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The Key for Oklahoma State to Contend in the Big 12



Through 3 games this season, Oklahoma State is now averaging 41.7 points per game – thanks to the 69-point explosion Saturday. Before Saturday, the Cowboys were averaging 28 points per contest.

We found out Saturday just how good this team can be when they’re firing on most cylinders, and I believe a blueprint for success this season was laid out. Even with the offense now averaging 41.7, it’s clear at this point in the season the defense will be the key to Big 12 title contention.

The defense won’t have to be elite, but the success of this group will be predicated on turnovers. Saturday was a good start, and an excellent indicator that their goal to “take it back” is achievable.

Spencer’s defense has been solid even before Saturday; but with UTSA, we found out just how important forcing turnovers will be.

How good has the defense been so far? As Cliff Brunt pointed out, Oklahoma State is tied for 8th nationally on defense, allowing only 11.7 points per game. Their .85 points allowed per possession ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 behind the Mountaineers.

With Baylor, TCU and West Virginia looming, that number is likely to spike. Can this team survive a shootout like the 2011 team could? For me, it’s hard to say either way at this point. But in my eyes, the defense creating extra possessions could be the difference between some contests among the leagues elite. This team isn’t build to survive a shootout, but rather, create one.

Several weeks ago, Texas nearly left South Bend with a goose egg on the scoreboard. This weekend, they hung 44 on a respectable Cal team and appear to have found their man at quarterback. They have a little momentum offensively, and despite the fact that they’ve been mildly unimpressive in the early going, facing Texas in Austin is no small task.

For a defense that forced seven turnovers this weekend, they have to remember to hit the reset button each week. Glenn Spencer is well aware of the challenge at hand. “You’re one game away from congratulations becoming condemnations,” Spencer told The Oklahoman after the Cowboys duel with Central Arkansas last week. “You’re one play away on our side from a pat on the back becoming a stab in the back.”


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