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Daily Bullets (Nov. 5): OSU Defense Searching for Answers, Grading Pokes Post-Baylor

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Happy Bedlam week!

OSU defense still searching

When OSU turned the ball over on downs on fourth-and-3 late Saturday against Baylor, there wasn’t exactly a high amount of confidence that OSU’s much-maligned defense — which absolutely melted late against the Bears — was up for a stop. Turns out, it wasn’t. New DC Jim Knowles is shouldering the blame for what happened less than 90 seconds of game time later, but no longer making excuses.

“We’ve had this defense awhile and ultimately it just boils down to I’ve got to do a better job with the boys and get ‘em more prepared and keep working on their habits,” Knowles said. “I can’t blame it on a new defense anymore.” [Tulsa World]

Credit Knowles for not reaching in the grab bag for an easy excuse about OSU’s defense. It has been one of the biggest flaws, inexplicably, of this team all season. Saturday against OU is a chance for a big bounceback, but unquestionably its biggest test to date.

A report card made for the trash can

OSU’s young safeties, as Porter wrote in his 10 thoughts, were pretty great against Baylor! Kolby Peel and Malcolm Rodriguez were excellent overall. But as Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman noted in her post-game grades, nothing much else was all that swell, including two F grades. Here’s one for the much-discussed D word: Discipline.

The Cowboys committed 12 penalties for 133 yards, which would be completely unacceptable numbers for a little league team. For a major-college team three-quarters of the way through the regular season, it’s an abomination. Soaring penalty totals have become an all-too-common norm for these Cowboys — and nine games into the season, it is time to accept this is who this team is. That’s a reflection of everyone — players and coaches. Cowboy coach Mike Gundy admitted as much after the game, including putting blame for the blocked punt for a touchdown at the feet of coaches. Facemask penalties. Pass interference. A chop block. The Cowboys should be ashamed. [NewsOK]

Ashamed is a strong word, but it’s hard to argue the grades aren’t fair. OSU was as undisciplined as me with a bowl of queso in front of me on Saturday — a theme that has perpetually plagued this squad — and it doesn’t appear to be getting better. In fact, somehow things have snowballed from awful to downright atrocious.

OSU and NCAA Notes

Great story on Marcus Smart overcoming his mother’s passing from The Athletic … Mother Nature’s impact on OSU-Baylor … Glenn Spencer’s defense murdering folks at Charlotte … the backstory behind Thomas Dziagwa’s 25,000 shots-made summer … every freshman played Sunday at OSU’s exhibition game win … March Madness is coming back to Tulsa68 thoughts and predictions to get excited for the college hoops season

This was amazing.

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