor Saturday. But that task may be hard, considering the Bears' got pressure on Oklahoma's Jason White last week, and stunted the Sooner running game. To make matters tougher, center Ben Buie will likely not play this week, leaving guard Chris Akin to play Buie's spot.


"Chris played it all spring; he played it a lot this year … Chris Akin's a great center as well. As an O-line, we have to know what's going on all across the line. But Chris knows what he's doing, so we're in good shape there.


"We watched a little bit of film last night and we've gotta have respect for their D-line.


"They're big, strong, fast guys as well, and they blitz real well, so we're gonna have our work cut out for us. We're just gonna have to go out and try to dominate again.


"I'd imagine we'll probably do a little more max protection. We've gotta know what they're doing. We've gotta look for keys and when they're gonna do it, and look for what downs they're gonna do it on so we'll be ready for it.


"We're gonna go out there, lay it on the line, play as hard as we can, get ready for that bowl game.


"I personally haven't thought about it (bowl situation) a whole lot. It kind of lingers in the back of your mind, but we've gotta focus on Baylor because they proved last week that they're a good defense. To hold OU to under 100 yards rushing and sack the quarterback four or five times, so we've gotta stay focused.


"We're gonna practice harder, look at film more, and we're gonna have to play our butts off this week to do well."


Things should be much easier than in OSU's losses to Texas and Oklahoma. Face it, Baylor is only 3-8.


"OU's got a great defense, but I don't really get a chance to see their offensive side. OU and Texas both have great defenses, and we just didn't come out and get it done.

They (UT and OU) are bigger, stronger, faster …"


And team morale is much higher than it has been the past two weeks.


"We're real pumped up. We have a chance to go 9-3 if we take care of business this week. That's a good season for any school. And to help turn this program around, it's big for us. So we feel real well.


"We bring that (becoming the third team in school history to win nine games) up every now and again, but we can't focus on past years. We've gotta do what we can this year and try to come out on top."



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