Cowboys Football Sunday Recap & Notes

All this talk about flying under the radar screen, but it appears that after yesterday's 42-14 win over Colorado on the road and in front of a regional ABC Sports television audience that the Cowboys are popping up on radar screens throughout college football. They are not showing up as a Piper Cub, but more like a midsize commercial jetliner.

The Cowboys have moved up in both polls settling in this week at 15th in the ESPN/USA Today coach's poll and the writers and broadcasters in the Associated Press have Oklahoma State at 16th. On Miles' Sunday conference call with the beat writers there was even a reporter calling in from the New York Times.

Miles seemed to enjoy the presence of the newcomer and made light conversation, but he is serious about his football team, their achievement, and their growing reputation.

"By winning the games in front of us, we'll progress in this conference and that will have national ramifications," said Miles when asked about flying under the national radar screen.

"We'll find out more about this football team in the upcoming games," agreed Miles when asked about the next month of games that feature Texas A&M, now ranked 23rd in the AP poll, along with Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. "Against your best opponents you have to execute parts of your game better. If our opponents take some things away, we'll look at other opportunities to move the football."

Miles was consistent in his opinion of the Cowboys in the polls. A few weeks back when Oklahoma State entered the polls for the first time this season after the win over SMU, Miles said it was nice, but being ranked was not the end all for this football team. Now, after climbing into the top 20 in the poll, that opinion hasn't changed.

"It's very much a compliment to this football team," said Miles of the move up. "As long as they don't lose perspective and remember how they worked to get there, and they continue to have a desire to go further then we'll keep enjoying moving up in the polls and obtaining our goals."

Miles was in a very good mood on Sunday afternoon and some of that had to be because of what he had just finished viewing and analyzing from the win over Colorado.

On offense the Cowboys looked more like the team of a season ago featuring big plays like Vernand Morency's 58-yard touchdown run, Donovan Woods' touchdown pass to Prentiss Elliott at the end of the half, and Woods' pass to his brother D'Juan that went for 53-yards. They ran for 236-yards and passed for 193-yards. The special teams did a good job and even forced or took advantage of some critical Colorado mistakes. The defense allowed yards, but when needed forced turnovers or made big stops. It was a good win. Miles was asked to describe his team's run first and sometimes pass approach. He came back with a really good description.

"We came in this season with the attitude that the key is to do the things you can do as well as you can," explained Miles. "In that you are asking your players to do the things they do best."

That might now include to the satisfaction of the Cowboy fans throwing the football more. Donovan Woods had his best day as a college quarterback hitting 8-of-11 for 193-yards with three touchdowns and just one interception. Miles said the Cowboys and Woods are throwing the ball better and that should allow the offense to continue to be proficient.

"We have one of the best backs (Morency) in the country and we'd be foolish not to hand the ball to him in a disproportionate way," said Miles. "We are going to throw when we have an advantage. Donovan can be great at throwing the deep ball and is progressing at throwing the intermediate and short passes. When you run the football as well as we do teams are going to put the safeties in the box and then we have an advantage in throwing the ball."

Miles pointed out on the 20-yard touchdown pass from Woods to Luke Frazier that Woods did go to his second and third reads on the play, but he was really impressed with the throw.

"It may not have been the prettiest of spirals, the throw," said Miles of Woods' third quarter scoring toss. "It was right on the money, thrown right where it needed to be thrown."

John Helsley of The Oklahoman came with some impressive numbers that show how effective Woods has been at throwing the ball. The redshirt freshman from Millwood has thrown a touchdown pass for every 3.7 pass completions and for every 7.4 pass attempts. Those are crazy numbers for passing efficiency.

It is true the competition gets tougher this week as Texas A&M is now ranked. The Aggies are on a four game winning streak and have won two in a row to start Big 12 play. They are buying what Dennis "Coach Fran" Franchione is selling. The Cowboys and the Aggies are ranked one and two nationally in turnover margin.

"They are a good football team," said Miles of the Aggies. "They have a good defense and big play capability on offense."

They are also the next target on the Cowboys' radar screen.

Sunday Poke Notes

Homecoming Kicks Off At 6 p.m.

No surprise on this end that ABC Sports opted for the other two match ups and left the Cowboys homecoming game with Texas A&M for Fox Sports Net at 6 p.m. next Saturday. The Oklahoma State game is the only one of the three that features two nationally ranked teams, but the OU-Kansas State game is a rematch of last season's Big 12 Championship Game and the Missouri-Texas match up delivers some huge television markets for ABC. OU-KSU will kick off at 11 a.m. and the Tigers and Horns kick at 2:30 p.m.

The later kickoff will allow for all the normal homecoming events across campus to be held at a regular time including the homecoming parade which will begin at 9 a.m. It also makes for a nice day for retailers, restaurants, and hotels.

Injury Update

It looks good as most of the injuries on Saturday at Colorado were not of a serious nature. Safety Jamie Thompson will need to have his knee evaluated, but that looked good. Miles called the injury to free safety Thomas Wright a stinger, a severe stinger that scared him pretty good. Almost all the other injuries were cramp related, and Miles was concerned about those.

"We may need to re-evaluate how we handle that area," said Miles. "We'll look into potassium intake and see what the cramps specialist would recommend."

Miles said the players need to be wary even on a normal day when the heat would not seem to be a problem; players need to increase their hydration and possibly take potassium pills.

Darrent Williams Update

Miles was upbeat about the prospect of Williams playing soon, maybe as soon as Texas A&M.

"We won't be able to examine him effectively until Monday," said Miles, who added that Williams is with the team and will be in meetings today. "We are looking at putting a pad on it allowing him to play. I know it is not as tender to the touch as it was, and he might be able to pad it and go. He has been doing all the cardio work, running and moving around. His mind is right, and he wants to play. I would not think he would need a lot of live snaps in practice in order for him to be ready to play."

Brad Girtman Update

The report is improving here as Girtman has missed the last two games for disciplinary reasons. The defensive tackle reportedly ran afoul of both Miles and the coaching staff as well as the team's Unity Council made up of teammates.

"He's getting closer," said Miles of Girtman's possibility of playing soon. "I want to make sure he's doing the right things. I'm optimistic about him playing again, but I'm not ready to predict his return."

Morency or Peterson, Miles Takes His Guy

The Cowboys head coach is intensely loyal, so when the New York Times reporter asked this question there was little surprise in Miles' answer.

"So who would you take, your tailback Morency or Adrian Peterson (OU freshman) who seems to be the buzz after this weekend," asked the Times reporter.

"It's not like me to want to trade any of my players for others," answered Miles predictably. "I know who I have in my guy and I don't know Peterson. I know who I'm going to war with and that's Vernand Morency."

Morency is now the leading rusher in the nation, while Peterson is climbing the charts and had 222-yards rushing in Oklahoma's 12-0 win over Texas on Saturday.

Defense Too Conservative

OSU defensive coordinator Bill Clay told reporters after the 42-14 win over Colorado that he may have been too conservative on defense in trying to make up for the loss of All Big 12 and All American candidate Darrent Williams at corner. The Cowboys went to a field and boundary determination at corner rather than right or left. Regular starter Robert Jones played the boundary corner (short side of the field) and Daniel McLemore took the field side. The Cowboys also played the corners back to prevent big plays and encourage Colorado to throw under the coverage giving OSU corners and safeties a good chance to come up and make tackles and minimize pass plays.

The Cowboys got more aggressive as the lead grew and that produced a sack and a couple of interceptions. When asked if Clay was right about being more aggressive, Miles said he felt his defensive coordinator was right.

GoPokes Top Stories