Sunday Rewind: OSU Needs To Use Time Wisely

Head coach Mike Gundy said that he and his wife, Kristen, spent time Saturday with two of the families involved in the tragic plane crash that claimed four lives, including those of Oklahoma State Cowgirls head basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna. Gundy didn't provide details but it's easy to assume it was the families of Budke and Serna that Gundy and his wife consoled.

The head coach said that his coaching staff and the football office staff would be in attendance at Monday afternoon's memorial service and that he would leave it up to his players whether they would attend.

"It was a terrible tragedy," said Gundy. "Three families are involved and it is hard to put into words even for a public statement. There are really not any words to express the sorrow.

"The Oklahoma State people will be strong and will rally because unfortunately we have dealt with this kind of tragic loss before. You start the process and really the only thing that can help the healing process, if that ever comes, is time."

Gundy admitted that Friday was an unusual day for everybody as he had said after the 37-31 double overtime loss to Iowa State.

"You never get over thinking about it," said the head coach. "It flashes in your mind during the game."

Gundy said he found out Friday morning before breakfast and it had a profound impact on him throughout the day. He felt it had an impact on the entire Oklahoma State football traveling party, but he refused to use it as an excuse.

He said he felt the team acted normal in warm ups and was prepared to play. Turning the ball over on the road to a team that was prepared to capitalize on those turnovers in a stadium where the crowd was loud and boisterous was critical. Crucial mistakes in several areas are what led to the Cowboys losing their first game of the season.

"(For this team) it is tougher now when you lose," said Gundy. "These guys are winners and have won 21 of their last 24 games, so that locker room was tough to be in. They have to learn from it."

Gundy cited the turnovers but believes that quarterback Brandon Weeden (three interceptions) and running back Joseph Randle (two fumbles) will bounce back strong.

Gundy was positive when talking about Randle.

"I'm not really worried about him," he said. "You know it has come up with about everybody that I have crossed paths with the past 36 hours. He is tough mentally and we have addressed it with him and his coach (Jemal Singleton), and I believe he will cut it loose and play hard."

Gundy admitted he second guesses anything and everything in a loss, particularly one as huge as the one to Iowa State. He also confirmed that all the action in the BCS has swung the thing around to a more favorable position for Oklahoma State (fourth in the BCS Standings, fifth in the AP and sixth in the USA Today Coaches Poll).

The 10-1 Cowboys have Oklahoma to close out the schedule on Dec. 3 after an open week.

"I cannot ever remember having an open week this late in the season," said Gundy. "I like open weeks, but I don't know if it will make a difference or not. The players have to handle the situation and make the most of it. They need to take care of their bodies, prepare, do some extra film study, and work hard. If they do that then this open week will work for us."

This team has made very few wrong moves. If the Cowboys can get back from Iowa State and make the right moves over the next two weeks, there is no reason that they cannot beat Oklahoma, claim a Big 12 championship, and earn the school's first ever BCS bowl trip. The process is already under way as Gundy addressed the team and they were practicing on Sunday evening.

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