A Conversation With Vance Bedford - Off Week

The Cowboys allowed 509 yards of total offense to Houston Saturday night. They could not stop the run and that allowed UH senior quarterback Kevin Kolb to throw for 313 yards and four touchdowns. OSU defensive coordinator Vance Bedford cited many reasons for the defensive lapse that led to Houston's 34-25 win including pointing the finger at himself. He said there was enough blame to go around.

"It was one of those days where if it could go wrong it did go wrong," said Bedford. "We didn't tackle very well. We didn't execute well. I put the guys in some bad defenses myself. The touchdown right before the half was a bad call, and remember at that time it was 17-17. That could be the difference in the ball game. The biggest thing was tackling and we have got to keep improving in that area. Those are things we're going to work on and if we keep heading in the right direction we're going to be okay."

The combination of a veteran quarterback and receivers running a complex offense that you don't see every day proved to be combustable combinations with the Cowboys young linebackers and secondary.

"It was like somebody dropped a bomb and everybody scattered," Bedford chuckled painfully. "It was that way. You know sometimes you hope guys just settle down and run to the ball and hit and we never got to that point. It's like Chris Collins comes out and his backup is Patrick Lavine, a true freshman backed up by true freshman. We are playing a lot of young guys and we are going to get better. I don't hang my hat on one win or one loss ever. We are 3-1 for a reason."

The most disappointing of the breakdowns, and the most damaging, was the tackling. Remember this, if you went from campus to campus on Monday and asked the defensive coordinators at Division I schools what they felt was wrong on Saturday in any given week at least half would say tackling. Believe it or not, tackling is becoming a lost art.

"That's part of coaching," said Bedford. "Today so many people work on scheme and forget about fundamentals. In high school they don't work on tackling anymore, (and) in junior high they don't work on it. So a lot of times you get them and you have to work on tackling. I was in the NFL for six years and you'd be amazed how many guys were in the National Football League and didn't know how to tackle."

So much for the loss. You have to learn from it and move on. Bedford has simple goals over the rest of this week to get accomplished with his defense with an eye on starting Big 12 play Oct. 7 at Kansas State.

"I want to try and get them back healthy, go back to the basic fundamentals of tackling, stripping the football, and flying around to the football. We get those things done this week then I'll be fired up," Bedford said.

Cowboy fans want and need a fired up Vance Bedford.

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