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UT players meet 'fiery' Beckman


Tim Beckman said the Rockets will continue to run a spread offense.

The Blade/Dave Zapotosky
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Tim Beckman's first encounter with his new team left an "unbelievable" first impression, said University of Toledo receiver Stephen Williams.

After Beckman was introduced as UT's 25th head football coach in an afternoon press conference yesterday, he met for about a half hour with the Rockets players.

"He took off his jacket and said that he's not a suit kind of guy," safety Barry Church said. "Then he took off his tie and threw it to the side. He just got to screaming at us about how we need to have a lot of energy for this team and that we are going to compete for a MAC championship this year."

Quarterback Aaron Opelt said he was glad the team didn't have to wait long to find out who its new leader was going to be. The Rockets' season ended a week ago with a loss to Bowling Green.

"I think he's going to bring a lot of emotion, which I think is definitely going to help us," Opelt said. "I think he's going to bring our team together. I'm really excited about the change, I think it's going to be a positive thing."

Said Williams: "You could tell he's a fiery guy, going to be into it. He's going to be all around the field. He was like no holds barred."

PHILOSOPHIES: Beckman said the Rockets will continue to run a spread offense.

"We will be a multi-tempo and multi-personnel offense," he said. "We want to utilize speed and score points."

Beckman has coached defense his entire career, saying of his style, "We're going to be a very physical group with outstanding effort."

"He was already talking about different blitzing schemes and different packages he's going to put in for us," Church said.

CREDENTIALS: Oklahoma State didn't have pristine defensive numbers this year, ranking 72nd in the nation in scoring defense and 85th in total defense.

From 2007 to 2008, though, the Cowboys showed improvement in several defensive categories, including giving up 50 yards less offense a game and allowing 124 rushing yards per contest.

The Cowboys' signature game this year was at then No. 3 Missouri, when Oklahoma State defenders picked off three Chase Daniel passes in a victory.

"The way we played against Missouri probably got my name out there a little bit," Beckman said.

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