Facemask In Need Of Repair

STILLWATER - Markelle Martin was only credited with three tackles and one pass broken up in the official statistics following Oklahoma State's 65-17 victory over Washington State on Saturday night but he had a much bigger impact in the season-opening win. Want proof, just ask the OSU equipment crew which had to replace the junior strong safety's facemask midway through the game.

The 6-1, 198-pound strong safety set the tone for the Cowboy defense against the Cougars. He had several big hits in the first half, and was caught off guard when the OSU equipment crew caught him coming off the field right before halftime.

Martin had damaged his facemask with several hits, and it had to be replaced at halftime.

"I came to the sideline and they just grabbed my helmet and said we've got to fix this at halftime," said Martin. "We were very physical. I think we had a few missed tackles but overall we were very physical and we showed that we want to tackle.

"It felt good (to hit somebody). We had to hold back for so long throughout camp because we couldn't hit the offense, and to finally let loose and play felt great," he said.

It's the first time for Martin to ever need his facemask replaced during a game.

"I've seen a couple of linebackers do it in high school but never to me," he said.

OSU middle linebacker Orie Lemon wasn't surprised when he learned that Martin's facemask had to be replaced.

"I knew the hits were coming. I just didn't know when," said Lemon. "He hit one guy and almost hit him into me. I wasn't ready for it. I knew he was going to get some but I was just waiting on it to come.

"I had talked to him before the series and said, ‘Markelle, I ain't seen you all day.' The next thing you know, the next series, he hit somebody.

"We know he's hitting like that and it amps us up a lot. He didn't let me know until the fourth quarter but for him to get his facemask redone and everything, it's great for him to be out there hitting because that's what he's here to do," Lemon added.

Defensive coordinator Bill Young said having a hard-hitter like Martin in the secondary made it difficult on the Cougars.

"I think it makes them look twice. They're looking for the football but also looking around to see who's getting ready to hit them too," said Young.


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