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Notebook: Tyreek Hill’s Punt Return, Justice Hill’s Instagram Post and Stopping Kyler Murray

Pokes dish on Bedlam, trash talk and playing the role of attempted spoiler.



STILLWATER — As it will be at water coolers and bars all week, Bedlam was the talk of Oklahoma State players’ media availability Tuesday.

Little time was spent reminiscing on the disappointing Baylor game, as the anticipation builds for Bedlam on Saturday in Norman. Here are some Bedlam-related topics that were discussed.

Justin Phillips’ Point of View of Tyreek Hill’s Historic Punt Return

Justin Phillips missed his block on Tyreek Hill’s game-tying punt return against Oklahoma in 2014.

Phillips was a freshman on the Cowboys’ 2014 squad that went to Norman and upset the Sooners. Phillips said fortune was on his side for the punt return that would be go down in OSU history.

“Luckily, my guy wasn’t fast enough to catch Tyreek,” Phillips.

Ten of Phillips’ 18 tackles in 2014 came against Oklahoma. Phillips played in only eight games that season, mostly in special teams, and he redshirted the following year.

In his three games against the Sooners, Phillips has 19 total tackles, but his missed block might be his most memorable moment of the rivalry.

“I turned around and saw him catch it, ” Phillips said. “I was a young guy, so I got caught looking at the play while on the field, and I noticed my guy was gone. I turned around and tried to block him, and next thing you know, Tyreek running down the sideline. He toasted the dude.”

Justice Hill Says Instagram Post Was All in Good Fun

Justice Hill leaned up against a brick pillar surrounded by recorders and cameras and gave his patented brief remarks.

Hill is two different people when he is in front of media vs. when he’s on the field, and Monday another fiery side of Hill showed when he posted a picture on Instagram from Bedlam last season with OU defenders tagged as “kids” and “littleboys.”

When asked about it, Hill was as nonchalant as he always is with media.

“I was ready to have some fun,” Hill said. “… I wasn’t talking smack, I was just trying to have some fun.”

Hill’s teammate Tylan Wallace said he saw the post, and it gave the team some assurance going into the Bedlam matchup.

“That just shows how much confidence he has in the team,” Wallace said. “He knows that we can go out there, and he knows that just because they’re ranked higher than us, that doesn’t mean anything.”

Containing Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray has terrorized defenses all season.

On top of his 2,689 passing yards and 31 passing touchdowns, Murray has 574 rushing yards and another seven scores on the ground. The Cowboys have struggled with running quarterbacks in 2018, and Murray might be the best in the country.

OSU defensive tackle Enoch Smith said it’s important not to overplay against an elite runner, such as Murray, but rather stick to gaps.

“As a defensive line, we have to maintain our gap integrity,” Smith said. “Not allow anything to go up through the middle. The defensive ends have to contain the outside.

“We can’t do anything out of the ordinary because as soon as you try to do something else, that’s where he’ll find a crease, and he’ll try to exploit your defense. We just have to continue doing the small things. Continue watching film.”

If the Cowboys can catch him, Smith mentioned the possibility of knocking the ball free, with how loose Murray holds it. Staying true to a given assignment is step one, though.

“Maintaining, staying in your gap even if the ball cuts the other way,” Smith said. “Kyler, he has the ability to cut back the other way even if he is 10, 15 yards that way. He’ll run backward, cut the other way just to try to get a first down.”


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