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Defense Prepping for Tempo

Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson tried to focus on the positives from last week's performance against Maryland.

Patterson has a three step plan for preparing for Oklahoma State.

He praised players like Will Clarke and Shaq Rowell for stepping up as leaders.

“I thought Will Clarke played his best game since I’ve been here,” said Patterson.
“He was extremely active. He had the chance to have up to five sacks.”

For Shaq Rowell, Patterson said that he has been an anchor in the middle.

“For a kid that size, he moved around and played extremely tough and physical.”

On Rowell’s progression, Patterson has noticed a strong leadership quality this season.

“He’s been leading in a positive direction.”

The defensive coordinator believes that Rowell and Clarke are stepping up as the leaders this defense needs. Despite the loss Saturday, those two players “were tremendous leaders” when Maryland started stacking up points.

During Tuesday’s interviews, there was a lot of talk about how the Mountaineers are preparing for Oklahoma State’s tempo.

Patterson broke it down by simply saying:

1. Get lined up.
2. Speed up your process.
3. Get your eyes on the key.

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Defensive line coach Erik Slaughter also provided great feedback on Will Clarke and Shaq Rowell.

He said that the sky is the limit for Clarke.
“The last two weeks, he’s really been productive and played more physical.”

For Rowell, Slaughter said that he simply played tough and nasty (in a good way).
“He made some plays that a lot of 300-pound guys don’t make.”

Slaughter added that every player on the defense needs to emerge as a leader and want to make plays.

“You can’t rely on one guy,” said the coach.

As far as his own performance goes, Slaughter said that he is going to continue to fight even if the game is going well or not.

“That’s all I know. I don’t know anything but to fight.”

And as far as Oklahoma State tempo goes, Slaughter simply said, “I think our guys understand what they’re going to get.”

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