Down the stretch last season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were betrayed by their defense. That letdown resulted in a change at defensive coordinator with Bill Young being let go and promoting Glenn Spencer from co-defensive coordinator to defensive coordinator. Don’t expect to see a completely new defense in Stillwater next season, though, but more of a reinterpretation from Spencer.
A change was absolutely necessary this season on defense. In back-to-back losses to close out the 2012 regular season to the Oklahoma Sooners and Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State gave up over 1,200 yards and 92 points. Those two losses ultimately sent the Pokes to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, which is a much lower-tier bowl game than OSU would have liked. Head coach Mike Gundy decided to make a move and notified Spencer shortly after the bowl game that he would be promoted.
Now, Spencer hopes to bring “intensity” to the defense but isn’t planning on throwing out the playbook they ran in 2012. Spencer worked side by side to develop the defensive gameplans with Young, so he feels he knows the defense as well as the former DC did. The difference will come in the way the defense is called and the timing of blitz packages and pressures. It will ultimately be a different defense because of Spencer’s decisions when adjustments need to be made.
The energetic assistant coach, who spent last season as the linebackers coach in addition to his co-defensive coordinator duties, has jumped into his new role head first making sure his defensive assistants and in turn his defensive players are as well prepared as they possibly can be.
While it may look like a subtle change, Spencer could bring the spark that reignites the Cowboys’ defense in 2013. He’ll need to get more out of the group than his predecessor, though, or he risks getting shredded by the high-octane Big 12 offenses in the very same fashion.