From The Coordinator: Tim Beckman

There were rewards for Saturday night and the defensive effort that held the Missouri Tigers offense to a season low and nearly 120 yards below their average. One of the rewards was two days of bragging on the Cowboy defense. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called the Oklahoma State defense stout in its containment of the Tigers and quarterback Chase Daniel.

Also, the Big 12 named linebacker Andre Sexton the conference Defensive Player of the Week with his 13 tackles and interception. Sexton called it a "team award."

Defensive coordinator Tim Beckman was plenty happy with the entire defense.

"I can't be happy enough for the way that they played, and what we have been trying to instill on defense is toughness," said Beckman. "We played not as many players, so even the toughness of being out there for 80 plays, which Andre Sexton and Ricky Price were. Those are the type of things we think are character builders."

Everybody played well but for the past three weeks against Troy, Texas A&M and Missouri the linebackers, once thought to be the weakest position on defense this season, have been strong. The starters have combined for 126 tackles.

"All three of them -- Orie Lemon, Pat Lavine, Andre Sexton -- they all played well," said Beckman of the players at the position that he actually coaches. "I'm proud of them and the way they are playing. I think we are getting better at that position as the year goes on. I'm proud of how all three of them are."

Now is the time that knowledge is starting to kick in for some of the new players, mainly the junior college contributors but also the few freshmen that are playing in the secondary. It's just like offense, defensive schemes have to be learned, and then absorbed. We're at the point where that is happening and the best example may be defensive end Jeremiah Price.

"I think that's with anybody in our defense," started Beckman. "The Swanson Millers and the Jeremiah Prices have just been in our program less than a year and you see each week their game get faster because they know exactly where they are supposed to be at. It might be just a term and they understand the term and what it means, but now they understand it because they are actually performing it. It is a comfort level."

Now with Chase Daniel and Missouri squarely in the Cowboys rear view mirror it is time to get ready for the young buck of the Big 12 quarterbacks. Baylor is 3-3 and getting better and the biggest reason is freshman quarterback Robert Griffin, who is averaging 185 yards a game passing and 70 yards a game rushing.

"You have to contain him. He makes plays," said Beckman. "He has great feet and they are doing the quarterback run game with him and you also have to deal with the scramble situations. He has made a lot of things happen for Baylor and he is definitely one of the up and coming quarterbacks in this conference. It is the way this conference is there are quarterbacks all over."

There is another aspect to Beckman and what he can contribute to the Cowboys here on out. Defense has to be his mainstay, but Beckman has been around for championship runs. He'd like to think he could help with staying on track.

"I hope a little bit," said the former Ohio State and Bowling Green assistant. "Being around programs that have been in this situation and even when Coach (Urban) Meyer was at Bowling Green, it was not for national championship because it wasn't BCS, but we were 6-0 and rated in the top 15 in the country.

"It is a great feeling and what you work for and hopefully you build the kids up and the coaching staff up to what can be expected and what has to get done."

Keep winning, do that and it should all fall into line.

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