'Deep Ball Threat Of The Century' Coming To DKR

You will remember (fondly) that Oklahoma State WR <B>Rashaun Woods </B>was the man who caught the late, fourth-quarter scoring pass to beat Oklahoma at Norman last year. This season, he&#146;s left skid marks all over non-conference foes to currently entrench himself on all NCAA statistical Top 10 receiving lists, including a No. 4 ranking nationally in receptions per game (8).

What you may not know is that Woods is also the "deep ball threat of the century," according to defensive coordinator Carl Reese.

"They’re thing is getting it to Woods in a lot of different ways," Reese said Wednesday. "He is the deep ball threat of the century."

Oh, really?

"You bet. I’d say so," Reese reiterated. "I’d give him the deep ball threat of the century, for what he does. He’s got great ball skills and body control. The quarterback (sophomore Josh Fields) is going to throw it up and he’s going to go get it. That’s what sets him apart from all the other receivers we’ve played against. If I’m a quarterback, if I know the guy catches it, I’m going to start taking that risk."

Risk-management, of course, will fall in the hands of CBs Rod Babers and Nathan Vasher, who returned to practice Wednesday.

"(Woods) may be the best we’ll see all year, depending on what we see in a bowl game, like Miami," Babers said. "He’s a great wide receiver. I’ve watched him play. I’m impressed with him."

But…deep ball threat of the century? Babers is impressed, but apparently not that impressed. Woods is not even the best in the Big 12, Babers said, despite leading the league in average receiving yards per game (134), good for No. 6 in the country.

"Is he the best in the conference? No. I’d say he’s in the top five in the conference," the Horns' senior CB said. "All these compliments out here, and I don’t get none?"

Who, then, are the Top Four in conference? Babers does not hesitate to respond.

"Roy Williams, B.J. Johnson, Sloan Thomas, Tony Jeffery, Bo Scaife," Babers said, adding a fifth for good measure.

Babers has been Texas’ designated matchup corner, which means he is typically assigned to the opponent’s top receiver. But he will likely share much of that assignment with Vasher on Saturday vs. Woods.

"I would love having him one-on-one," Babers said. "I’ll get him; I’ll get him."

Woods’ reputation is such that he gets the benefit of game officials decisions. He has already drawn eight pass interference penalties in fourteen quarters of play against opposing defenders.

"Any time you’ve got that many interference penalties, the officials are protecting him a little bit," Reese said. "That’s just part of it, but he’s a good player and they want to see a clean game."

For all the emphasis on the OSU passing attack, sophomore RB Seymore Shaw (264 yards on 37 attempts, 7.1 yards per carry) and freshman RB Vernand Morenci (256 yards on 29 carries) are pacing what is a revitalized Cowboy ground game.

"We’re going to have to commit more people to stopping their receivers," head coach Mack Brown said, "so then you worry more about the running game."

The two Cowboy RBs have combined for seven touchdowns through four games, significant in that OSU had just six rushing touchdowns all last year.

"That’s why they’re better (than last year)," Reese said. "They’re running game is better, and that’s what has me concerned."

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