Cowboys will see bigger challenge

Oklahoma State realizes it has a much bigger challenge this week. Read on for the team's reaction, how it will approach Arizona, and more.

It is hard to imagine Oklahoma State having an easier game than it did in its season-opening 84-0 win over Savannah State on Saturday. Now it will have a much bigger challenge as it travels to Tucson to take on Arizona.

"This will be a good challenge for us," Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said. "In watching the tape it's what we would expect from Coach Rodriguez's team. Their offense put up around 624 yards last Saturday night. Their quarterback threw for 360 and rushed for about 85. They had a tailback that rushed for about 150.

"Defensively, they play in the three down, which is something he must be comfortable with. He was that way at West Virginia for quite a while. Their nose guard is a big guy that's made some nice plays and does a good job at holding down two gaps. Their secondary moves around pretty well."

One of the main focuses for Gundy will be the fact that the Cowboys will be bringing numerous players into a hostile environment.

"This will be a good challenge for our guys to play on the road with some of the younger players to see how they handle being away from home," Gundy said. "We definitely have our work cut out for us and we need a good week's practice."

In addition, Oklahoma State's starters got limited action due to the easy win and will now be expected to dramatically increase its reps.

"I don't think you ever really get enough work," Gundy said. "In most cases those guys will get about 35-40 reps but we did not get very much work. Most of them we took out at the end of the first quarter and maybe a little into the second quarter.

"I would say no because you would like to let them get some more work but because of the way the score was we did not feel like we could leave them in."

Arizona's offense may be relatively new to Wildcat fans, but Gundy has seen similar offenses before. To some extent, the success of the defense relies more on the players on the field rather than what the coaches are calling from the sideline.

"It is everybody on defense," Gundy said. "We have seen it in this league. Your two outside backers or your one outside backer based on what your scheme is, they get stressed more than anybody in our opinion.

"In facing an offense like this, success on our defense is at times based on the mental makeup of the guys out there on the edge and them being able to identify run pass."

It's no secret that this week's game will be more difficult than last week and the players have a good understanding of that fact.

"We've played Arizona for the past two years, so we kind of know what to expect when it comes to them," wide receiver Isaiah Anderson said. "Every year brings a new challenge though, and we're ready for it. It almost feels like we are establishing a new rivalry with them.


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