Notes from OSU-UCLA

Welcome Back Guys
Saturday's game was special for two players who were making their return to the field following serious injuries. Nobody will ever forget the grotesque injury suffered by linebacker Lawrence Pinson last season in a home win over ULL. Pinson went through three surgeries and lots of hard work in rehab to make it back. He had a smile on his face all day and finished with a teriffic game that included seven total tackles.
"It was a long road (recovery), but it made me a stronger person mentally and physically," said the former Jenks All-Stater. "To have the opportunity to come back, it was a blessing to play with my teammates."
Charlie Ward had back-to-back knee surgeries the last two seasons as he tore the ACL in one knee as a freshman and then came back as a redshirt freshman and tore the other ACL in the preseason in 2003. It was thought that Ward might have to call it a career, but he too worked very hard to come back and, while he did not make a tackle, he chased every one of Cole Farden's booming kickoffs as part of the kickoff cover unit.

A Special Prayer
We couldn't help but notice that right after the Cowboys came out for the start of the game, and just before the captains went out for the coin toss, Cowboy strong safety Vernon Grant went to the 50-yard-line and kneeled down and said a prayer. As he finished the prayer he made a symbol toward the sky. Grant will be seen doing that before every game. Just before the Cowboys reported for preseason camp, Grant's mother passed away, and he has dedicated his play this season to his biggest fan, who is now in heaven, his late mother Tauwana Grant.
Grant had two tackles, broke up three passes, and made a key interception in the fourth quarter to help preserve the win. Grant's pick off the tipped pass came with less than four minutes remaining, and really put the game away for the Cowboys.

Special Freshman & Friend
Martel Van Zant, a freshman from Tyler (Texas) Lee, was one of several true freshmen that made their Oklahoma State debut. Van Zant is special because he is completely deaf. The cornerback was on the kickoff coverage unit and didn't have a tackle, but you could tell he was excited. However, he was no more excited than his football interpreter Allie Lee. Lee, who is fairly small in stature, dresses in Cowboy coach's garb and is experiencing an inside view of college football. Both seem to be having the time of their life.
Other true freshmen who made their OSU debut include defensive tackle Walter Thomas (tackle and a forced fumble), wide receiver Prentiss Elliott (one reception), kicker Jason Ricks (four extra points and a 35-yard field goal), safety Stephen James, defensive end Maurice Cummings, defensive end Nathan Peterson, and walk-on linebacker Jeremiah Burton.
Hit Of The Day
It came early in the fourth quarter when UCLA tailback Maurice Drew tried to poke through a hole inside only to have Cowboy linebacker Victor DeGrate, who had been doubtful to play, come up fast and smacked Drew so hard in the chest that he dropped on the spot.

Celebrity Watch Actor Gary Busey spent the entire afternoon on the Cowboy sidelines. The star of the Buddy Holly Story, Busey attended OSU on a drama scholarship after finishing a football career because of a knee injury. A veteran of more than 70 films, Busey is a native of Tulsa, and had so much fun he may make it back to Stillwater for a home game later in the season.
It didn't take long for former Cowboy All-American Rashaun Woods to get back on the sidelines to see his brothers, D'Juan and Donovan play up close. The Cowboys' all-time leading receiver is now with the San Francisco 49ers after being drafted in the first round. He caught a morning flight to Burbank and watched the game before catching a quick flight back to San Francisco after the game.

Wise Choice Mack
Early in the summer Cowboys Director of Football Operations Mack Butler made a decision for the team to fly in and out of Ontario, Calif., for the trip to play UCLA. The drive to and from the airport was about an hour, but Burbank's runways were too short to allow a full load of fuel for the return trip, and LAX is so crazy these days, Butler chose to steer clear of the busy airport. A wise choice as LAX was shut down on Saturday because of the explosion of a small flashlight and a security breach in the United Airlines terminal.

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