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The Oklahoma State Defense Has Been Great but There’s One Big Problem



It’s no secret I’m a big fan of what Glenn Spencer has put together on the defensive side of the ball this year. OSU’s defensive line has seemingly gotten better, and its secondary and linebackers might be the deepest in the league.

Through two games, though, there’s one glaring problem and it has to do with turnovers. Creating picks and fumbles has always been a calling card for OSU defenses since Mike Gundy took over.

More importantly, in six of the last seven seasons the Big 12 champion has led the league in turnover margin (TCU and Baylor were Nos. 1-2 last year). The only one that didn’t? Baylor in 2013. OSU led the league that year but fell one turnover short (as in a Justin Gilbert Bedlam pick) shy of taking the title.

Anyway, OSU only has one so far this year through two games. That’s not good. Especially compared to the other seasons in the Gundy era. Here are your turnovers created totals through two games for every season.

2015: 1
2014: 2
2013: 4
2012: 2
2011: 3
2010: 6
2009: 5
2008: 2
2007: 2
2006: 5
2005: 5

“We practice it,” said Mike Gundy on Monday. “Allowed more time for it in the spring and the preseason than we ever have. Obviously it hasn’t worked.” No, it hasn’t.

Glenn Spencer is equally frustrated.

“Not pleased that we can’t get a turnover,” said Spencer. “I think this week I’m just going to not talk about it and try that route. They played well.”

It’s an area I really thought OSU would improve in this season and one that hasn’t materialized yet. If you’re going to go conservative on offense (and you are!) then you have to flip the field and get TOs. Only eight teams have created fewer turnovers than OSU through eight quarters.

OSU has to be better than that once the Big 12 starts.

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