A Conversation With Vance Bedford - Week 11

Sporting his new hairstyle, courtesy of the defense's dominating contributions to the 66-24 win over Baylor, OSU defensive coordinator Vance Bedford was wearing a hat Monday and complaining that his head was cold. He did say his latest, which came after he promised the defense that they could shave his head if the Cowboys won by three touchdowns or more, was the best hair cut he's ever had.

"Yes it is," Bedford said of his new hair cut. "Anything that gives us a chance to win. I get up in the morning now and rub my head and I'm ready to go. I look in the mirror and I'm already pretty and I don't have to worry about it."

Now the attention goes to Texas Tech. It was the one team in Big 12 play last year that the Cowboys mastered. In fact, several future opponents copied what OSU did against the Tech offense in limiting them to a season low in total offense at that time. Bedford was asked whether the Cowboys could do it again and, if so, how.

"Our offense running the ball and keeping us on the sidelines," Bedford said laughing. "If our offense keeps the ball 55 minutes then we might be able to hold them to 28 points in the five minutes that we have to be out there."

Getting more serious about the challenge of Tech, which leads the Big 12 in passing offense with 364 yards a game, Bedford said it is more effort by the players than it is scheme from the coaches.

"The bottom line is your players have to go out and give great effort," explained Bedford. "People get all caught up in scheme and look at what they are doing or what scheme someone is using. The bottom line is if your players don't have any idea what to do then you can't win. It is about effort. If your players are thinking too much then they aren't flying to the football. We are going to try to keep our game plan simple so the guys can run around and make plays."

One scheme you are likely to see again is the jumping around up front. Texas Tech, with its wide offensive line splits, really couldn't pin down where the Cowboy pass rush was coming from last season. Bedford agreed with the Cowboy Network's John Holcomb that the ploy worked.

"I think that was part of it," Bedford said of the line shifting that the Cowboys did last year. "They did a lot of checking at the line of scrimmage, especially for the offensive line, so we tried to give them one look and then move to something else trying to get a matchup, or if they turned the protection the wrong way we'd get a guy scott free or get Victor DeGrate one on one. We will try to move around and do some of those things again. Their adjustment last year was throw a lot of deep balls and go on the first sound so we have to get ready for that."

However, the circumstances are different this year. For one, Oklahoma State isn't looking for a pleasant memory in an otherwise disappointing season. The Cowboys are bowl eligible. As for last season, Tech may have been overconfident, the game was in Stillwater, and the Cowboy offense had one of its best days too.

"I think it is a combination of all three of those," Bedford said of last year. "They may have come in flat. They might have been looking for an easy one because we hadn't been playing well. Being on the road is always tough being in a different environment. Our offense kind of knocked their defense around a little bit, and we got off the field on third down. I think they were oh-for-nine or oh-for-10 on third downs. If you can get off the field on third downs then you have a chance. They dropped some balls being on the road that were uncharacteristic. I hear when they are in Lubbock they are off the charts. I talked to the Texas guys and they said we couldn't stop them, they stopped themselves."

Bedford has to hope some of those same circumstances will be back at work in Lubbock on Saturday, including the one where Tech stops themselves.

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