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 STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -What happened to that much-improved Oklahoma State defense?
Just a week ago, first-year defensive coordinator Bill Young was being lauded as the hero of opening day for putting together a stingy unit that shut down Georgia in one of the program's most significant wins.
Now, his words of caution about the work still to be done are ringing true.
After a 45-35 upset loss to Houston of Conference USA, there are questions everywhere about whether No. 16 Oklahoma State (1-1) can hold its own against the wide-open offenses of the Big 12.
``When you do good, people are always behind you. And when you do bad, people will always be like, `Man, it was just for one day,''' safety Lucien Antoine said Monday. ``But I don't think that. I think we're a good team, we're a great team.
he team everybody used to talk about.''
The Cowboys plummeted 11 spots in the AP poll after reaching the Top 5 for the first time in 24 years. The defense allowed 512 yards of total offense to Houston, too much when coupled with an offense that committed three turnovers - including one that got taken back for a touchdown.
``If we had to do it all over again, our schemes wouldn't change much,'' Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. ``Just our consistency across the board in the last game: gap responsibility on defense, tackle better, more pressure on the quarterback.''
Young, lured away from Miami after only one season to lead OSU's defense, stepped forward to take the blame for the lackluster performance.
``It's our job to get our players in better position where they can make plays,'' Young said. ``We got outpositioned in the pass. They caught the ball. We thought we were playing a little bit soft in our coverage. We didn't contain and rush the quarterback the way we should've and we had a lot of missed tackles.''
After two sacks in Week 1 against Georgia, OSU came up empty against the Cougars despite nearly 50 pass attempts by Case Keenum. Some of that had to do with how quickly Keenum threw.
much room to the Cougars' speedy receivers.
The Cowboys will face a similar dilemma against Rice (0-2) this week - and nearly every week once Big 12 play begins.
``We've got to be a little bit more aggressive in our coverage,'' Young said. ``You don't want to ever get run by, but at the same time what's the difference if they run by you or if you're up there tight and you miss a tackle?''
Cornerback Terrance Anderson said the Cowboys were also surprised by Houston's dedication to the run game. The Cougars ran 36 times for 146 yards.
``I would say it's more eye-opening than anything,'' said Anderson, who had his second career interception last week after his first fumble recovery in Week 1. ``You see that this is college football. You want to go in expecting to win every game, but sometimes things don't always go your way.''
Some reinforcements could be on the way, as Young said starting strong safety Markelle Martin should be ready to play after missing the first two games with an injury.
Not all the injury news was good, though. Gundy said it's ``doubtful'' that starting tailback Kendall Hunter will play against Rice after leaving in the second quarter of last week's game with an injured right leg.
``His injury was not as significant as we thought, but the likelihood of him playing is not good,'' Gundy said.
Hunter rushed for 104 yards on 32 carries in two games this season after leading the Big 12 with 1,555 yards rushing a year ago. His backups, Keith Toston and Beau Johnson, combined to run for 148 yards and two touchdowns against Houston.

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