Cowboys Ready For Cyclones

AMES, Iowa - After a United Airlines charter flight from Stillwater to Des Moines and a one-hour bus ride to Ames on Friday, the Oklahoma State Cowboys put in a very light workout on the short cut Kentucky bluegrass playing surface inside Jack Trice Stadium. Head coach Mike Gundy watched most of the 20-minute session from midfield, mainly to get used to the playing field.

Gundy observed the grass and at one point pick a few blades and observed the half-inch fresh cut.

"This is the shortest I've ever seen the grass here," Gundy said. "Most of the time it's at least an inch long. This is really a nice surface."

You could forgive anybody on the OSU travel party for not remembering the grass the last time they played at Iowa State in 2011. That game was played on a Friday night after players, coaches and administrators learned of the plane crash that took the lives of four individuals including women's basketball head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna.

No OSU coach or player ever tied that devastating and tragic news to the 37-31 double overtime loss to Iowa State that night. The loss by the second-ranked Cowboys knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten and cost them a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

"You want to say you don't remember, but you do," said senior offensive left guard Brandon Webb. "It cost us a lot and it's a tough memory. I'm looking forward to going back and it's not revenge but there is a lot on the line in this game. You can call it a make good, I'll go with that."

The 5-1 Cowboys do have a lot on the line Saturday as they are playing to stay alive in the Big 12 championship hunt. Iowa State is 1-5 and trying to recover from a 71-7 loss in Waco, Texas last week to unbeaten and fifth-ranked Baylor.

The biggest mystery entering the game for OSU fans is who will start at quarterback after senior Clint Chelf replaced previous five-game starting quarterback J.W. Walsh in the second quarter of last week's 24-10 win over TCU. Gundy has played it close to the vest on the starter all week.

"Both quarterbacks have had a good week of practice and we feel good about both. I really think both will play," Gundy told KOTV and Cowboy Network broadcaster John Holcomb on the field Friday after the Cowboys light workout at Iowa State.

"We had a good week of practice and feel good about the game plan. I feel we will play well defensively and we need to have a good kicking game tomorrow."

Weather is expected to be sunny and a little chilly for the 11 a.m. kickoff. Temperatures should be around 45 degrees at kickoff with a southwesterly breeze blowing around 15-20 mph.

The game is on Fox Sports Net cable and you can hear it on radio and SiriusXM starting with a two-hour pregame show at 9 a.m. on the Cowboy Sports Network.

GoPokes Top Stories