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Why Does Oklahoma State’s Defense Seem so Much Better than Its Offense?



Fire Yurcich and make Spencer governor of Oklahoma, right? Well, there’s a reason Oklahoma State’s defense has been so good this year, and part of it is Glenn Spencer, yes. But another part of it goes back several years to a switch in Mike Gundy’s recruiting philosophy.

Here’s what Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World wrote recently.

Gundy has said in the past that OSU used to distribute the 85 scholarships 41-41-3, with 41 on offense, 41 on defense and three specialists. That changed to 38 on offense and 44 on defense a few years ago. Gundy said Monday the defense now has 10 percent more, which would seem to indicate a 39-43 split.

You can tell. OSU has hit on a bunch of guys recently that maybe they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t added the extra 2-4 scholarships on defense.

“We put a lot of importance in planning in our defense about four years ago,” said Gundy before this season started. “We felt like we needed to be more competitive on defense, and we built up our numbers. We allotted more scholarships on that side of the ball than we did on offense. I think it’s paying off for us now at this time.”

It is. This is one of the better defenses OSU has ever had. Ever. But there’s always a cost.

“That’s something that’s not brought up, but if you just look at the pluses and minuses of that, the group that’s getting the short end of that stick is the offensive coaches,” Gundy said.


“We’re fewer guys,” Gundy said. “We’re two offensive linemen less than what we were when Todd (Monken) and Dana (Holgorsen) were here (as offensive coordinators). So it’s affecting them some.

“We’re going to rally and figure out a way to make it better, but it’s certainly affected the offense.”

That’s really interesting, and it fits nicely with my theory about what Gundy’s philosophy is (run + defense). It’s also something to keep in mind when criticizing Yurcich. He’s not playing with a full deck (everyone: I KNOW!) but not in the way you’ve probably been thinking.

[Tulsa World]

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