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Moved from sideline, Spencer still ‘jacked’ in box

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Glenn Spencer made a fist with his right hand twice. He turned it over, examining the bruise on his ring finger.

The hand took a beating pounding the glass of Oklahoma State coaches’ box overlooking Boone Pickens Stadium. In the Cowboys’ 49-31 victory against Texas, Spencer, OSU’s defensive coordinator, was in the box, not on sideline, where he has become known for his animated presence, fist pumping and chest bumping his players.

He had to settle for chest bumps with safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt.

“Me and ‘Hammer,’ we had a couple of ’em,” Spencer said. “After the last fourth-down stop, I might have busted that window. I slammed it. I was so jacked up. That’s all right. I’ll pay for that if I bust that window celebrating.”

The OSU defense surged in the second half, holding the Longhorns to six points after a 25-point first half. With Texas’ top two running backs, Chris Warren and D’Onta Foreman, injured for most of the second half, the Cowboys held the Longhorns to 178 yards in the final two quarters.

It was coach Mike Gundy’s decision to move Spencer to the box. Last week against Baylor, the Cowboys struggled at times to get proper substitutions while Spencer struggled to keep people out of his path.

“It’s much easier to get a feel for what the offense is doing if you can look down and see it,” Gundy said. “When you’re down there with us, people are bumping into ya, the sideline guys can’t hear. Every time you turn around, somebody’s in the way.”

Spencer said he enjoyed his new view.

“It’s a lot more calm,” he said. “You can see things better.”

Spencer gave a speech to his players before the game, notifying them of the change.

He missed the ability to look his players in their eyes, to emotionally connect in the heat of the game, he said, but he knew his coaches down on the sideline, defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements and corners coach Tim Duffie, were handling it for him.

“It was a little different, but coach Clements picks up that slack, of course,” safety Tre Flowers said. “He’s real hard on the D-line, and I guess he got to cut it loose on everybody today. He didn’t hold anything back.”

Safety Jordan Sterns said he missed Spencer’s fire.

“Coach Spencer brings a lot of energy to the sidelines,” Sterns said. “The coaches that were down there, they picked up for him. But he did a great job in the box.”

After Saturday’s victory, Spencer figured he would be in the box next week when the Cowboys play Iowa State.

“If I had to guess, we’re 1-0 right now, so yes,” Spencer said. “A couple times last week, I’m bumping into people. It was just chaotic. You give up something, but then you have to weight out. Is it worth it? Today, it was.”

sports@ocolly.com

Coverage of Saturday’s game against Texas:

Cowboys gut it out in shootout behind balanced offensive performance

Washington’s injury inspires Cowboys on both side of ball

Pitch perfect: Taylor's pitch to Flowers sets momentum for Cowboys

Opinion: OSU bounces back, Texas is not back

Report Card: Grading the Cowboys' 49-31 win against Texas