A Conversation With Vance Bedford - Week 7

Everyone can settle down because Vance Bedford has. Bedford seems to always find ways to get himself into print or at least his actions or his statements. On Saturday the media down on the field toward the end of the Cowboys 42-32 win over Kansas couldn't help but notice an extremely aggitated Bedford after Kansas scored their final "forget me not" touchdown.

Associate head coach Joe DeForest was trying to calm Bedford down, but it wasn't working. Bedford said that when he gets mad that sometimes he needs to act like a 2-year-old and then he's fine. Bedford wasn't mad at anybody except himself for switching his defense from an aggressive cover one attack to a soft cover two prevent defense. He said he was okay by the time he got home and in retrospect the defense certainly helped with the Cowboys' first Big 12 win of the season.

"I commended the players on that," said Bedford. "They kept us in the game, and we told them at halftime that they (Kansas) hadn't really done anything on us. They hadn't driven the field on us. They should only have six points. If we executed they wouldn't have had those touchdowns.

"So we talked about the things we needed to do, continue to do what we're doing, make plays, we're going to go out and play a lot of cover one, which is what we did. We were able to stop the run and our corners did a great job in pass defense and we were able to hang in there until the offense got rolling. When the offense got rolling it was over with."

The chore changes this week to stopping A&M quarterback Stephen McGee and a multiple option attack. McGee is solid as a runner and a passer. Bedford thinks he will be the best quarterback the Cowboys have played to date. However, he may have forgotten Kevin Kolb. McGee is good but the A&M offense is keyed by 6-0, 290-pound running back Javorskie Lane. Lane is a brutal runner that according to Aggies coaches broke 18 tackles in their win over previously unbeaten Missouri. Lane is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has scored a conference leading 14 touchdowns.

"There's no way to go to practice and actually work on stopping that guy (Lane)," said Bedford. "So today we're going to spend time working on stopping that guy, which is going to be tough. We're going to put them in what we call 22 personnel, which is two tight ends, two backs and him in the I. We're going to try to fit, gang tackle, and get as many guys to the ball as we possibly can. One guy doesn't bring him down. We looked at video today, he broke into the secondary and he stiff-armed the first guy, the next guy and it was like he hurt the guy and then he ran out of bounds. We're not showing this to our guys. We're kidding ourselves. He is a big concern right now."

Last week Missouri put a 300-pound defensive tackle at scout team running back and hammered on their defenders all week long. Bedford said he will skip that tactic this week.

"Missouri tried that and they didn't tackle the guy," said Bedford. "A&M held onto the ball for 42 minutes, so why would we go out and beat our guys up all week in practice to tackle a big guy and then get in the game and you don't want to hit anybody because you are all beat up. We're going to put a big back back there and work on just fronting him up. The key is not one guy making a play, but the key is gang tackling. If he gets in the open field we've got a problem because one guy is not going to bring him down. We have to stop him before he gets started. That's the case with any good back -- big, small or anything in between."

Last week the Cowboys went lighter and quicker on defense with a specialty package for the Kansas option game and spread passing attack. The package included new safeties Grant Jones and Quinton Moore and moving safety Andre Sexton in as an outside linebacker. This week Bedford might consider a jumbo package on the defense.

"Each week you have to adjust a little bit to what people are doing as long as it doesn't get too far away from what you normally do. We played a lot of cover 11, which is man-to-man. We just did it with a different package depending on who they had in the game. We mixed and matched the entire ball game and we'll do that the rest of the year."

Also, last week freshman Patrick Lavine played more at middle linebacker for veteran starter Rodrick Johnson. Bedford says Johnson is apt to be back in the mix for this one. In fact, he is counting on Johnson helping out with big Javorskie Lane.

"It should be real big for Rodrick Johnson," said Bedford. "Right now he is a big physical guy (at) 250 pounds. He and the big man (Lane) should have a good matchup. I'm counting on Rod to bring his big boy pads on from Galveston, Texas, and knock this guy back a little bit."

Rodrick Johnson, Andre Sexton, Lavine, Nethon, Fountain, Peterson, McBean, Donovan Woods ... it doesn't matter whether it is one or the preferred gang. The Cowboys have to find a way to stop Lane or they won't see the ball much on Saturday night and Vance Bedford could get really upset.

GoPokes Top Stories