Bill Young: Old Friends Bring New Fears

Bill Young: Old Friends Bring New Fears

When Bill Young was hired as Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator he had one year of warm up before Dana Holgorsen arrived to coordinate the Cowboy offense and covert the attack into a spread similar to Texas Tech's under Mike Leach. Holgorsen returns to Stillwater on Saturday as West Virginia's head coach, and will bring with him Joe DeForest, a former trusted member of Young's defensive staff.

So, who has the advantage?

"Well, I think it is kind of a trade off because everything they are doing we've seen, and everything we are doing they've seen, so we have a few new wrinkles and so do they." explained Young. "I think it's a push."

That may be the summation, but head coach Mike Gundy is not buying into the fact the Cowboys have the chief intangible in that most of their players were either recruited by Joe DeForest, maybe a few by Dana Holgorsen, and many more by running backs coach Robert Gillespie or by former OSU grad assistant Jake Spavital.

When you play against a former coach the pride factor is to show him what he is missing.

"That is probably true, but I'm afraid that you get into the ball game and all that goes out the window," said Young. "You know how it is in just getting a team to the next down and in the right defense and then to make a play."

However, practice might be a different story. It might be a factor that causes a player to watch a little extra video, push themselves to go harder in practice reps, or stay out for some extra work.

"No question, and we have to have a great week of work," said Young buying into that premise a little more. "They are 5-3 and we are 5-3, and we are playing for a better bowl game and pecking order in the conference. It is a huge ball game."

Other than the double move route early and the long catch that set up the Wildcats first touchdown on Saturday, Kansas State's Tyler Lockett really hurt the Cowboys more with his special teams work.

But this week Young and his defenders get Geno Smith and the equivalent of Tyler Lockett all grown up in West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, who is quite possibly the most explosive player in the Big 12 and maybe the nation. Austin has 12 touchdowns, 10 on offense with the other two on returns, to go with his 85 receptions for 889 yards.

"He is sensational and they run the jet sweep with him and it is scary, and then they have a couple of other guys that catch the ball and if you aren't there to make a play then they run off with it," Young added.

It is the kind of stuff that keeps a defensive coordinator up at night. This may be a week with little sleep, at least little deep sleep. You just hope the nightmares are confined to the week and don't spill over to Saturday afternoon.

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