Now it looks like a lucky break for Oklahoma State for two major reasons.
The first is Wes Lunt. While the freshman quarterback may not make it back for Texas, the off-week sandwich gives him a chance and a more than likely probability that he could be back for Kansas.
The bye week also gives much needed practice time and reps to his more than capable backup J.W. Walsh. C'mon man, how often does a backup come on to throw for 347 yards and lead an offense to a school record 742 yards of production when he comes off the bench in crunch time for the first time in his career? Walsh gets all the number-one unit reps this week.
The other reason is that with Devin Hedgepeth being done with a third torn Achilles tendon, the defense is looking for more experienced depth at cornerback. Andrae May is close to being released after coming off spring knee surgery. It's close enough that the extra week before Texas will likely get that done.
Below are some key components and needed areas to work on in preparing for Texas.
1. Quarterback Reps
We mentioned this above, and provide more detail here. Head coach Mike Gundy has always explained that in his practices the number one quarterback gets 70 to 75 percent of the reps and then the backup gets 20 to 25 percent, and the third team quarterback would get what is left.
Gundy correctly projected that Lunt would take off in fall camp as he would get the majority of reps after they were split even in the spring between the three quarterbacks vying for the job. Gundy was right as Lunt improved a lot. Now that improvement phase is happening for Walsh, and the team is getting valuable reps with him during the bye week. This can only help moving forward.
2. Prepare for Power O
The Cowboys have seen Savannah State, a team that could not challenge Oklahoma State at all. Arizona is that Rich Rodriguez zone-read, no-huddle spread attack that was more than a challenge, but not very physical. Louisiana was put down early and did not perform at the desired level.
Texas is going to take the ball and with their stable of big backs pound the ball down your throat. The good news is the Cowboys can duplicate that, and they will. Load it up and try to run right over the first-team defense as that is the motto for the cause all this week and next for the scout team.
3. Sharpen Special Teams
Yes, the pun is intended. The Cowboys have been really good on PAT/field goal with top kicker Quinn Sharp playing like a kicker that wants to have a nice long career in the NFL. Sharp says he is not punting the ball as well as he would like and is working on that this week.
On returns, the kickoff returns have been about one step or one block from breaking it. Avoid penalties and get that block. Meanwhile the punt team is world's better. Conference play turns everything up and that includes special teams.
Baylor 31, La-Monroe 23
No. 17 TCU 47, Virginia 16
No. 8 West Virginia 59, Maryland 20
Northern Illinois 26, Kansas 21
No. 15 Kansas State 34, No. 6 Oklahoma 28
Oklahoma State 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 21
Actual Score: OSU 65-24
No. 15 TCU 59, Kansas 24
Actual Score: TCU 20-6
No. 8 West Virginia 54, James Madison 21
Actual Score: West Virginia 42-12
No. 14 Kansas State 38, North Texas 10
Actual Score: K-State 35-21
Texas Tech 34, New Mexico 7
Actual Score: Tech 49-14
Baylor 27, Sam Houston St. 7
Actual Score: Baylor 48-23
Iowa State 38, Western Illinois 12
Actual Score: Iowa State 37-3
No. 12 Texas 28, Mississippi 20
Actual Score: Texas 66-31
Record: SU 23-1/ATS 12-4 (Games involving FCS teams don't have point spreads.)