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Texas-Oklahoma State Football Post-Mortem: Defense

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The Longhorn defense throttles Oklahoma State in Stillwater.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The reader doesn't need me to praise a Picasso.  Actually - scratch that.  I don't like Picasso that much.  The guy can't even paint a woman's tits properly.  Is that a giraffe with a watermelon?

So let's go with his countryman, Velasquez.  The Texas defense painted Las Meninas in Stillwater and fired former Cowboy defensive coordinator Vance Bedford was the artist behind the canvas, leaning slightly back with a look on his face as if it say,"Yeah, I painted this.  And I'm showing me doing it.  I'm Velasquez, y'all.  Daxx Garman, what?"

Scheme

We rushed three or four on 90% of our snaps and covered the Cowboy receivers.  They couldn't run at all - even on the 3-3-5.  Garman held the ball because his receivers were blanketed.  We sacked him seven times.  OSU managed only 192 yards (most of them in junk time) and were 2 of 13 on 3rd down.  That was the football game.  Also, OSU is terrible.

DL

Ridgeway and Brown are the best DT combo in the league and I'm having trouble finding a comp nationally.  Help me out.  Naturally, I give Brown a 5th round draft grade and believe it would be best for him to return - only two sacks and a forced fumble this week.  Ridgeway has matured sufficiently to take on NT duties, freeing Brown to wreak havoc from the 3 technique.  Like clockwork, Brown usually makes the first two or three tackles of every game until the double teams kick in.  If you'll recall, Ridgeway was rather clueless at NT at the start of the year.  Now he swats centers around like a grizzly staking out salmon stream.

Boyette had his best game of the year - 2 tackles for loss and a solid motor.  Love that frisky Fall weather.

Nice work from the DEs - we clearly had OSU on the containment plan - if the play was going to extend, Garman was going to have to stick it out the in the pocket.  The pocket was compressing like the trash compactor in Star Wars. Hughes, Blueitt and Davis all had quality snaps and Reed was a run stalwart as a 5 technique on the strong side.

LB

Hicks will be first team All Big 12.  I pray for his return.  Edmond pursued well.  He has cut down on false steps and seems to be seeing the angles better.  The real proving ground will be against TCU's zone read and when Boykin flushes from the pocket.  The mesh between our LBs and DBs in the no-man's land of zone is vastly improved.  For the first time in a long time, I feel like our back 7 is understanding the concepts of space, how to shade the zone to the routes being run and how to pass off the receivers to the next quadrant.

DB

Another A effort.  I particularly like how our corners are able to get involved in the run game - both Diggs and Thomas had nice open field tackles on Tyreek when it looked like he might spring for 50. Haines got run over near the end zone, but I'm afraid he was just on the losing end of a physics equation.  We played team defense.  The highest praise you can offer.

Summary

OSU's offense was terrible and we did what we're supposed to do, but the fact that we did it with such fundamental consistency gives me hope that we can transfer that effort to a TCU offense that features our wolfsbane - the dynamic, dual threat, play-making QB who can create conflict in the run game, scramble for a new set of downs on 3rd and 7 and beat you over the top when you overplay your hand.

Has the Texas defense really gone to the next level or are we just exploiting our DL advantage over inferior opponents?  We''ll find out against the Frogs.