<
>

Forcing turnovers is a must for Oklahoma State

Tre Flowers has Oklahoma State's lone turnover this season, an interception against Central Michigan. Getty Images/Joe Robbins

Oklahoma State is putting greater focus on practicing turnovers, writes Kyle Fredrickson of The Oklahoman.

The Cowboys have set aside more time to focus on trying to create turnovers, even though they have forced just one -- Tre Flowers' interception against Central Michigan -- thus far in 2015.

“We've allowed more time for (practice to force turnovers) in the spring and preseason than we ever have,” coach Mike Gundy told Fredrickson. “Obviously, it hasn't worked. But we certainly have tried to practice and put our players in position to force turnovers.”

Oklahoma State has forced more than 30 turnovers during a season three times in the past five years. The Cowboys won double digit games in each of those years. In 2010, Oklahoma State forced 34 turnovers and finished 11-2. In 2011, it forced 44 turnovers and finished 12-1 with its lone Big 12 title under Gundy. In 2013, it forced 33 turnovers on its way to a 10-3 record.

The Cowboys defense has been exceptional through two games, allowing 0.84 points per drive and 4.2 yards per play, but the turnovers are the missing piece. As the level of competition amps up and Glenn Spencer's defense starts facing the high-scoring offenses in the Big 12, the Cowboys can't count on stopping opponents and forcing a punt on every possession. They will need to take the ball away one or two times per game. Otherwise, their chances of winning a Big 12 title will definitely take a hit, no matter how well the offense plays in 2015.