Bowl Report: Cowboys Prepare For Purdue

DALLAS -- The Oklahoma State Cowboys did not even look bleary-eyed as they returned to the turf Friday at Highlander Stadium at Highland Park High School for their second bowl practice in preparing for the Heart of Dallas Bowl next Tuesday in the famous Cotton Bowl against Purdue.

The Cowboys had a 2 a.m. curfew in their first night in Dallas, and according to several players had a good time checking out some of Big D's hot spots. Head coach Mike Gundy reported that everybody made it back on time and nobody was missing from Friday's practice.

"We have all of our players with us," said Gundy. "Everybody that is supposed to be here is. Hospitality has been good and the accomadations have been excellent. The people and everything has been a great experience for us.

"Their (players) attitude is good and they enjoy being here and being around each other. They know that they come out here for an hour and a half and we work hard and then from that point on they get to enjoy themselves until meetings start tomorrow," Gundy said.

"One day in and I'm having a great time down here," said wide receiver Charlie Moore. "I have a lot of friends here (Charlie is from Bullard, Texas, east of Dallas), and I have my teammates here and my girlfriend lives in Dallas. So I get to hang out with her and her friends."

As for the actual practice, the Cowboys cut it a little short Friday because of chilly, wet conditions. But the head coach did not want to use the fabulous indoor facility across the street where the Cowboys kickers and punters were working out. It is more important to be used to the elements that could very well be present for Tuesday's game.

"We were a long way at Midwest City from having an indoor facility like that. It is a really beautiful facility," said the Cowboys head coach.

"We didn't have any precipatation coming down and the players got out there and warmed up and had a good practice. We're looking forward to a couple more tempo practices and then start scaling down to get ready for the game."

Two key members of the Oklahoma State offense believe the offense is in good rhythm and is not showing any signs of rust from the holidays or the fact the team has not played since Dec. 1 in Waco against Baylor.

"The game plan has been in since last week before we left Stillwater and now this was the third day that we were pretty much repping the plan," said Moore. "It just gets easier, and we get more and more comfortable."

"It's going well and I think all the guys on offense are focused," said quarterback Clint Chelf. "You know you hear enough on bowl games that the team that is most prepared and wants to be there wins, I think all of our guys understand that we want to win."

Gundy added, "The quarterbacks were involved in a high tempo, two-minute drill today and I thought they all handled it very well. The three quarterbacks have all worked well and I think they will play well."

Speaking of Baylor, the Bears 49-26 Holiday Bowl win over 17th-ranked UCLA was encouraging for all Cowboys. Gundy had spoke before the bowl games of his curiosity of how the Big 12 offenses would fare against bowl opponents from other top conferences. The Bears started it off in fine fashion.

"When I saw the score I was definitely suprised," said Charlie Moore. "I did not watch the game, but I watched the Stanford-UCLA Pac-12 Championship and I thought that UCLA was a pretty good team, so with Baylor doing that that is definitely flexing the Big 12 offensive fire power."

"It's fun to listen to the comments from across the country as to certain things said about different conferences," said Gundy being a little conservative with his comments.

"I thought it was interesting that some people across the country think that the Big 12 offenses are not as good based on the defenses are average. I haven't felt that way. I hope all the Big 12 teams play well like Baylor did last night."

There are still plenty of tickets available for the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday. One bowl official said that prices on tickets are really good from both the primary ticket sources and secondary ticket sources.

The Heart of Dallas Bowl organization is counting on Oklahoma State fans, those in the DFW Metroplex and from in Oklahoma to make the trip to Dallas to support the game. The updated weather forecast for the game has taken rain out but it is still expected to be chilly with a temperature in the 40s.

The Cowboys players have the option Friday night of attending the Dallas Mavericks game with Denver at the American Airlines Center or having some free time. The Cowboys will practice Saturday with nearly an hour of the practice open from 11:50 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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