From The Coordinator: Tim Beckman

As frustrating as the numbers may have been to Oklahoma State fans from Saturday's 56-37 victory over Houston they were more frustrating to defensive coordinator Tim Beckman. The Cougars finished with 483 total yards and 387 yards passing. The pass defense was a very sore spot last year for the defense and for Beckman.

It didn't matter that head coach Mike Gundy jumped on the defensive channel on the OSU headsets in the second half and dictated a softer approach to force Houston to throw short and assist in burning clock time after the Cowboys offense exploded.

"Defense kept us in the game in the first half and we put their backs against the wall a few times," said Gundy in complimenting the defense and admitting that he asked Beckman to be more conservative in the second half.

"Defensively, we didn't get enough pressure on the quarterback in the second half but we did tackle better. From a defensive standpoint our tackling was better but we need to get more pressure on the quarterback, (and) that would cause more three and outs."

Beckman's assessment was, "Too many yards, there is too many yards being given up by the defense. We've got to take care of not giving up the chunk plays. There were nine plays we graded out as chunk plays and the previous week we gave up just two, so we've got to get it back down. "

Nobody likes excuses, certainly not Gundy or Beckman, but they both were willing to admit the defense was a little handcuffed up front with the foot injury to Jeray Chatham and then the fact that defensive end Derek Burton's snaps were cut because he was playing sick. Quencey Patrick and Shane Jarka played a lot more snaps which isn't necessarily a bad thing in retrospect.

"We took a hit early in this game against Houston when Jeray wasn't able to perform at his level, at 100 percent, and then we had the problem with Lucien (torn ACL on the first play) and then Derek Burton was sick," said Beckman of the missing defenders.

"We had a bunch of little things we had to take care of. A lot of young guys got in. We ended up playing 26 kids on defense which is what we are trying to shoot for, getting as many players as we can in the game. We want to make sure those kids getting in the game are getting more reps than they got against Houston."

One example of a defender really coming along is inside (one technique) nose tackle Tonga Tea Jr. (Junior) who has three tackles, a half sack, and a fumble caused in the first two games. He also had a break up of a screen pass last Saturday.

"Another year underneath your belt in college football and playing in the Big 12. Junior has had an outstanding preseason and has had an outstanding two football games," said Beckman "We expect Junior to make plays like that. He is a senior and did a great job of recognizing the screen and made a great play on it."

That is the progress Beckman is hoping to see throughout the defense, and as soon as possible. Some may think this is like back to back off weeks with FCS opponent Missouri State followed by an actual open week but it is not. Beckman says no week, no time or practice can be wasted.

"I don't think we are where we are supposed to be on defense and we can't waste any week of practice. Every week is important to us," said Beckman in an urgent voice. "I don't like to see any of our players getting hurt. We have to step out on the field today, Monday, and be better than what we were on Saturday and that is what I keep on stressing to them that until we build this program to where it needs to be defensively then we need to take advantage of every practice. I would like those kids to be healthy so we could take advantage of what we are trying to get accomplished."

Missouri State may have lost to Division II Washburn (Kan.) last Thursday, 35-27, but they did score points and according to Beckman they have some weapons and besides Oklahoma State really needs the work. This game becomes vitally important for building confidence and building depth. After dissecting the Bears offense, Beckman sees some talent his team will face in the multiple spread offense Missouri State employs.

"They are first in their conference in offense and in points scored in the Gateway (Conference)," started the OSU defensive coordinator. "I know that conference very well because it is the conference that Youngstown State (Ohio) played in. I am well aware of it.

"I thought the quarterback (Cody Kirby) played extremely well. They've got a running back that is playing for them now from Owasso (Kingjack Washington) that has some good quicks and a big tight end (Clay Harbor). The offensive line is fairly in tact, they have three seniors back. They did a good job of moving the football and you can see that in the film that we got."

Advice for this week, simple and direct. "Play your responsibility, play hard, and everything else will take care of itself," Beckman said.

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