Spencer ad­dress­ing OSU’s de­fen­sive penalty is­sues

The Oklahoman - - SPORTS - Scott Wright swright@ok­la­homan.com

Ok­la­homa State has seen a rise in de­fen­sive penal­ties the last two games, and it’s a trend de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Glenn Spencer wants to turn around.

OSU was flagged three times for pass in­ter­fer­ence at Texas Tech, with one more against TCU, plus a cou­ple of de­fen­sive hold­ing calls on pass­ing plays.

In a league where teams are prone to throw the ball 40-plus times a game, pass in­ter­fer­ence flags are go­ing to come. But Spencer is work­ing with his cor­ner­backs to try to curb the is­sue.

“It’s a fine line,” Spencer said. “We def­i­nitely worked on it with them to show them where the tim­ing of their hits needs to be with where the ball is at.

“It's very sub­jec­tive. You watch tape, and there's guys bat­tling hand-on­hand and the call’s not made, and other times it is, so we try to teach proper tim­ing, get­ting your head around and search­ing for the ball."

Three of OSU's pass in­ter­fer­ence calls in the last two games have been called in the end zone.

Bay­lor fo­cused on slow­ing OSU run game

Bay­lor coach Matt Rhule has em­pha­sized his team’s need to bet­ter con­tain op­po­nents’ rush­ing at­tack, and com­ing off a bye week, Ok­la­homa State could see some dif­fer­ent schemes from the Bear de­fense.

But try­ing to guess what new things Bay­lor might do is an ef­fort in fu­til­ity. In­stead, the Cow­boys have been pre­par­ing to at­tack what Bay­lor has done through five games, then must be pre­pared to ad­just to any new looks they get.

“All we know is what we see on film,” se­nior right tackle Zach Crab­tree said. “We try to stay fo­cused on that. We have seen some things on film and have an idea of what we’re go­ing to do and how we’re go­ing to go about things. We’ll be ready to go.”

OSU lineback­ers prep­ping for im­proved Bay­lor ground at­tack

With in­juries and sus­pen­sions be­hind them, the Bay­lor run­ning backs are at full strength for the first time all sea­son.

And that excites the OSU lineback­ers.

“It will be a chal­lenge

for us but a great way for us lineback­ers to shine this game,” ju­nior Kenneth Edi­son-McGruder said.

Bay­lor has av­er­aged just 118 yards per game on the ground so far, while the Cow­boys are al­low­ing 136 per game.

“We love that (chal­lenge),” line­backer Justin Phillips said. "That's one thing we re­ally pride our­selves on, stop­ping the run first. If you can stop the run, you make it oned­i­men­sional and the rest of the game just flows your way.”

With the added run­ning backs and a week off to add to the game plan, Bay­lor’s rush­ing at­tack could have a dif­fer­ent look on Satur­day.

“A bye week is a chance for a lot of teams to put in new things and learn dif­fer­ent teams,” Edi­son McGruder said. “When a team gets an open week, you have to be ready for any­thing and be on your toes. Satur­days are al­ways a bat­tle. No mat­ter who you are play­ing, you have to come pre­pared and ready to play.”

[AP PHOTO]

Ok­la­homa State’s A.J. Green, right, was flagged for pass in­ter­fer­ence against Texas Tech, one of three such penal­ties against the Cow­boys in their last game.

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