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Sterling Says Cowboys’ 2020 Defense Goes against the Big 12 Stereotype

OSU’s defense is getting more hyped as the season draws near.



[Photo via Bruce Waterfield, Oklahoma State Athletics]

As the days tick down to the Cowboys’ opener against Tulsa, the hype surrounding the Pokes’ defense is only growing.

The excitement surrounding Oklahoma State’s 2020 season started with the Cowboys’ returning three-headed monster of Chuba Hubbard, Tylan Wallace and Spencer Sanders, but as the weeks go on, more and more of the talk is starting to transition to the Cowboys defense, which returners 10 of its 11 starters from last season.

“Just maturity — a lot of guys coming back, as they’ve mentioned in the media previously,” senior corner Rodarius Williams said Wednesday. “We’re just ready to roll.”

Last week, Trace Ford mentioned how big the Iowa State game was for his personal growth last season. It’s something junior safety Tre Sterling said was a big deal for the entire defense.

The Cyclones tied that game at 27 with 9:06 to play in Ames. From there, the Pokes defense took over.

OSU’s defense went back on the field with 7:32 to play. On the third play of the drive, Malcolm Rodriguez intercepted a Brock Purdy pass and returned to for a touchdown.

The Cowboys stuffed the Cyclones’ ensuing drive after just four plays.

Iowa State got the ball back with 2:43 to go, but after a play, Purdy threw another pick, this one going to Amen Ogbongbemiga.

Then Iowa State got the ball again with 32 seconds left, where Purdy threw his third pick in four drives. Sterling had the game-sealing INT.

“That Iowa State game, building up to it, we had confidence in ourselves, but after that Iowa State game, we knew we’re not just trying to hold people back from points, but we are trying to pitch shutouts,” Sterling said. “That’s the mentality this year. … It just changed the mentality of the defense, really, from holding people back so our offense can score enough points to out score them to now, we’re trying to get shutouts and we’re trying to win this game for our team.”

Everything is there for this defense to be as good if not better than the Pokes defense from 2013. These 2020 Cowboys have depth at every position. They have experience. And, they have stars like Kolby Harvell-Peel and Trace Ford to make plays.

“I will say about the secondary, from fall camp, some people are going to be surprised because Oklahoma State’s not really known for their defense and the secondary,” Sterling said. “Really the Big 12 is not known for their defense, but some people are going to be surprised when they see come Week 1. Just be ready for it. That’s all I gotta say.”


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