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Notebook: OSU defense struggles tackling OU’s athletes

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Oklahoma v Oklahoma State
November 21, 2020

11/21/2020 Oklahoma v Oklahoma State football. Photo by Joshua R. Gateley

Oklahoma’s offense gave Oklahoma State more fits than anyone all season.

OU put up 492 yards of total offense on the Cowboys, which is the most they have given up all year so far.

Of the 492 yards, 301 of them were passing yards, and it wasn’t the deep ball that beat the Cowboys, it was the difficulty to tackle in space.

Coach Mike Gundy said a few weeks ago that he was happy with how well his defense was making open-field tackles, but today proved to be difficult with all the talent OU has on offense.

“We missed a few open-field tackles, more than we’ve missed all year,” Gundy said. “They’ve got good skill out there, they’ve got speed and guys that can make some plays and the quarterback is shifty. It was a little more difficult today than it has been”

Offensive line injuries prove costly for Cowboy offense

It’s no secret that OSU has had some trouble with its offensive line this season.

With the injuries and the inexperience, that unit has been shuffled around a handful of times, with guys even playing positions they don’t usually play.

Tonight was no different when tackle Tevin Jenkins injured his leg in the second half and OSU had to play musical chairs again. To make things worse, Oklahoma is known for having a stout defensive front.

When you combine that with the injuries OSU has up front, it was a tough night for the Cowboy offense.

“Perhaps the best part of their defense is their front,” offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said “We knew it coming in, it was no surprise. We tried to do some things to help our guys out, but you lose you best offensive lineman and you re-shuffle things again.”

Cowboys unable to come back after slow start

The game got away from the Cowboys in a hurry.

In the first nine minutes of the game, Oklahoma jumped out to a 21-0 lead after some things didn’t go OSU’s way.

On OU’s first two offensive drives, it marched right down the field and scored touchdowns in less than three minutes each.

OSU’s offense struggled in the first quarter too, and it got worse when OU’s David Ugwoegbu laid out for an interception off of a deflected pass, which OUs offense promptly scored two minutes later.

After a start like that, it is difficult to come back.

“I wish we could’ve had the first quarter back,” Gundy said. “We put ourselves in a hole and we never could really come back. We’re not as explosive in certain areas as past years so it’s a little tougher. The players competed and fought hard, even though we had a tough start to the game."

sports.ed@ocolly.com