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CRFF Roundtable: Longhorns and Turnovers and Bears, Oh My!

Our staff dissects the Baylor loss and looks forward to Texas.

NCAA Football: Southeastern Louisiana at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks for reading and, as always, leave us your answers in the comment section below.

Biggest takeaway from the Baylor loss:

Oklahoma State v Baylor Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Jake

Our play calling is atrocious and we aren't willing to adjust.

Austin

Our corner position is our biggest defensive weakness. Before the Baylor game, I didn't realize it was that big of a problem.

Joel

The running game looks like it is still improving. OSU had balance in their offense in a game for the first time in years, I hope this trend continues the rest of the year.

Phillip

The offensive line and run game are improving. I think actually getting them both into games has helped.

Robert

Baylor sucks on so many levels as an institution and athletic program.

Christopher

Yurcich is a chameleon.

Kyle

I could go into the secondary, turnovers or scheming, but I’ll just say that this team was not as good as we thought. There’s still time to make improvements but being competitive is this year’s goal.

Biggest improvement the Cowboys need to make moving forward:

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Jake

Hold onto the football and we win both of the games we have lost to this point.

Austin

We need to focus on winning turnover battles. Over the years, we have had one of the most opportunistic defenses in all of college football. However, it doesn't matter when our offense turns the ball over as much as they have been. We need to tighten up the sloppy play, and take care of the football.

Joel

The secondary needs to stop giving up big plays. Overall I thought the defense played well, but small lapses in coverage led to big plays for Baylor. If the secondary can tighten up a little bit, the defense as a unit will be in good shape. Our run defense is solid, now our pass defense has to catch up a little bit.

Phillip

The secondary had better get itself figured out or OSU is going to rack up quite a loses. The "bend don't break" defense is getting shattered by big passing plays. That has to stop.

Robert

Don't lose to Baylor.

Christopher

Without question, the biggest improvement that must be made is the pass defense limiting big plays. This is the Big 12. It's not like the dynamic passing attacks are few and far between.

Kyle

It’s a close race between the aforementioned propensity to give up big plays and the high rate at which the Cowboys are turning over the ball. I have to give the blue ribbon to turnovers.

Big plays need to be reduced but at some point are unavoidable in this league, especially against Baylor. Turnovers, in comparison, are highly avoidable and need to be coached out of this team. They have become a problem.

The Cowboys are second only to Kansas in turnovers committed, sitting at eight. Last year’s Oklahoma State team gave up 15 total in 13 games. This year’s team is on pace for 26. That would be the worst since 2009 (30).

Is Justice Hill your starter against UT? Does Mike Gundy agree?

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Jake

Yes, he's the only running back that we've seen who will actually hit the hole and get downhill. Probably not because Gundy usually favors the older guys.

Austin

Yes. He hits his holes hard, and he has a burst that no other running back on the roster seems to have. The fumbling problem does seem to be an issue, but it's something that can be fixed with training and focus. I would hope Mike Gundy sees Hill in the way that I do. We don't have another running back like him.

Joel

Yes, 100% he should be the starter against Texas. If last week (despite the fumbles) didn't prove that he should be RB1, I don't know what else to say or do. He did a great job running between the tackles, and was able to bounce runs outside but didn't force it. I expect him to have another big game against Texas.

Phillip

I think you start him, but get Rennie and maybe Sanders involved more. Hill is the best back we have, but he's still a true freshman. Don't put all of the pressure on him.

Robert

Absolutely, and Carr would be my #2. They're the only two that can get something out of nothing, and that's important given our OC's and QB1's penchant for repeatedly calling or checking into running plays that don't work.

Christopher

Absolutely, yes. And I think Gundy will agree. But if he doesn't agree, that probably means Boone does. Which also probably means I'm wrong.

Kyle

If that means he gets the majority of snaps, fine. What I mean is,if Gundy feels like he’s not ready to be the “starter” due to his fumble troubles in Waco, so be it. I trust that he knows his team and how to coach them.

But Gundy also knows that he has something special in Hill. If he can continue to improve and be put in situations to succeed, he should be a back that can be their bell-cow moving forward. That’s big time.

Can the Cowboy rush defense (#3 in the league) slow down the Longhorns’ run-heavy attack (#2 in the league)?

UTEP v Texas Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Jake

None of Texas's backs are as good as James Conner and we did fairly well against him so I would say yes. That doesn't mean our corners will be able to cover up at night though.

Austin

If Texas had Boobie Miles out there, getting to the outside with 4.3 speed, I would be more worried. I think that we have shown that we can contain teams who like run in between the tackles. With Texas' monster running backs, running in between the tackles is exactly what they would like to do. I like Texas' chances of having a good game on the ground, but I don't think they'll find it easy.

Joel

This will be a big challenge for the OSU rush defense. Stopping a running back is one thing, but stopping a 6'4, 245 pound human truck of a quarterback is another thing. The 18-Wheeler package for Texas is very effective, and the Pokes will have their hands full. Having said that, I do think the Cowboys can stop it. If they can load the box and get a push on the line in short yardage situations, just like last week against Baylor, then the rush defense of the Cowboys will have a chance.

Phillip

It's not the running backs that scare me. That Swoopes run package they use reminds me of JW last year. It's starting to remind me of Blake Bell, who still gives me nightmares. It's scary and effective.

Robert

Sure they can, but the question should have been "How many TD's will Texas score on double moves?"

Christopher

The Cowboys can slow down the running game, yes. I don't believe they can shut it down, but I also don't believe they need to. Limiting Texas' run game to the point they were able to limit Baylor's would do the trick.

Kyle

I would like to think that they have a shot. I’d like to see Glenn Spencer trust his biggest strength, the defensive line, and play the passing game honest. Help the back end with a safety if need be.