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Daily Bullets (Apr. 12): A Little Defensive Improvement Would Go a Long Way



Really impressed that Viktor Hovland shot even par at Augusta through day one, wild that he’s still an amateur but capable of competing with the pros.

Bullets Rundown

• Getting defensive
• The transfer portal gives and takes away
• Physicality versus reliability

OSU Bullets

• How much better does the Cowboy defense need to be in 2019?

Dig into the Air Raid years, and you’ll find six teams won 10 games or more. Each of them had a defense that ranked better than 90th nationally in points against. A couple weren’t much better than that, but essentially it comes down to not allowing more than 30 points a game.

Last year’s team: 32.5 points.

It might seem like we’re splitting hairs here. We’re only talking about a couple points and a few spots in the rankings. But consider that four of the Cowboys’ six losses last season were by less than a touchdown. [NewsOK]

We know Gundy isn’t hiring a special teams coach – so the only way the Pokes can improve is by expecting improvement from either side of the ball. The fan base seems fairly split on “Fire Yurcich and have the best offense” and “if our defense shows a pulse can we win the league?”

• There’s been news of coming and going this week in Stillwater – two situations are newsworthy.

The NCAA passed down its decision on Wednesday to grant Oklahoma State defensive lineman Israel Antwine immediate eligibility after his transfer from Colorado in January.

Antwine’s father, Dwayne Antwine, told The Oklahoman Wednesday afternoon that the NCAA had notified OSU’s compliance department of the decision to approve Israel’s application. [NewsOK]

Antwine will be a building block on the defensive line this fall and his experience at Colorado will be instrumental in the unit’s success.

OSU freshman forward Duncan Demuth might be one-and-done.

According to 247Sports’ transfer portal, the Seminole, Fla. product has entered his name into the database and is officially exploring a transfer elsewhere. If he chooses to leave, it would open up three scholarship spots for OSU to use towards 2019. [PFB]

This feels like more of an N’Guessan transfer where the door has closed for an opportunity in Stillwater and a mutual parting of ways. It wouldn’t surprise you to see the guy be successful in a couple of years but the Pokes don’t need to tie up a roster spot while that happens.

• It’s a tough call – would you rather the Pokes go after each other in spring ball or wrap it up with a minimal-contact cotillion?

There will always be skeptics to this plan that will cry that it will cause your team to lack physicality. Gundy and his staff are preaching being physical, just not to teammates where it can get them hurt and cause an erosion of available players to win games next season. [GoPokes]

As much as weak tackling sometimes plagues the Pokes, I’ll take healthy guys making an attempt over an all-sideline team. Yesterday K-State’s future defensive leader went down with an injury in spring ball, I’m out on that happening to OSU.

• Dana Holgorsen talks about why Houston was the right move

• Ten thoughts recapping day one from the Masters 

Non-OSU Bullets

• Finished this non-fiction read on how Jewish history impacts the world – sort of a secular view of the Old Testament with secular views

• This faith-based look at a potential social media exodus seems prophetic

Digital minimalism and sports featuring Texas Tech Basketball and Rory McIlroy