By JASON ELMQUIST
DALLAS — The Oklahoma State defense saved its best performance for last in OSU’s 58-14 drubbing of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday.
With a five-takeaway game and a near shutout by the first team, the Cowboys showed the promise that they anticipated at the beginning of the 2012 season. And that is giving promise to a defensive group that expects to return a large core next season.
“This was a great boost. It just shows what we can do,” said junior safety Daytawion Lowe, who scored on a fumble recovery in the bowl game for OSU’s first and only defensive touchdown this season. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming back and this shows us what we can do and if we can play this way how successful we’ll be.”
One of the biggest returns could be at the top spot. Defensive coordinator Bill Young stated after the game that he doesn’t plan to retire just yet — a question that had been swirling around the OSU alum the past few weeks.
“If they’ll have me, I’ll be back,” Young said. “I’m just looking forward to getting this recruiting done. We’ve got some great recruits out there and need to get after it now.”
The word of Young’s plan to return next season to run the defense made its way to the players, who were more than happy to hear the news.
“Coach Young is a great coach and we’ve got to have him back another year because next year we feel like is going to be our year,” sophomore linebacker Lyndell Johnson said. “We know it’s going to be our year, so we’ve just got to start from the first day of spring.”
Lowe added, “He’s a great coach. He goes out there and gives us the best chance to win a game on Saturday.”
Having the coordinator and a large group of returnees coming off the big bowl win has the defense hopeful heading into the offseason.
“We have a chance to be even better next year. Our depth is going to be much better — and that’s the thing that killed us this year,” Young said. “... That last game is the one you always remember and we have all winter now to have that win behind us.”