Blackmon, Moore Will Return For Baylor

STILLWATER – One of Dana Holgorsen's first phone calls when he returned to Stillwater on Saturday evening was to Justin Blackmon. The Oklahoma State offensive coordinator wanted to know if the nation's leading receiver was ready to get back on the football field for the 19th-ranked Cowboys showdown with 22nd-ranked Baylor on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.

"I asked if he was ready to go. He's ready to go. He's ready to get out there and play football. It's what he wants," said Holgorsen of Blackmon, who missed OSU's 24-14 victory over Kansas State last Saturday while serving a one-game suspension for a misdemeanor DUI arrest early last week while returning home from the Dallas Cowboys game on Monday night.

The Cowboys defeated the Wildcats without three of their four starting receivers in Blackmon, Tracy Moore (who only played on special teams as a punishment for also being on the trip to Dallas), and the injured Hubert Anyiam.

Blackmon remains No. 1 in the nation in receiving yards per game (158.86) and touchdown receptions (14) despite missing last week's game. He did not travel to Manhattan, Kan., and watched the game on television.

He saw his teammates move the ball effectively against the Wildcats but the Cowboys first six drives stalled in Kansas State territory, and OSU trailed 7-0 late in the first half.

Blackmon was not made available to the media Monday but it was probably tearing the Cowboy receiver up inside knowing that he was more than 250 miles away from Bill Snyder Family Stadium and couldn't help his teammates when they were struggling to score points against the Wildcats.

"I'd imagine. He wouldn't be much of a competitor if he wasn't," said Holgorsen. "He's been the same guy every day since I've been here, so I would expect him to practice tomorrow exactly like he has the previous eight months that I've been here.

"He's the least of my worries."

Mike Gundy remembers when Oklahoma State teams would not have responded to adversity as well as the 2010 Cowboys did this past Saturday.

"I would like to think that we're at a point with our football program now that we're able to win some games if everything doesn't work in our favor," said Gundy, who has a 43-28 record midway through his sixth season as OSU's head coach. "I don't know if it's always been that way at Oklahoma State.

"We were in a difficult situation last week because we had to go on the road and we didn't have the nation's leading receiver ... and then we had another player (Moore) that we didn't play in the game either because he didn't respond to team responsibilities like he should. So we had every opportunity to go up and not play well and come back home and blame it on Justin and certain other guys that didn't take care of their business.

"But Orie Lemon, Johnny (Thomas), Ugo (Chinasa), and Kendall (Hunter) and our offensive line, who are kind of quiet leaders, those guys just kind of rallied and said this is not what we stand for. It's really been more them than anybody. They're just deciding that we have to find a way to accomplish your goals. I'm very proud of them for that, and it needs to continue on. We've got a final stretch here, another month or four weeks, and we need to make a good run here at the end," Gundy added.

The good news is that the Cowboys get Blackmon and Moore back on offense (Anyiam is still hampered by the ankle injury and is not expected to play). The bad news is Baylor has Robert Griffin III.

The Bears dual-threat quarterback is the Big 12's leader in total offense, second in passing efficiency and fourth in passing yards. He ranks third nationally in total offense with 332.6 yards.

Griffin is responsible for 27 of Baylor's 35 offensive touchdowns (20 passing, seven rushing) in the Bears nine games this season.

"They're playing with a quarterback who I'm sure most people in the country would like to have on their team," Gundy said of Griffin, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in Baylor's 30-22 win over Texas last weekend.

"He's very competitive, a good leader, (and) makes a lot of plays," Gundy added. "In my opinion, he's improved considerably in throwing the football down the field. That's where he's become so much of a threat this year, and with his running ability that he's already had."

Baylor's only two losses this season have come away from Waco – 45-10 to No. 4 TCU in Fort Worth and 45-38 to Texas Tech at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. But the Bears have won their last two games away from home, defeating Colorado (21-25) and Texas (30-22).

"You can't take anything away from what Baylor is able to accomplish consistently each week," Gundy said. "There are teams across the country over the last few years that have run up some big numbers for a week or two or three, but they've consistently run up big numbers and score points. You have to give credit where it's due.

"For whatever reason, they're having a lot of success, they're playing well and have good plays. It'll be a real challenge for us. The good news is I don't think our players will fail in any area to try to get prepared for this game. All you have to do is turn the tape (of Baylor) on. They're a very, very good offensive football team."


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