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Defensive Positional Power Rankings: Defensive Line Revived in Week 2



Week 2 was a weird one for the Oklahoma State defense.

The starters didn’t give up any points, but there was an ejection, injuries, peculiar standouts and it seemed like Tre Flowers didn’t get his name called once. Yet nobody played poorly, as indicated by the 44-7 scoreline and the stat sheet and the tape. There were a few blips in coverage, but third down was far improved.

With that, and I’m sure some of you won’t like these ranks, here are the power rankings for the defensive units after two weeks of play.

5. Cornerback (Previously: 4)

There was an Adrian Baker sighting Friday night in Mobile, Alabama. We believe his next point of interest will be Pittsburgh.

He wasn’t in much, just a few snaps, but he did almost nab an interception and didn’t make any big mistakes.

Rodarius Williams and Madre Harper were exploited at times (relative to how good South Alabama is), which to me, is a good thing. Against Tulsa, A.J. Green was targeted almost 10 times. He dealt with it fine. Although Williams and Harper weren’t great against USA, better now than in a month’s time. Still, someone has to go at the bottom.

Stat Green  Williams Harper Kearse Baker Total
Targets 1 2 3 1 1 8
Comps 0 2 2 0 0 4
Yards 0 23 19 0 0 42
Penalties 1 0 0 0 0 1
Pen Yds 10 0 0 0 0 10
4. Safety (Previously: 3)

Tre Flowers’ column at the bottom of this block of copy is astounding to me. All zeros.

Za’Carrius Green had more of an impact in coverage than Flowers. That’s no knock to the senior safety but more an indication that South Alabama wanted no part of it. Instead, the Jaguars went after Ramon Richards.

Through two games, we are seeing how his aggressive style has translated from corner to safety. In Week 1, he almost came down with an interception, and this past week, he nearly had two. With that, he did technically give up the most yards of anyone in the secondary.

Stat Richards Flowers Green
Targets 6 0 1
Comps 2 0 0
Yards 33 0 0
Penalties 0 0 0
Pen Yds 0 0 0
3. Linebacker (Previously: 1)

Kirk Tucker will likely start against Pittsburgh on Saturday, and we should be OK with that.

Kenneth Edison-McGruder is week-to-week, and Calvin Bundage picked up a targeting penalty that will hold him out for the first half. Shouldn’t matter. Tucker has been one of the Cowboys’ best in special teams and played extremely well for being a third-string Star linebacker.

Depth is becoming a concern after injuries to Kevin Henry and Edison-McGruder. For now though, they’re still all right.

Stat Whitener Phillips Bundage Tucker Ogbongbemiga Akem Total
Total Tkl 2 1 1 5 3 3 15
Solo Tkl 1 1 1 2 1 1 7
TFL 0 1 0 1 0.5 0 2.5
Sacks 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
QBH 0 0 0 2 0 0 2
2. Defensive Tackle (Previously: 2)

The OSU defensive tackles have a knack for getting in the backfield.

If you don’t believe me, look at this.

I love that play. It makes me laugh. DQ is huge and plays so much like Vincent Taylor, I’m becoming convinced that’s actually him out there.

Stat DeQuinton Osborne Trey Carter Enoch Smith Jr. Total
Total Tkl 2 3 1 6
Solo Tkl 1 1 1 3
TFL 1 0 1 2
Sacks 1 0 1 2
QBH 0 0 0 0
1. Defensive End (Previously: 5)

Last week’s weaklings are this week’s strongmen.

The edge rushers and run stoppers were outstanding Friday, especially Jordan Brailford. He has been stricken with injuries and doubters, but he demonstrated why Gundy liked him so much after the Sugar Bowl a few years ago.

If he and Jarrell Owens can create a consistent pass rush and Cole Walterscheid and Vili Leveni can come in for run support, this group can be so good.

Stat Brailford Walterscheid Owens Leveni Total
Total Tkl 3 2 2 1 8
Solo Tkl 1 2 2 0 5
TFL 1.5 0 2 0 3.5
Sacks 1 0 0 0 1
QBH 0 0 0 0 0
Past Rankings

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