Cowboys get rare week off before facing Sooners Print
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Monday, 17 November 2008 01:10
NCAAF Headline News

 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -With only one game left on the schedule for No. 11 Oklahoma State, even billionaire megabooster T. Boone Pickens wonders whether it was for better or worse that the Cowboys will have an extra week before facing rival Oklahoma in one of the bigger Bedlam rivalry games in recent years.
``I visited with Mr. Pickens this morning and he asked the same question. I don't know anymore if off weeks at certain times of the year are good or bad,'' Gundy said Sunday.
``I think they're really good for the coaches because it gives them a chance to catch their breath and spend some time with their family. But with the players, there's always the discussion of momentum. ... I'm not sure what's right or wrong anymore. I just know that's the way the schedule is. We can't change it.''
5-2 Big 12) has an open week leading up to the Bedlam game, and only the second time since 1971.
After a blowout loss to No. 2 Texas Tech a week earlier, the Cowboys got back on a positive note Saturday by beating Colorado 30-13. It won't hurt to have an extra week for tailback Kendall Hunter, the conference's leading rusher, to heal up before facing the No. 5 Sooners on Nov. 29 in Stillwater.
``I don't know how serious his injury is. I first thought it was a quad contusion but I later found out it wasn't that. We'll just have to wait and see how he comes out,'' Gundy said.
Hunter came out of the game in the third quarter and did not return. It appeared trainers were working on his left knee on the sideline after he planted awkwardly while recovering an errant pitch from quarterback Zac Robinson.
The Cowboys had two punts, a field goal and a Robinson interception on their four drives after Hunter's departure, but it was still enough to close out their ninth victory of the season.
It's only the seventh time in school history that Oklahoma State has at least nine wins.
``They're handling it pretty well. Just in my opinion, what we do is we don't try to pull any wool over their eyes,'' Gundy said of his players' reaction to this year's surprising success.
d well. You've won nine games. You played terrible at Tech. Other than that, you guys have played probably as well as anybody in country week in and week out.'''
Gundy drew comparisons between his team and Kansas, which came from nowhere for the best season in school history last year with a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory.
``Coach (Mark) Mangino said last year, there is a lot of hard work that goes into a successful season, reaching expectations that some people think that you can't get to,'' Gundy said. ``There really is.
``It starts with the team, and it started after the bowl game last year.''
Gundy said it will be good for the players to get a break this week. He expects the coaching staff to go on recruiting trips Thursday, Friday and Saturday before returning to focus on what will be only the fifth Bedlam game in which both teams enter in the top 15.
The Cowboys have lost all four of those previous games, including the three played in the only 10-win seasons in school history.
This year's game provides an opportunity to rewrite that history and provide the culmination of one of the best seasons the Cowboys have ever had - but only if they can maintain that same level of play.
the season,'' Gundy said. ``We just tell them this is where we're at, this is why you got to this point, this is what you need to do to stay there and hopefully they buy into it.''
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AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton in Boulder, Colo., contributed to this report.
 

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