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Most Important People #3 – Bill Young



Who he is: Young holds the oft-maligned title of Oklahoma State defensive coordinator. An honor Tim Beckman bequeathed upon him in 2009 when Young fled The U before all hell broke loose down there. Prior to that he spent six years turning KU into a defensive juggernaut respectable defense on the national level.

What he does: Consider the following stats which show year-by-year progress of defenses under Young. Yards per game allowed listed first with points per game allowed in parentheses:

Kansas under Bill Young
2002: 472.4 (42.3)
2003: 412.6 (30.5)
2004: 345.5 (21.4)
2005: 303.2 (22.0)
2006: 378.1 (25.5)
2007: 317.3 (16.3)

Oklahoma State under Bill Young
2009: 332.5 (21.7)
2010: 409.5 (26.3)

The thing that stuns me is that he basically cut KU’s points allowed in half in the span of three seasons. This is his third season at OSU.

Yes, the jump from 2009 to 2010 was not a good one for the OSU defense but cut them some slack for being on the field for 40 more plays than any other team in the country last year and 355 more than TCU, who was on the field for the least amount of plays (at least our guys have experience!!)

Where he fits in: Young has to try and produce those numbers with a revamped defensive line and now-depleted secondary. It is the deepest defense he’s ever had but there are quite a few moving parts (literally).

Why he matters: See those stats above? If OSU is anywhere close to that 2004-2005 (or 2007) range KU put up under Young then this team really could go undefeated. If they regress as they did last year then there’s no chance.

Pressure’s on.

This post is part of our series on the 20 most important people to a 2011 Oklahoma State title run. Check the full list out here.

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