“The officials are going to do their job and I know they’re going to want to do their job. Will there be mistakes out there? There’s mistakes in everything. But with the players, you just take the approach that you make them aware of it. It’s just like being aware of anything else. You talk about it on a regular basis and then you hope that when they’re put in that position that they will perform the right way.”
One player that could be the target of tackles worthy of ejections is Calvin Barnett. The senior defensive lineman picked up a couple of personal fouls in last year’s loss to Arizona and — like Clowney — has the ability to get in the backfield and deliver punishing blows.
But that isn’t going to keep Clements from letting Barnett run rampant on opposing offenses.
“I don’t necessarily think you have to scale him back at all,” Clements said. “You just have to tackle the right way. If you’re running your feet, you have your head up, your eyes up and you’re wrapping up, then it’s my understanding it’s not a penalty. If your not just making contact directly with the ball carrier’s head. Our fundamentals of tackling is that we don’t target the head. That’s not what they’re taught to do. They’re taught to run their eyes through the chest and you just have to hope that when they’re put in that position that they can execute the right way. It’s like any other technique or skill.”
Even if the Oklahoma State defense finds itself fighting the personal fouls, Spencer said he isn’t about to change the style of his defense. Nor is he going to let it get to them.