From The Coordinator: Tim Beckman

As far as Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman is concerned, Troy could not have played a better opponent for the Cowboys' staff and players to prepare off of than Ohio State. Beckman is very familiar with the Buckeyes, their schemes and their personnel. Within hours after the game he was on the phone with Ohio State coaches getting information on the Troy spread offense.

Now Beckman will downplay all of this but it has to be an advantage for the Cowboys as Troy is an offense that doesn't change a great deal week to week. The Trojans do what they do.

"When you see the schemes that they are running, and you know what the schemes are, that is always beneficial to anybody," said Beckman referring to the Buckeyes schemes used to defend Troy, which they held to 315 yards.

"In this game it is a big fraternity and coaches have big fraternities, and I'm sure Troy has friends or contacts at Missouri State or they know people at Houston. So I'm sure that a lot of things about us have been passed on."

"We played well in spots but we didn't play a complete game," said Troy head coach Larry Blakeney of the 28-10 loss to Ohio State. "We played hard but we did not play mistake free. We made enough errors on defense to lose two games and we made enough errors in special teams that hurt us a little bit that caused us to have to come off our own goal line some, which is very difficult against a team like Ohio State which is one of the best defenses we've played since we've been in the spread."

While Blakeney obviously was impressed with the Buckeyes defense, Beckman is impressed with the Troy offense, which show no signs of slowing down despite losing starting quarterback Omar Haugabook from last season and the offensive coordinator that designed this version of the spread, Tony Franklin, who left Troy for the same job at SEC power Auburn.

"They haven't missed a beat and they outdid Ohio State in total offense and it went down to the end," said Beckman. "Going into the fourth quarter it sure looked to me like they were playing pretty good and Ohio State had all of their starters going. They haven't missed a beat. They are really doing the same thing that they did with Haugabook and they are very powerful on offense."

The Troy spread more closely resembles Texas Tech than it does Oklahoma State or Missouri.

"There are all similarities in the spread and I think when they first originated they now all do little things that each other does," explained Beckman. "Troy doesn't have the wide splits (offensive line) that Texas Tech does, but they do a lot of things that Texas Tech does. I think everything is based off the screen. They will run the football to try and gain advantage in their passing game. They are very good. They do a good job."

And in the open week, besides getting an early start on the Troy spread offense, the Cowboys jumped on trying to improve some shortfalls in their defense.

"What you use open weeks for is to get better," added Beckman. "We worked at getting better at pass rush, at containing the passer, tackling, re-routing receivers, and playing man coverage, so we stressed hard on those last week and making the Cowboys better."

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