From time to time we've had former Oklahoma State safety/linebacker and special teams captain Deion Imade to appear on Go Pokes either with projections or analysis. Deion works for an energy company but also is a sideline reporter and color analyst on high school games on television and radio. He is also working with former Oklahoma State quarterback and teammate Clint Chelf on a segment in the pregame show on the Cowboy Network called "From All Sides."
We will now give Deion a special assignments seeking his insight as a recent former Cowboys player. We call it Imade Intel.
This week he addresses how does a team react following a tough loss and what emotions have to be present to allow them to move on. You've heard the old coach's line, down't let a loss beat you twice. The Cowboys have a very good Pitt team coming in and they can't let Central Michigan help out Pitt. Pitt doesn't need any help.
Let me start by saying this for all those who say, "hey, the Cowboys should've been destroying those guys and they should've never let it come down to the final seconds of the game." If you look across that field, that's still a Division I football team with an NFL-caliber quarterback.
I’m not here to make excuses, but I am here to try to express to you how hard this game is, especially on this level, so any win is a good win. I say win because that's what Oklahoma State did last weekend. They won that game but the referees took the victory away from them. You're only guaranteed 12 opportunities in Division I football but you work year-round for those 12, so it just pains me to see those Cowboys get punished for the mistake of others.
With that being said, it is time to move on. We all have faced adversity before – every person, every family, every team. Some are just more devastating than others. Although we don’t all face adversity that you can see over and over again on SportsCenter top plays.
After you they turn off the TV and get over that, the real question is how do you react after you are struck by that adversity? Do you wither away, do you crumble or do you answer back? Does it make you stronger and bring you closer together as a team? Well that's the question these Cowboys are going to have to answer, and they are going to have to do it Saturday.
All of us Oklahoma State fans and alumni are not used to seeing our Cowboys lose this early in the season. I remember my senior year in 2013 when we went to Morgantown, West Virginia and lost to a team that we were not supposed to lose to. We have all been told this, if you've been around this game long enough, “you can't leave anything to chance and you can't leave the game in the hands of the referees.”
Well, that was definitely true that day in West Virginia, as it was last Saturday as well. That adversity was hard for our team to overcome. We did, though, with great leadership and a coaching staff and team that bought in, we did. That year we used that loss to motivate our team, not wanting to experience that sour taste of defeat again anytime soon. The practices were more intense, we figured out what we were doing wrong and put the right players in place to solve those problems.
Mike Tyson once said “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." Well the Cowboys just got sucker punched in the gut, but I have faith that they will come out of their corner swinging.