I took Mike Gundy at his word when he said “we have a chance to be pretty good out there on defense.” That was reiterated last week after a 118-play scrimmage.“The defense was running around and making plays like we had hoped,” said Gundy. “There’s quite a bit of speed on that side of the ball, so that’s exciting for our football team.”And his position coaches, at least in the secondary, have agreed with him thus far. Because arguably OSU’s best defender, Kevin Peterson, went down with an injury, OSU’s secondary has grown even more. Cowboy cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie assured that Peterson is the linchpin, but the growth around him is encouraging.“We expect him to play, dominate, no drop off. We’re not going to rush him back. Obviously we’re a stronger team with him in the game.”“You know, it’s been a battle,” said Duffie. “It’s tough just watching those guys and trying to sort them out. It’s very even competition, even with Kevin [Peterson] in and with Kevin out. We’ve got some guys who can step in and play. There really hasn’t been a drop off, even with Kevin being the most experienced guy. We’ve got some guys who we can play at corner and feel good about.”That wasn’t so much the case last season when OSU gave up 6.8 passing yards per play — its highest total since 2008.Still, safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt warns that the experience got in 2014 hasn’t fully birthed a juggernaut in 2015 (thankfully, the schedule doesn’t call for it for a good month). “We’re athletic in the secondary, but we’re still fairly inexperienced,” said Hammerschmidt. We’ve got a couple of guys that have played, but we’re athletic. We’ve got talent, but we’ve just got to learn how to play and how to be physical.“Tre Flowers is really playing well. [Jordan] Sterns is solid. He still needs to pick up his tackling. He’s a good tackler, but he needs to make every tackle. Jerel Morrow has really come on. Reps are going to help him. The more he plays, the better. Dylan Harding is playing well. Deric Robertson is playing well. The young kid coming on is [Kenneth] Edison-McGruder. He had a couple of really good days last week.”And one final warning. I suspect this will be the pressure point for this defense. It’s going to be fast. It’s going to be athletic. But will it bring the noise when it’s needed in Big 12 play?“Speed kills, no doubt, but there have been a lot of fast teams that didn’t hit people and didn’t tackle,” said Hammerschmidt. “I’ve seen a lot of fast teams that didn’t know how to take on blocks. They got cut down and weren’t in position to make tackles. When a 230-pound running back comes at you, you’ve got to dive on the ground and turn it down. I don’t care how fast you are. You still have to be tough and physical.”I’m guessing he was thinking of this when he said “you still have to be tough and physical.” If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!