OSU-Florida Atlantic: Five Questions

1. How good is this defense? It's pretty good. In two games here are some telling statistics: the Cowboys have 23 tackles for losses and seven sacks; in 12 games last season they had 48 tackles for losses and 18 sacks. They have also held the first two opponents to 5-of-25 on third down opportunities. This defense is getting after people.

"It is a little different," said cornerback Daniel McLemore. "We are much more aggressive now. Coach (Vance) Bedford came in and told us he likes aggressive defense. If you are going to be aggressive then you're going to make plays and he tells us to go out there each day and make plays - be aggressive and make plays."

"I like our defense, we don't sit back and wait, we get after people," said linebacker Pagitte McGee, who had three tackles, two sacks and three fumble recoveries. "Sometimes we come out in the four linebacker look and we get after people."

2. What's the next best thing this team has going for it?
It has to be special teams. The Cowboys looked great on returns, both punt and kickoff, except for penalties that brought a few of them back. McLemore is showing he will be the kind of return specialists that Oklahoma State has become accustomed to puttiing on the field. Kicker Bruce "Sunshine" Redden is perfect on extra points (3-of-3) and field goals (3-of-3). Freshmen Matt Fodge is punting well. His average is under 40, but some of that is because of situations punting the ball into the plus end of the field and pinning the opponent. The coverage teams have been solid. Already this season the Cowboys have gone for two points and made it and tried an onside kick and recovered it. As McLemore said, the hard work is paying off.

"Yes, thanks to the guys on special teams that go out there every day and practice with me and that open up the holes for me so that I can go out there and run," McLemore said specifically about returns. "It was real easy to run, Coach Defo (Joe DeForest) told me just read off your blocks and that's what I did."

3. Where does the quarterback situation stand after two games?
I don't know. Bobby Reid got more time in Thursday night's game with Florida Atlantic, but hit just one big pass finishing 4-of-10 passing. Donovan Woods was 7-of-12, but for less yardage than Reid. All together the Cowboys passed for less than 100 yards. It may not be just the quarterbacks, but the receivers too. It could throw things out of kilter but maybe it's time to see what Al Pena can do in the offense. The bottom line is the production in the passing game has to improve.

4. What position needs to improve the most over the next three weeks before Big 12 plays begins?
The wide receivers! Either they are not getting open or they aren't making catches. I'm not sure which one applies more accurately. It's time to see more plays made both from the receivers and the tight ends. Teams are already stacking the coverage against D'Juan Woods. The spread should help this area. Expect Arkansas State to load the box to stop the run which should help the passing game.

"My first thought is we were undisciplined at times and that means missing a block or turning somebody loose on the edge," Gundy said about the offense. "We probably got better, but I will have to look on the tape and see. What we didn't do was capitalize on all those turnovers and give ourselves a chance to blow them out early in the game. We didn't hit any deep throws and we didn't get the big play in space, but we'll get better."

5. Who was the unsung hero?
I have two. The first is wide receiver Luke Frazier. His injury, a concussion, was very scary, but his teammates prayed on the sidelines and they made Luke a rallying point as they found out he was OK. Frazier returned to the locker room just after the game and was greeted enthusiastically. He even broke down the team in their locker room huddle.

"I was proud of them because they rallied and came together," Gundy said of the squad after Frazier was carried off the field on a stretcher. "There was some concern there because that was really an ugly sight there for the first two minutes. We calmed him down a little bit out there, but it was something I hadn't seen as a coach. You could tell it was serious by the way he was shaking. The game didn't mean anything to me at that point, and then he came around a little bit and I felt a lot better. Our team rallied and he came back to the locker room after the game and they are in there hugging him, so it was a great day."

"Luke is a big part of our team and we prayed for him and knew everything was going to be all right," said captain and safety Jamie Thompson. "Then we got our heads focused and went back out there and played Oklahoma State football. That was one of our main goals to just go out there and play football and then after the game check on our guy and see if he was all right. He was all right and he was back there in the locker room with us after the game."

My other unsung hero is fullback Jared McCoy. McCoy, a walk-on, is one of those guys that busts his butt every day and Thursday night had the chance to recover an onside kick which he did perfectly. It is great to see McCoy and other walk-ons really contributing to the team.

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