November 28, 2008

A coordinated effort: Beckman, Brewer talk OU

There are many tough games for a football team over the course of a season.

That's especially true in the Big 12 South, where the top four in that division have a combined five losses. Unfortunately for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, they're 0-2 against those top teams in the South Division. Those losses ultimately will keep them away from any shot at the Big 12 title or BCS bid. But there's still one chance at redemption in that department: beating Oklahoma.

That's going to be a mighty big task, however, as the Sooners come to Stillwater this weekend playing their best football of the season.

So, if you're an opposing coordinator and see that OU is your next opponent, you know your unit has to be ready to play from the start. Co-Offensive Coordinator Gunter Brewer says the key to success in big games like this one are simply getting off to a good start.

"Anytime you play an explosive team it's important to get off to a good start so you level the playing field," Brewer said. "And we did that at Tech. We got off and scored first and the defense caused a turnover and then from there, we had some miscues and they were extremely hot that night, so it was tough to play catch-up."

Doubly tough because when a game starts to snowball on a team, they deviate from their original game plan. And a normal OSU game plan is to run first and throw when the time is right. It's tough to stick with that if a team gets down early.

"I think any team, whether it be OU or the Green Bay Packers, anytime you become one-dimensional you limit yourself in play-calling because you're only calling half the board," Brewer said. "Anybody will tell you that. So it's extremely important to us at home to come out and get the crowd involved and for us to get things calmed down and just play our game and not worry about the hype."

On the defensive side of the ball, the mindset is similar, just focused on different things. Defensive Coordinator Tim Beckman said that the Sooners' thrashing of Texas Tech last weekend serves as a reminder about what a defense really needs to focus on.

"If you've watched those games the Sooners have played," Beckman said, "it comes back to the basics of football: you better tackle in space and you better get off blocks and you've got to create a pass rush. You know, the same things. The same things that we faced when we played Missouri and Texas and Texas Tech. So our kids will have a plan and they're excited of being on center stage again and having an opportunity."

And Beckman's defense has another opportunity to go up against a Heisman Trophy-level quarterback. The unit fared well against Chase Daniel and Colt McCoy, but didn't against Graham Harrell. Now the Cowboy defense gets Sam Bradford. That fearsome foursome is a headache for any defense, no matter which flavor is preferred.

"I had a question asked of me last week to rate the quarterbacks since this is only our fourth Heisman (candidates) we're playing," Beckman said. "They are all very, very good quarterbacks. They all have names to be Heisman candidates and I think Sam rates up there with the other ones that we've played. He's very good and he's done what he's been asked to do and fits their scheme very well.

"I think he's a great commander on the football field, he has great touch with his passes - be it an out pass, be it a deep pass - and he runs their scheme (well). You know, Kevin Wilson was at Northwestern when we played them at Bowling Green and they're doing basically the same thing he did at Northwestern and he's doing it very good. He rates up there with Chase, he rates up there with Colt and he rates up there with Graham."

Back on offense, the Cowboys are going up against a Sooner defense loaded with talent. But just like with the OSU defense, this side of the ball has been challenged before.

"We've seen some good players in Texas and Missouri and other guys we've played that are ranked pretty high," Brewer said. "These guys present a problem because they are big and strong and can move around so well, but I think we've got a good game plan in and I think the offensive line is going to show up and they're going to play hard and they're going to go from the first whistle to the last one, so we're excited about playing this game."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!