A Conversation With Larry Fedora

The Cowboy offense still ranks among the best in most categories statistically in the Big 12, but the concern coming out of the Houston game and heading into Saturday's Big 12 opener at Kansas State was the base running game which was less than impressive in the 34-25 loss to the Cougars.

We heard about tackling drills to help the defense during the open week. The offense had their back-to-basics lessons too, according to offensive coordinator Larry Fedora.

"I'll tell you what we did," said Fedora. "We went back to fundamentals, coming off the football, smash-mouth stuff, and just getting after it to adjust the attitude a little bit and getting back to that physical mentality. That's all it is, a mentality that you have to develop and once our guys are a little bit older then they can take it upon themselves."

While the running game needed work you almost wish that quarterback Bobby Reid and the Cowboy receivers could have played last Saturday because that group is in a rhthym with the passing game.

"Yes, they are," agreed Fedora. "That's not going to change. We got plenty of throwing in the past week too. We didn't work just one phase of the game. We worked on all of our phases and looked at some things that can help us down the road."

With all the work on basics and sharpening the offense, what about changes? Are there any nuances we can look for out of the offense as they transition from nonconference play into the Big 12 portion of the schedule?

"Yes, there definitely are," Fedora said chuckling. "There definitely are, and you'll see them. You'll notice them. I hope you will notice them."

So Fedora isn't in the mood to reveal any secrets. That is to be expected, but he is willing to discuss the stronger side of the ball for Big 12 opponent Kansas State, a defense that is limiting opponents to 14.2 points and 280.2 yards a game.

"I have a lot of respect for what they have done on film," said Fedora. "I think Baylor threw it around quite a bit and they forced a couple of turnovers and they held them to 17 points on the road. I am very impressed with the way they play defense especially the defensive tackle number 56, and number 98 a defensive end that I think is leading the league in sacks. Their linebackers play downhill hard and they are very solid in the secondary. The key is watching how hard they play and how many people they have around the ball when they are tackling."

The defensive tackle is senior Quinton Echols (6-0, 316) and the defensive end is Ian Campbell, who is actually tied for second in the Big 12 in sacks with six.

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