Can Bill Young, Cowboys Make It Two In A Row?

Bill Young

"I was 19 or 20 years old and it was pretty special because Oklahoma State had not beaten Oklahoma in my lifetime up to that point," said current Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young on playing for the Cowboys teams in 1965 and 1966 that beat OU. The 1965 win was in Norman.

Young said he really remembers more his final game as a player, a loss to Oklahoma in the 1967 season. Now isn't that just like a coach, to remember a loss over a pair of wins? It's the losses that always cause coaches to lose sleep.

Young fell asleep watching football last Saturday night, and he slept like a baby because the Cowboys handled important business on Saturday afternoon with the 59-21 win over Texas Tech.

It was a second successive good day for an improving Oklahoma State defense that may be playing the best it has all season down the stretch.

"It was a great win against a very good football team," Young said. "When it came down to it, we needed to win that game. In fact, we need to win out to get where we want to go. We have a huge, huge task at hand this week."

Last December the Cowboys forced five turnovers and sacked OU quarterback Landry Jones thre times with many more quarterback hurries. Young knows he needs a repeat, if possible, of those numbers.

"We have to get turnovers and put tremendous pressure on the quarterback," Young explained with emphasis. "If we don't do those two things, we don't have a chance. And then, obviously in any game you play, you have to be strong stopping the run."

Young saw what Landry Jones did last week in the Sooners 50-49 win over West Virginia as Jones threw for a career best and OU record in Morgantown. Even more impressive with OU behind, he twice guided the offense down the field for the needed score to get back on top.

"He presents a huge challenge. He'll be a top pick at quarterback in the NFL draft, and he has a great group of players surrounding him," Young said of the OU quarterback. "He has an excellent fullback who is a heck of a ball carrier himself, a big and physical veteran offensive line and an outstanding group of receivers. It's going to be a task."

I'm not sure how many of Young's players actually know that he was on two teams and played an important role in doing what they aspire to do on Saturday, and that's beat OU in back-to-back seasons.

Hopefully, they will know and fortunately, they do know it's important to listen to the coach that is some 45 years their senior because he knows what they need to do.

"I think they have to play within themselves, no question," Young said. "You can get real excited, pat your chest, go out there and not do anything. The big thing is for us to play solid football. It's not the pregame warm up or seeing who can talk over each other. It's about who plays, carries out their assignment, tackles and chases the ball."

In this case, the teacher was once a successful student.

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