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OSU Defensive Positional Power Rankings: Cornerbacks Attacked Against Frogs



As badly as the Oklahoma State defense sputtered against TCU, it was still one play away from potentially winning the game.

The Cowboys’ defense was backed up to its own 42 with 2:37 on the clock. It was third and four, and OSU was down only six despite playing a game it didn’t deserve to even have a chance to win.

A first down would have iced it. A stop would have given the ball back to Mason Rudolph with about 1:30 left. Instead, Darius Anderson ran 42 yards untouched to score and not only clinch the win, but also extinguish most of the wishful thinking that OSU could make the playoff.

The OSU defense gave up more than 450 total yards to an offense with Kenny Trill at quarterback. I could talk you ear off about how bad of a look that is, but you already know. So let’s look at where the most damage was inflicted.

On to this week’s defensive power rankings.

5. Cornerbacks (Previously: 3)

I speak for most when I say it was only a matter of time before two inexperienced corners were tested by a halfway decent offense. They weren’t awful, but it’s clear they have some work to do.

The two starting cornerbacks, A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams, were targeted 17 times Saturday and gave up 116 yards and a score. They were solid in their tackle numbers, but they were also around the ball fairly often.

Stat Williams Green Baker Total
Targets 8 6 3 17
Completions 4 5 0 9
Yards 28 88 0 116
TDs 1 0 0 1
INTs 0 0 0 0
4. Linebackers (Previously: 1)

TCU receiver Desmond White caught five passes for 25 yards; four of them went for first downs, and almost all of them were against a Cowboy linebackers.

White is 5-foot-7, 160 pounds. I don’t know the strategy behind defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer putting Chad Whitener and Justin Phillips on White in the slot, but they were finessed over and over. Hill did work when the linebackers were in coverage with 5- to 10-yard out routes coming automatically.

Then there were the issues stopping the Frogs’ ground game. The TCU backs got to the Cowboys’ second level as if they were running through air, which meant the OSU backers were alone in space a lot.

The missed tackles are something that absolutely must be addressed quickly because Texas Tech has similar athletes.

TOTAL TKL 9 6 5 4 1 25
SOLO TKL 6 2 3 2 0 13
TFL 1 0.5 0 1 0.5 3
SACKS 0 0.5 0 0 0.5 1
QBH 0 0 0 0 1 1
3. Defensive Ends (Previously: 4)

The Cowboys’ pass rush seemed at times to be nonexistent. None of the OSU defensive ends got a sack on Hill, and they didn’t reach a dozen total tackles.

Cole Walterscheid got a pressure on Hill that forced a fumble, which infuriated me even more if nothing else. One of the handful of times Hill was touched in the backfield, he fumbled.

Hill was not that good on Saturday. The OSU defense allowed him to look that way. With the Red Raiders’ air raid, quick fire offense, the pass rush needs to improve quickly.

TOTAL TKL 5 2 2 2 11
SOLO TKL 3 2 1 1 7
TFL 0.5 2 0 0 2.5
SACKS 0 0 0 0 0
QBH 0 1 0 0 1
2. Defensive Tackles (Previously: 5)

After a week or two of little production, Darrion Daniels showed out against the Frogs.

He didn’t have a sack or a hurry. In fact, none of the defensive tackles did, but the group’s tackle numbers were solid. Daniels led the way with eight total and five solo. He and DeQuinton Osborne were two of the only impactful players along the defensive front.

Even still though, they combined for only two tackles for losses in a game where TCU ran it more than half a hundred times.

TOTAL TKL 8 6 1 15
SOLO TKL 5 2 1 8
TFL 1 1 0 2
SACKS 0 0 0 0
QBH 0 0 0 0
1. Safeties (Previously: 2)

If not for Tre Flowers’ interception, the OSU safeties might have been better served playing in the box.

Flowers and Ramon Richards combined for 10 tackles but were only targeted three times the entire game. Hill and TCU’s approach through the air was toward the boundary and short.

The only time Hill reared back for a deep ball, a guy in orange caught it, which makes you wonder how they can be used more effectively. To me, there is no point in leaving Richards on the field late in games like Saturday if you know they’re going to run it.

TCU ran the ball 14 times in the fourth quarter alone. That screams eight in the box with one high safety, but it says a lot that the Cowboys’ best defensive group was also its least active.

YARDS 15 0 15
TDS 0 0 0
INTS 0 1 1
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