Sexton Becoming A Leader In Secondary

If you're looking for the most consistent player in the Cowboys secondary a strong candidate, pun intended, is strong safety Andre Sexton. The redshirt freshman, who played his first ever Big 12 Conference game last Saturday at Kansas State, is now the leading tackler on the entire OSU defense with 16 unassisted tackles and nine assisted stops.

Sexton had five unassisted tackles in the game last Saturday. He also has a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble. He is the best blitzer in the secondary, is an aggressive hitter, and is improving all the time in his cover skills.

Sexton said last Saturday's loss was a very painful lesson for himself and the rest of the Cowboys. However, it is one that won't be lost on this team the rest of the season, and won't be forgotten by Sexton the rest of his career.

"To see how much it hurts and that it ends like that we just realize we have to play full four quarters," Sexton said with remorse. "You can't let up at all, no matter how big the lead is. We got a little comfortable I think, and then it just slipped away from us."

The redshirt freshman and the rest of the Cowboys are back on the road in Kansas this week to test the 3-3 Kansas Jayhawks. The Cowboys are working on a seven-game road losing streak, but Sexton says it is not the road that beats the Cowboys, it's not doing the right things on the road and that can be fixed.

"It's just the little things, not the road," said the former Houston Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year at Cypress Falls High School. "It doesn't phase me at all. I don't even think about it when I'm out there. When you make a big play and you silence the crowd it is a big thing. We still need to work on tackling and stripping the ball and stuff. I think it is more fun to play on the road. When you silence the crowd like we did several times at K-State and you're on the sideline trying to mess with them more, humm, humm..."

There comes the pain again as Sexton couldn't bring himself to finish his answer when he thought back to last Saturday. There are X and O issues with the defense as in the final four minutes the Cowboy defenders tried the safe approach and the more aggressive approach. Neither worked, but does Sexton think one is better than the other for this defense right now?

"Either way we are going to be put in situations that are rough," said Sexton. "Whether we're blitzing, being aggressive or sitting back in zone coverage if they have time to throw the ball it is going to be tough for us to cover. We haven't fulfilled our duty back there right now."

This week in practice duty has been calling, every day and all practice long.

"I think we are focusing more in practice on reading our keys, and when we get certain keys we do get to come up quickly and help against the run," explained Sexton. "It is hard because I do like running up there quickly. Unless I am in the box, I do have the responsibility to stay back or I'm leaving the other 10 guys hanging out to dry. I do have to focus on my keys."

The work continues and Sexton says this team sees the light and success at the end of the schedule. He still sees plenty of wins and says too much is invested for he and his teammates to give up making that happen.

"We're not done by any means," Sexton said confidently. "We've worked too hard last spring, in the summer, even during last off week we ran a lot and worked on being moire physical. We have put way too much into this to let it slip away at all."

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