A Conversation With Larry Fedora - Week 9

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said a few weeks ago that he felt his offense was to a point where the Cowboys could move the ball and score on any defense they faced. Bravado maybe, but so far his offense has made more of a prophet out of Fedora.

The offense has moved against everybody and they are ranked 11th in the nation in total offense (431 yards per game) and seventh in the nation in scoring offense (37.9 points per game). Each week the joke (not real funny) is that the opposing defense gets better, but Fedora and his offense are still confident.

"It's grown even more and I didn't think they were lacking for confidence in the first place to be honest with you," Fedroa said Fedora of the offense. "I believe they always felt they could get things done and they were doing it and they have continued to do it. Obviously, we have a bigger test this week (because) the University of Texas defense is a great defense. We'll have our work cut out for us this week."

The Cowboy offense has enjoyed two stellar performances at home, but now have to go back on the road where they have done it already this season (against Kansas, Kansas State, Houston and Arkansas State). Fedora said he has a special fondness for the road that he has tried to impart on his offensive players.

"You always love playing at home with your crowd, especially here with the sea of orange, but I personally kind of like playing on the road," said Fedora. "I like a hostile environment. I like people yelling at you, calling you names. To me you have a chance to feed off of that, and I think our guys do and they will."

The road is one thing, facing the opposing crowd, band and surroundings, but in Austin at Darrell K. Royal/Memorial Stadium it is the players in the helmets with the Longhorns on them that make it difficult.

"They are really big inside with (Franklin) Okam and their two defensive ends are really the best defensive ends we've faced all season, I think it's Robison and Crowder," explained Fedora. "Their linebackers are, in my opinion, better than they were last year. They run faster and move better. We talked about it in the staff meeting, the secondary has maybe four possible number one draft picks in the NFL. Gene Chizik (defensive coordinator) has done an excellent job with them. He's a lucky man."

This week Fedora answered several questions asked about the offensive line. It's appropriate in that the linemen have played their two best games of the season the past two weeks and will be a huge ingredient in the effort against the big, bad Horns.

"Offensive linemen are a different breed to begin with and Joe (Wickline) fits right in with them because he played the position," Fedorda said of the Cowboy offensive line coach he has worked with for the last six years. "It's a tough love kind of deal. He's as hard on his guys as he needs to be to get them to jell together. He does a tremendous job of that. Those guys know as hard as he is on them that he truly cares about them even though he might not tell them that."

Fedora and Wickline have worked together previosuly at Middle Tennessee and at Florida. The guess now is that they very well could stay together the rest of their coaching careers. It's a marriage of offensive coordinator and offensive line coach that has really worked. Oklahoma State fans can attest to it.

"I don't think they would be anywhere close to where they are without him right now, talking about Coach Wickline," said Fedora. "I've been with him for quite a while and I've seen him do it year in and year out. The tough guys are the guys that end up playing for him and they end up being good players."

In case you were wondering, the offensive linemen starting for the Cowboys agree with Fedora and have said as much.

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