OSU Prepares For Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin

Monday, October 24th 2011, 10:30 pm
By: News 9

Corey DeMoss, News9.com

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – The Oklahoma State defense will face one of its toughest tests of the season Saturday in trying to stop Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Griffin leads the nation in quarterback rating and has completed 78 percent of his passes. He also has thrown 22 touchdowns to only two interceptions.

"When you can perform in as many games as he has, it speaks for itself," OSU head coach Mike Gundy said. "His quarterback rating and his completion percentage - he went through five weeks where he had more touchdown passes than incompletions, I think that's correct. His numbers speak for themselves."

Griffin previously had been known as a dual-threat quarterback, rushing for a grand total of 1,481 yards and 21 touchdowns across only two seasons earlier in his college career. But Griffin has focused more on his passing game this season, making him even more lethal.

"He throws the ball unbelievably," defensive coordinator Bill Young said. "It looks like tremendous improvement in his passing game. He has so much zip on the football, and when he throws it, it is just smoking."

Gundy acknowledged that Griffin can beat teams with his arm or his legs, but said Griffin's passing ability has become more difficult to defend.

"He's doesn't run the ball very much - he can," Gundy said. "If you look at his career, he's gotten away from that because he's become such a good thrower."

The Cowboys have played Texas and Missouri in their last two games, both of which also use mobile quarterbacks. Young said facing players in that same mold should help them gameplan against Griffin, but also said Griffin is more dangerous at this point in his career.

"If you look at the Heisman Trophy race, he's right in the thick of it," Young said. "The other two quarterbacks (Texas' David Ash and Missouri's James Franklin) were young quarterbacks. They're going to be great down the road, but they're freshmen and sophomores and haven't really had the action Griffin has."

While the coaches focused on how difficult it will be to prepare for Griffin, defensive tackle Christian Littlehead said he relishes the opportunity to face such an elite talent.

"It's fun actually because it's very challenging," Littlehead said. "That's what defensive linemen always talk about is getting sacks, and that's one person you'd like to sack, a big-name quarterback like that. That's what's going to be fun, going against him. But even just containing him and getting turnovers, we did it last year and that's what really helped us."

Griffin's most impressive feat this season has been his ability to limit turnovers. He has only thrown two interceptions this season, but the games in which he threw those interceptions also are the only two games Baylor has lost this season.

"It is a momentum deal. If we do not have a turnover by halftime the coaches will make adjustments," linebacker Joe Mitchell said. "The coaches are always telling us to get turnovers because our offense is going to score if they get the ball back."