Can the Cowboy Defense Succeed Without Darrent?

The Oklahoma State defense may have started off sluggish in the opener at UCLA, but in the past two games they have allowed just two touchdowns.

Iowa State didn't come in with a great offense, but they had scored a few points on a solid Northern Illinois team. They found the going rough against the Cowboys, and linebacker Lawrence Pinson is glad to see a few compliments go the defense's way.

"Anytime the defense gets praise it really makes you feel good," said Pinson of the credit for the win against the Cyclones. "We came out with the attitude that we were going to dominate from the first series, and I think we did that."

This week the challenge gets a little more stiff in trying to stop the Buffs and mature quarterback and field leader Joel Klatt. They will have to do it without All-Big 12 cornerback Darrent Williams, who is out with a broken right forearm. Strong safety Jamie Thompson (aka "Mr. Turnover") said the defense will handle it and may not miss a beat.

"Not really as long as we can communicate with Daniel," said Thompson of helping Williams' primary replacement Daniel McLemore. "Sometimes he won't know what we are doing, and we need to communicate with him to make him feel more comfortable because the majority of the time he will be on my side. I think he will step up and be just as productive as Darrent was."

The secondary is loaded. Colorado's receivers have struggled some, and Thompson feels the secondary as a whole, including backups, won't have a problem doing their job.

"Not at all," said Thompson with confidence. "The backups can come right in and start. I feel comfortable with anybody in there right now to tell you the truth."

Help up front will help and Pinson, a former Jenks High School standout, says help from linemen like freshman Nathan Peterson will help a lot.

"Nate, as much as I hate to say it because he's from Union and I can't stand them, I'm so glad he's on our team," said Pinson laughing. "He came with his A-game. I'm real proud of him, and I think his performance (against Iowa State) is going to really help him over the next couple of games."

Everyone on the defense can get into the challenge of stopping a top Big 12 back, although Colorado's top rusher is iffy for the game with a shoulder separation.

"I love it when we play a big time back (Bobby Purify of Colorado) because I just like looking forward to seeing them in the hole because I like to hit people," said Pinson.

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