A Conversation With Larry Fedora - Week 2

STILLWATER - Take out Bobby Reid and his improvement at quarterback. Take out the additions of Adarius Bowman, Keith Toston and all of the new players on offense and two players that came to Oklahoma State as established performers - Mike Hamilton and D'Juan Woods - had very different nights in the Cowboys' season opener.

Running back Michael Hamilton had 16 carries for 155 yards while playing just one half. However, Hamilton again had no touchdowns. Wide receiver D'Juan Woods had a 72-yard touchdown reception, but uncharacteristically dropped several open passes. We asked offensive coordinator Larry Fedora to address those two veterans and their opening night performance.

We started with Hamilton, who sometimes doesn't get as much recognition for his fine work.

"We know his value," said Fedora. "He is a strong runner. He doesn't go down real easy. He finishes every run off and when he goes down he is always picking up three or four more yards because he is always going north and south. He doesn't run east and west. There was one play in the game I thought he was going east and west and he turned it north and gained four yards that I didn't think he was going to get. Those are the things he does so well."

It also seemed like Hamilton has better vision. He was patient when he needed to be and quick through the hole when he needed to be.

"He is a year older and more experienced," Fedora added. "Last season he was a freshman. This year he is more comfortable back there."

Fedora agreed that as good a show as it was, the offense still should have been better and will be better. One thing that will make it better is getting D'Juan Woods back catching everything.

"It should have been," Fedora explained of the offense being ever better. "There were so many great things in the game for us, but when we start to boil it down and breaking it down and looking at it, things that we have to get cleaned up from this week to next week if we want to win a football game. Those drops we had in this game weren't physical. They were nothing but mental. There was nothing physical about the balls that were dropped."

Fedora knows the kind of player that Woods is so he doesn't have to take him to task over several dropped balls.

"We didn't talk about it," Fedora said of the drops by Woods. "The only thing I can think is he was pressing. D'Juan, on the hitch, he was already taking off running. He knew by the way the corner was breaking and the safety was so far away he could score on it. He was probably already seeing the Jumbotron up there with his name on it. He knew it was there. All it was, was a breakdown in fundamentals and Coach Brewer (wide receivers coach Gunter) gets on them about that all the time."

Get better is the theme for the week and Fedora says it is a must because of the comparison between the defense they faced in Missouri State and the one they will see from Arkansas State Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. in Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium.

"It's not even close," Fedora said of the comparison. "From what I've seen on film watching their first game they really run to the football and they'll lay the wood on you. There were some big hits in this previous game. Secondary-wise I think they are really pretty good. I think their two corners are really good players. They gave great effort and they were running to the football."

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