A Conversation With Vance Bedford - Week 2

STILLWATER - One thing is always guaranteed when you talk with OSU defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. You are going to get exactly what he thinks. He does not mince words. We interrupted a discussion between Bedford and a couple of writers over the rule that keeps first-year players from doing media interviews. Bedford, who isn't always first in line to do interviews, obviously likes the rule.

We started visiting this week with Bedford on his defensive line. The most veteran group on the defense didn't have a lot of statistical numbers, but Bedford said they did their job in the 52-10 win on Saturday.

"When they were in there they did a good job," Bedford said of the top two rotations on the defensive line. "They did a good job of stopping the run."

Starting defensive tackles Ryan McBean and Larry Brown had just 1.5 tackles combined. To be fair Brown's tackle was for a two-yard loss.

"That's outstanding. That was outstanding because they were only in there maybe 17 plays apiece, and if the ball is not run your way there is not a whole lot you can do," Bedford said in elaborating. "The things that we did, we pressured quite a bit early and often. Our linebackers made plays and any defense is meant for linebackers to be playmakers."

The question did come up as to how good the competition was from the Missouri State offensive line. "They were a solid offensive line," Bedford said seemingly with tongue in cheek.

The only big plays against the Cowboys, especially the front line defense, came through the air. Twice Missouri State wide receivers were running free downfield.

"We can correct those," said Bedford. "Coach Gundy was on the sideline and I can't put his exact terms as he said them during that time. We cannot do the things that we did, we cannot have miscommunication in coverage. A couple of times we had miscommunication, on two plays it was miscommunication. If we had played a Big 12 team or Arkansas State we'd have lost that ballgame."

There is no doubt that the challenge is greater on Saturday in Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas State was a 14-6 winner over Army and both touchdowns and most of the Indians' yards came on the ground.

"That's always a good thing," Bedford said of the Indians being a running team. "You look at all the teams that win championships, how many teams throw the ball more than they run the football? The Pittsburgh Steelers just won the Super Bowl and they run the football. They throw enough gadget plays to keep you off balance. This team (Arkansas State) is doing the same thing."

Stopping the run is the pride on any defense. It sound like Bedford feels his defense has some serious improvement to do after week one and especially last season before tackling Arkansas State.

"I tell you why we should be fired up, last year Arkansas State just ran through us," Bedford said of last year's 20-10 OSU win over Arkansas State. "It was a joke. It was do not pass go, do not go to jail, you might as well go straight to Boardwalk and Park Place. We are going to get out that tape and show them. We have major concerns right now stopping the run."

The Indians top two backs, including Antonio Warren with 132 yards, that did the damage last season are gone, but redshirt freshman Reggie Arnold ran for 140 yards on 25 carries in his first collegiate outing against Army last Saturday.

"He looked pretty good to me," Bedford said of Arnold, the Sunbelt Conference Offensive Player of the Week. "I wish we had him right now, and I think our backs are pretty good. We're going to have a hard time tackling this guy."

Bedford knows how to get your attention and you can be sure he will get the attention of his players over the course of the week.

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