How Oklahoma State’s defense made the Cowboys the Big 12’s best College Football Playoff hope

Oklahoma’s No.6 will be the only unbeaten team in the Big 12 to enter the tough game against Texas on Saturday, but although the Cowboys have created a natural competition with their impeccable 4-0 record, coach Mike Gandhi knows there’s little difference between them.

The difference from seven to eight teams in this league is small, Gandhi said.

He’s right: The eight teams of the Big 12 have two or more defeats, including Oklahoma and Texas, who have lost twice. The Cowboys have the opportunity to make an even bigger impact in the middle of a crucial season, four games that will soon show whether they should be taken seriously as contenders for victory in a university football play-off – or whether they should be considered a secondary goal.

With the victory on the 17th. Last week, the Iowa Cowboys took a small but significant step forward, but the ESPN Football Power Index gives the Cowboys only a 48.6 percent chance to beat Texas at home on Halloween Texas. If Oklahoma loses, the chances of the conference to send a team to the SFP drop to 2.5%.

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The State of Oklahoma loses in two of the next three games where there will be back-to-back matches against higher ranked opponents – Kansas No. 16 and Oklahoma No. 24. According to the REIT, there is only an 11% chance that cowboys will arrive undefeated on Thanksgiving.

Of course we only need one game at a time, but there is no doubt that the next three games will be really tough and will determine the rest of the season, according to Dillon Stoner Receiver. We’re just gonna take care of Texas now and get ready to play them the best we can, but deep down we know who’s waiting for us after that.

Cowboy’s success today is largely due to his fast and experienced defense, which covers two long distances and leads the championship in almost every position, and eighth in the country with 12 points per race. Oklahoma State also has a strong lead, led by Heisman, hopeful Chuba Hubbard, and the offense gained momentum last week when quarterback Spencer Sanders came back from an injury.

Players and coaches also point to the chemistry of the team, which passed during a somewhat turbulent summer when the program passed the self-evaluation triggered by the national cry for recognition of social injustice and the Black Mate movement.

It really helped our team to get together as a group and it helped our management, Gandhi said. It allowed me to see some things I didn’t see. I was head coach here for 16 years. We have made great progress in education, in society and in the field. I realized you become a creature of habit if you don’t pay attention to what’s going on. That’s what happened to me, and these guys brought me up to speed on some things. In general, it has allowed all of us to grow and it is a large proportion of our players who have come together during the season.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Oklahoma State Security Colby Harvell-Peal, right, has two breaks this season, one against Iowa. Brian Bahr/Getty Pictures

Oklahoma has elusive values, talent and depth – and there is so much more to prove. According to FPI data, the Big 12 champion has an 88% chance of multiple losses; no other Power 5 conference has more than 18% chance of multiple losses against the champion.

We’re a good football team, Gandhi said. We’re not the best football team anymore. We were a good football team because we were focused, we trained well, the boys got together and it’s all part of university football. I’ve never coached in the NFL, so I don’t know what it’s like, but I do know that in college football these areas are very important for success, so we have to stay on track.

According to Gandhi, his main concern is that not all participants in the programme listen to the praise and expectations of outsiders and the media. Apparently, his quarterbacks got the message. They came up with a slogan they call FTN, which means FTN: Forget the noise.

Sanders said it doesn’t matter what happens outside the stadium or this locker room, we finally have to go to practice every day. We have to give it 100% every day, we have to work hard every day, no matter who the opponent is. We shouldn’t want to work this week because we’re playing in Texas. We want to work the same way every week and get better every week.

While the offense continues to rely on the shooting, the defense has been above average, especially in the third and fourth drop. The Cowboys keep their opponents at 0.193, third place in FBS and fourth place in defense in the fourth fall.

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Defense coordinator Jim Knowles explained this by saying that the experience and the players are in the right places, so when he calls up the games, they execute them – which is especially difficult in lightning games.

I feel like you’re getting along with someone, Knowles said. We can compete as rivals. I don’t know if we dominate in one area. I think our lighting was pretty dominant – time will tell – but I feel like we have a fighting chance in every game. This gives confidence in the program. They always trust us when we play consistently.

While Oklahoma stole the spotlight from the Big 12, Texas can still make the leap into the conference championship – and their odds will increase from 33% to 52% with a win on Saturday.

Texas coach Tom Herman said he expected many fronts and lightning attacks from the cowboy defense, but the challenge will be to beat the men – something the Longhorns have been somewhat overwhelmed or missed in recent weeks. Herman said the state of Oklahoma goes overboard and his quarterback Sam Ellinger dares to let go.

They play in the elite defense, the elite is not only in our league, but in the country, Herman said. If you have the skilled position of the players as they have the unique touch of the home game, these are the two main ingredients of the championship recipe, and they certainly look alike.

Fault! The file name is not specified. Mike Gandhi in his 16th season as head coach in Oklahoma state, his alma mater. Sarah Phipps U.S.A. Sports today.

But winning the Big 12 title does not guarantee a semi-final of the CFP. Oklahoma’s place in the playoffs, even as conference champion, will depend on the final results of the individual Power 5 winners. If the Cowboys are undefeated, it will be difficult for the selection committee to keep them in the top quartet, but once Oklahoma State loses the game, all hope for the Big 12 playoffs will be dashed.

Gandhi said that when he was asked about the pressure at the beginning of his career in the alma mater, he resorted to the coach’s speech and trivialized him with such remarks: There’s no pressure, it doesn’t matter, it’s what we do.

Today, on the 16th, with the cowboys, Gandhi has a different, perhaps more experienced perspective.

I think the more time you spend in the season and the better you play, the more pressure, he said. It is my job as coach to give them quality information about what is really important and which can be taken into account in Saturday’s game.

These include air conditioning, minimizing errors – including fines – and rotations, and winning special teams.

Every year, every team, during the season, you have a different direction, he said. Now we have to make sure we listen to the people who tell us how good we are.

It would only take a Saturday to change that perception.

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