Senior banter

Oklahoma State will graduate a slough of seniors this Saturday. They will play their final game at Boone Pickens Stadium against Kansas, and they are hoping for a big victory.

Elbert Craig

Oklahoma State's defense had a meltdown in the second half against Texas Saturday. Overall, they gave up 180 yards rushing to Cedric Benson, and another 97 yards to Vince Young in the 55-16 loss.

"As a defense we were very disappointed. We watched film and we saw a lot of mistakes that we made, and we normally don't make those mistakes. We pride ourselves on stopping the run, and Texas did a great job of running the ball on us.

"There's no reason. We can't make any excuses. We came out the second half thinking it was going to be a close game at the end, but they established the run game and they just kept on running the ball.

"We were missing quite a few tackles as a defense. We try to make perfect tackles, that's what we try to do every game, limit our mistakes on our tackling. But they were breaking a lot of tackles.

"We have to bounce back. We lost to Texas. We have to just learn from our mistakes and move on. Kansas is a great team coming in, and they're going to be on their high horse thinking they can get a win.

"They're playing with a lot of confidence right now. They're moving the ball well on offense. But it's gonna be a good game for us."

Losing two straight has forced the Cowboys to regroup emotionally and modify some of their season goals.

"Against OU, there was a lot of emotions in that game and it took a lot out of us. Texas, that took a lot out of us, too, but we've got a lot ahead of us. If we want to go to a nice bowl game, we've gotta finish these last two games.

"A lot of people are talking about the Cotton Bowl, but in order to get there we have to win these last two games, and that's what we're trying to do right now.

"We just want to win out. That's the best thing for this team right now is to win out.

"We haven't lost our swagger about our team. We're a good team. We got beat by the last two teams, but they're very good teams."

Saturday has a special significance for 19 seniors who will suit up for their final tussle at Boone Pickens Stadium, a senior class that helped build the program from a lowly 3-8 their freshman year to their current situation: 7-3 with hopes of the Cotton Bowl.

"I believe this senior class is the one that turned the program around. When we first came in as a freshman class, we said we were going to be the ones to turn the program around. "We did a good job so far, and we want to finish out on a good note.
"It's been a blessing to play with him. We've been playing together in high school, in middle school, so it's a blessing to play around him.

"It's a privilege and an honor just to play with those guys. Greg Richmond, Khreem (Smith) D. (Darrent) Williams, I can't name them all, but it's just an honor to play with them. We all became very good friends. Greg Richmond is probably my best friend now. We've been living together for three years. We have so much fun out there. It's a business thing when you're out there, but we also enjoy it. We have a lot of fun when we're playing.

"I think the team realizes how much this game means for us as a senior class and just as a football team. We want to go to a good bowl game, and, beside that, we want to end on a good note, so to win these last two games is going to be good for the program.

"It hasn't really hit me that it's going to be my last game here."


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