Defensive end Cooper Bassett was recruited to K-State alongside Klein and considers him a friend, and even looks forward to shaking hands after the game. But he would rather put his friend on his butt during the game.
Klein gave the Cowboys plenty of problems last season in that Boone Pickens Stadium shootout. It was a game that saw Klein throw for success early when the Cowboys tried to stuff the run and then run for plenty in the second half when they chose to stop the other poison (pass).
“We looked at the film of our game last year, and really and truthfully we just gave up big plays on some passes, lost contain of the quarterback and busted some coverages,” defensive coordinator Bill Young explained.
“From a run standpoint, we have to be really sound and stay in our gaps. They do a tremendous job of double-teaming defensive tackles and throwing them from their gaps. They also take huge splits on the line. We're going to have to be conscious of that," added Young.
A question Cowboys fans are asking, especially after the two fine defensive efforts against Iowa State and TCU: Is this Oklahoma State defense better equipped to put the brakes on Klein than last season’s defense?
“We're a veteran defensive football team. We played them before and that always helps, having seen the scheme a couple times and understanding what they're trying to do,” Young theorized. “Instead of having two or three freshmen out there, we have some older players. We should be better prepared.”
Now it’s time to put the work in at practice. Another question comes up, how do you simulate Klein in practice? You need a 6-5, 230-pound athlete with speed and power and an interesting passing delivery that works and is accurate. Good luck.
“I don't know how you simulate him in practice. We don't have anyone that looks like him, throws like him or runs like him. We'll do our best there,” answered Young.
“The big thing about him is I don't know if you can really stop him, you just try to contain him as best as you can, (and) you try to minimize the offensive plays and yardage he gets.”
You know, the New York Jets have the week off, so is it legal to invite Tim Tebow down to Stillwater to work out this week? He would do as a stand in for Klein. Unfortunately, that's probably against NCAA rules.