The Oklahoma State Cowboys came up short of winning a Big 12 championship, but none of that was the fault of the defense, which pitched a shutout in the second half of a 21-16 loss to the Baylor Bears.
As OSU gets set to take on Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, one of the most important items of business is trying to lock up defensive coordinator Jim Knowles to a new contract. Knowles led Oklahoma State to the best defense in the Big 12 this season and one of the best in the nation.
Gundy was asked about Knowles’ contract on Sunday during his Fiesta Bowl press conference, saying, “I can tell you that our president and athletic director would love to keep Coach [Jim] Knowles in Stillwater. And he and I developed a great working relationship. I think he’s a very smart football coach, and I really think he likes Stillwater. So we’re in the process today and, really, some over the last couple weeks of trying to work out a deal to keep him here. I think it’s best for Oklahoma State football, and I think Coach Knowles wants to be here. It’s not quite as easy as just giving somebody a blank check. There’s a lot of details involved in that, but we’re working hard to keep him in place.”
Gundy has talked for weeks about wanting to lock up Knowles to a long-term deal, and now is the time to get it done.
The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in scoring defense, total defense, pass defense, rush defense, sacks, opponent 1st downs and opponent 3rd downs. The Cowboys were also tops in the nation in sacks, No. 3 in total defense, and ranked in the Top 10 in scoring defense.
If the Pokes want to keep this era going of outstanding defense, locking Jim Knowles up for the long term needs to happen ASAP.