It’s not that we’re mediocre. It’s that the other guys are really good.

One of the recurring themes we’ve seen as to why Georgia will survive the departures of Stafford and Moreno just fine, thank you, is that we’ve-got-’em-where-we-want-’em rationale of lowered expectations and under the radar flying that’s come from the players and coaches on a fairly regular basis this offseason.

Well, they’re not alone with the pop psychology.  It’s alive and well at Oklahoma State, too. The words are a little different, but the melody is similar.

“The only thing I’ve heard since I came back to Oklahoma State is that we can’t play defense,” Young said. “I tell people to look at Oklahoma and Texas, who have the best players in college football, and their statistics aren’t much different than our stats.”

Young inherits an OSU defense that ranked 93rd in the country in total defense last season, allowing 405.5 yards per game. Texas was the highest-ranked defense in the Big 12 (and 51st nationally) in 2008, allowing 342.9 yards per game. Oklahoma was third-best among Big 12 teams (and 68th nationally), yielding a 367.7-yard average.

“I think it’s more the spread offenses and the great quarterbacks,” Young said. “Look at the quarterbacks in the Big 12. If you miss a tackle in the open field now, it could be an 80-yard gain, instead of an 8-yard gain like it used to be.”

In other words, what he’s saying is that it’s not that our defense was bad.  It’s those incredible offenses we faced week after week that made it look bad.  Of course, I’m wondering what it would take for Young to acknowledge a big statistical difference between teams, given that I find the range of fifty first to ninety third to be a helluva lot larger than he does.  (Tulsa, which played at a lightning pace on offense in a conference that was offensive minded with lesser athletes than those suiting up in Stillwater, still managed to finish almost twenty slots higher in total defense than OSU did last year.)

I’m not trying to pick on Young here – you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get your players mentally ready.  I just think it’s good to remember that the kids in red and black won’t be the only ones on the field come September 5th with something to prove to themselves.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “It’s not that we’re mediocre. It’s that the other guys are really good.

  1. Macallanlover

    I sincerely hope Young believes it is the Big 12 offenses and his defense doesn’t need to step it up. It is certainly easier to blame the other game than work to improve. I can give him the offensive bent of the Big 12, but how can you be sure those stats aren’t inflated by the weak defenses. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the Cowboys as an opening opponent, but I feel the edge goes to UGA due to an OL that will allow the Dawgs to control the ball, and wear the OSU defense down. UGA will beat the Cowboy defense down to allow them to outscore a more explosive OSU offense. I hope DC Young leaves well enough alone. This is a pretty tight matchup, and a turnover, or Special Teams play could easily decide the outcome.

    It is really, really difficult to be balanced, I accept that, and most teams/conferences tend to lean one way or the other. Without a doubt, the Big 12 has a bias toward offense….so does the PAC10. The Big 11 on the other hand seems to emphasize strong defenses, and plays very conservatively on offense (or is the weak offenses that make the defenses look dominant?) I feel the primary reason the SEC is superior to those conferences is the balance is much better with the top teams, thus a more complete team.

  2. D.N. Nation

    Who will win the disrespected-off?

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