Cowboys Football: Some Observations

Ben Grogan's 39-yard field goal came in a critical time as Oklahoma State was answering Texas's opening score of the second half, and the OSU did not want to waste the opportunity. It was a good solid kick and could be a career turnaround kick from a confidence building standpoint for Grogan, who has the physical talent and was adjusting to the increased magnitude and pressure of the college game.

Buying Time with the Receivers
We all know that Josh Stewart did not play. It was a longshot all week that he would be able to go against the Longhorns. Mike Gundy said in the pre-game show he has a chance for this week's game against Baylor.

Stewart has tweeted that he feels he will be ready. The young man is tough, has a high tolerance for pain, and he likes to perform on the big stage. Clint Chelf and the receivers played big and efficient with 197 yards and two touchdowns in the throwing game against Texas. Stewart would be a boost when a boost is needed versus Baylor.

Turnovers Will Be Needed
I've said all along that Baylor is a different animal and that Oklahoma State will need help from the Bears to get this win. That help needs to come first with turnovers and this Cowboys defense knows very well how to help itself in that regard.

The Cowboys now have 26 takeaways on the season (19 interceptions and seven fumble recoveries) and as a team they are plus-13 in turnover margin. Baylor is plus-9 and they have 20 takeaways with 11 giveaways. This will be the biggest test imaginable for the OSU defense but they have more than earned the opportunity and the respect going into it.

Do Not Abandon the Run
The biggest mistake opposing teams make with Baylor is they abandon the run and become one dimensional. Texas Tech started out that way, but others abandon the run either because they struggle with getting production or usually they fall behind by so much so early that they feel they have to pass every play to try to keep up.

The OSU defense must keep Baylor from going ballistic on the scoreboard and the Cowboys must find ways to run the ball successfully. That is the only way to beat Baylor.

Give It Up to Gundy
The Cowboys head coach said all the right things in the postgame yesterday, "College football is about the players," Gundy said. "The coaches just try to give the players a good plan, but it is all about how well they execute."

I'm not arguing that but coaches have to develop players, and coaches have to point their teams in the right direction both physically and, more important, emotionally. The Oklahoma State fans have been upset with Gundy since the end of last season after the brief flirtation with Arkansas and Tennessee.

I'm not defending that, although I felt I knew what was up and was never as upset as the fans. Know this, Gundy is an Oklahoma State Cowboy through and through. He loves his school, loves his players, and he is very shrewd in his effective operation of his program.

OSU fans may need to face it, Gundy is doing his best coaching job right now this season in front of your eyes and mine. This is not the loaded 2011 team. It is a talented group but one that needs direction each week. Gundy and his staff are giving it.

Also, kudos too for Glenn Spencer as he is proving just how good a coach and defensive coordinator he is.

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