Connect with us


Insurance: Xavier Benson Steps Up when the Cowboys Needed Him in Bedlam

‘We call him insurance — Allstate. He’s always there when you need him.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Xavier Benson was slow to get off the Boone Pickens Stadium turf a few times Saturday, but he did keep getting up.

Benson has been an unsung hero for much of Oklahoma State’s season to this point, but in the Cowboys’ 27-24 Bedlam victory against Oklahoma on Saturday, the work Benson did was hard to miss.

He had three of Oklahoma State’s five tackles for loss, including a sack. He also had a forced fumble, a quarterback hurry and seven total tackles.

“We call him insurance — Allstate,” Collin Oliver said. “He’s always there when you need him. And I call him old man, like I did Brock (Martin) last year. He just lays it all out — Josiah Johnson is like that, too, on offense. But [Benson], he’s a dog.”

Benson got to Dillon Gabriel midway through the first quarter, forcing Gabriel to fumble. OU’s quarterback was able to fall on the ball, but the next time the Sooners put the ball on the turf, Benson was there.

Later in that same drive, a wayward snap surprised OU running back Jovantae Barnes ahead of what appeared to be a trick play. Barnes tried to get the ball back to Gabriel as Drake Stoops was running to the backfield for a reverse. The three Sooners played an ugly game of hot potato that ended with the ball on the ground, and Benson pounced on top of it.

The fumble recovery led to OSU’s second touchdown, where the Cowboys took a 14-7 lead.

OSU defensive coordinator Bryan Nardo said Benson does a lot that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He had just 3.5 tackles for loss all season heading into Saturday’s game before nearly doubling that to 6.5 on Saturday. He had just 0.5 sacks before wrapping up Gabriel.

But when they needed insurance in crucial moments, like a good neighbor, Benson was there.

“I’ve said this to anyone that will listen — Xavier Benson is one of the toughest, most unselfish, most loyal, most passionate football players I’ve ever had the privilege of being around,” Nardo said. “That will take on three blockers so that somebody else can make a tackle. He will celebrate like he made the play.

“One of the first days when I got hired, Xavier came in to meet me and said, ‘I know you don’t know me, but I promise you I got your back.’ I just showed up here. That’s one of the first things he tells me, and I get a chance to meet him. He has not flinched or stopped from that the entire time. To see him make the plays he made today and actually get the numbers to go with it — because he’s made a lot of plays that aren’t showing up on the stat sheet. He’s a vocal leader, he’s a passionate leader, he’s someone that has helped a lot of people. And I am just thankful every day I get to work with him.”

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media