From The Coordinator: Tim Beckman

"You're in football to be ranked and I've been blessed in places I've been at to be ranked quite a few times, so I'm excited about it and I know our players are tickled to death," said Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman. "Now we've just got to continue to build on that. Being ranked 21st should not be good enough for us and we should continue to work to get better."

Beckman may have been the only Oklahoma State coach that freely brought up the rankings on Monday. Finally, in front of the media during his Monday news conference, head coach Mike Gundy embraced being in the Top 25.

But Gundy also said that it was more important to work hard, get ready to play Saturday, so the Cowboys stay in the rankings next week.

Beckman has been preaching and has his player preaching about being a top 25 defense. Now, my question is does that mean being a defense on a Top 25 team or a defense that ranks in the top 25 of the defensive statistics? It must be the former because when asked Beckman did not know where his defense was ranked.

"The ultimate stat is winning, and when you win that is the ultimate stat," shot Beckman.

Agreed, but when asked if he wanted to know where his defense was ranked, Beckman said he did. The Cowboy defense is 42nd in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense (allowing 322.8 yards per gamre) and 53rd in scoring defense (allowing 21.8 points per game).

Beckman heard but he wasn't happy. "No, we want to get better than 42nd and we are worried about Texas A&M and what we have to do to beat A&M."

What followed was an in-depth discussion about sacks and how important they are in today's football. The Oklahoma State fans biggest gripe with the defense these days seems to be the two sacks the defense has registered. That, even with the results, doesn't seem to be enough for some. What they may not be taking into account is sacks are down all over. Spread offenses make it harder. Defenses are re-thinking the pass rush.

"It goes back to pressuring the quarterback and trying to do multiple things you can do to effect that quarterback week in and week out," said Beckman.

"That is the term that we use in our defense each week, how are we going to effect the quarterback? How are we going to get in his face? How are we going to hit him? The hits that we had on him, we had eight big hits on the quarterback in the game against Troy. No, they weren't sacks he got them off hot, the pass may have been a hot read for him.

"We'd like to have more sacks, our kids would like to have more sacks, but if we are effecting that quarterback then, and if they were at the football game they realize that quarterback for Troy left the game after that last hit by (Jamie) Blatnick and Richetti (Jones). That is what we have to try and do."

It starts, and it was a successful start on Saturday, for the Cowboys before the snap of the ball. Disguising what you are doing is imperative. It is what defenders are doing to force mental mistakes.

"That is again effecting the quarterback," said Beckman. "It might not be hitting him or whatever, but showing your pressures late or even early and then bailing out of them. Those are all things that you have to do on defense now."

Like there was for Troy, there is extra motivation for beating the Aggies. No extra motivation should be needed as this is Big 12 South football at home on a Saturday night, but the last two years has taken a toll. Beckman was around for last year in College Station.

"It was a huge loss and you lose by a point when you were playing decent in the ballgame," started Beckman. "It was hard to swallow. We learned from it and we used it to get better.

"They (players) are motivated. They are motivated first of all, for being 21st in the country. There are a lot of faces on that defense that have never been rated before. That is motivation. Playing their first Big 12 opponent here at Boone Pickens is motivation. Losing that football game last year and the one the year before I guess in an overtime situation, that is all motivation. The bottom line is we do what we have to on Saturday to make the Cowboys successful."

GoPokes Top Stories