Cowboy Two-a-Days Report

STILLWATER — For the majority of the working world, Wednesday is often referred to as "hump day," as in getting over the hump midweek. This week for the Oklahoma State Cowboys football team it is a hump of sorts and gets them one day closer and two practices closer to a two-day break to begin school on Sunday and Monday.

Tuesday was a very physical day with a scripted scrimmage as part of the practice and on Wednesday morning with a helmet and short practice scheduled for the evening the morning practice in full pads focused more on execution and smoothing out problems seen in the scrimmage on Tuesday. That is not to say the Cowboys didn't get physical at all. They did go through an inside drill, seven-on-seven in the passing game, and a team period to finish up.

The evening practice had a focus on special teams and running through plays and looks on both sides of the ball against scout teams. After the two practices head coach Mike Gundy commented on the grind of August camp and how his team is handling it to Oklahoma State Athletic Media Relations.

"Practices eight through 20 is where the grind comes from," Gundy said. "It's the fatigue and the players are getting up at five in the morning after going to bed at 10 at night. Their bodies are sore and tired and there's mental strain from the coaches putting it on the players, but that's what camp is all about. If you're going to be a good football team, you have to go through that grind and you have to know when to back off toward the end. We've had a pretty good formula for that the last couple years.

"I feel good about our team," continued the head coach. "I like our leadership, I like our chemistry. We get on them and they rally back. Our coaches challenge them and they step up to the plate. I feel really good with where we are at with our team."

When we mention work on execution and work on the mental side of the game, some of that is introducing the new material on offense. It is true that new offensive coordinator Todd Monken is running the offense that the Cowboys ran last season under now-West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. However, Monken has tweaked that offense some and has added a few new wrinkles.

"What we've tweaked are things that Brandon (Weeden) and I have come to agreement on and then we've got to go sell it to the team," Monken started explaining. "If he doesn't buy into it then we won't do it. There are certain things he's convicted on and I have to listen and there are certain things I'm convicted on and he has to listen and then we decided from there If he doesn't like it then it's out. When you have a great quarterback and a guy that leads your team and you have to have him in your confidence and then we can communicate like an adult because he is an adult."

"We're keeping everything in the same pot, if that makes sense," said Weeden. "We're not snatching some random idea out of no where. We're keeping it all in the realm of the offense. We have the athletes to do it."

Those wrinkles could serve as an advantage as it will be interesting when they first appear. The Cowboys have some big games in September.

"I think there is some advantage in them in not knowing what you are doing," Monken confessed. "Bottom line is you still have to play sound football, not turn it over, and create explosives (plays). If they don't know what we're doing that's great. The key is whether we execute it or not."

The schedule stays consistent the rest of the week with a single practice on Thursday morning and two more practices scheduled on Friday before a Saturday evening scrimmage in the stadium.

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