The Oklahoma State Cowboys were prompted to make a change on their defensive coaching staff after last season. Late-season collapses just couldn’t be tolerated, so head coach Mike Gundy promoted Glenn Spencer to defensive coordinator. Spencer vowed to bring his own spin to the defense in 2013, and after spring practices we know a bit more about what that will mean; Oklahoma State is going to bring the heat on Big 12 quarterbacks next season.
Last season, the Cowboys ranked No. 80 in college football in total defense, giving up over 421 yards per game. In their five losses last season, OSU gave up a whopping 47.2 points per game and never any fewer than 41 points. The defensive front were unable to generate pressure, recording just 25 sacks on the season, ranked No. 66 in college football. They also struggled to create turnovers, a staple of the Gundy era at OSU, turning opponents over just 22 times all season, tied for No. 57 in the country.
Spencer recognizes these weaknesses and plans to turn them around in 2013 by dialing up more pressure. He will bring blitzes from every angle and coach up his corners to play tight coverage, hoping to fluster some of the Big 12’s fresh-faced quarterbacks next season. By forcing quick decisions, the Cowboys are hoping that they will force some bad ones and capitalize by forcing turnovers and incompletions, even if they don’t bring the quarterback down every play.
The Big 12 is filled with high-powered offenses that would be difficult to slow down for any defense in the country. While it’s silly to think they can be stopped altogether, Spencer is focused on getting the Cowboys to disrupt those offenses with pressure, creating turnovers and getting off the field on third downs as often as possible. Will it be enough to get the Pokes to the top of the Big 12 in 2013?