OSU-Texas: Game Day

Notes from Austin as the 19th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-2) prepare for tonight's game against sixth-ranked Texas (7-1) at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys made their way to Austin for Saturday night's 6 p.m. Big 12 South showdown without a hitch. The official travel party boarded the charter flight from Oklahoma City to Austin on time and landed in the Texas capital a few minutes early, around 2:10 p.m.. The team immediately bussed to the Texas campus and Memorial Stadium for a 40-minute walk around, and then made their way through Austin traffic to their hotel location north of the city, far away from the downtown Austin area and world famous Sixth Street.

As the Oklahoma State buses arrived at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, three young women caught everybody's attention as they were standing where the buses stopped holding up signs. The signs read: Tom Durato Fan Club – Austin Chapter; Welcome to Austin Tom Dorado from the Alpha Chapter of the Dorado Fan Club; and We Love Tom Durato.
The name was misspelled on all three signs, but the reaction of players and other in the travel party was lots of laughter. Dirato, the color analyst on the Cowboy Sports Network, found out that the greeting had been set up by former Tulsa and current Ponca City radio broadcaster Jerry Vaughn. It was Vaughn's granddaughter, a current Texas student, who organized the reception. Dirato did autograph the signs the UT coeds were holding up.

This is just the second game this season on natural grass for the Cowboys. The opener against UCLA in the Rose Bowl was on a gorgeous grass surface. The surface at Texas is cut very short and condusive to speed. Several players were questioning how they get the grass to look darker for five yards and then lighter the next five yards. Explained that it has to do with the direction that the grass is cut, the players were impressed. It is obvious that the football team doesn't have many, if any, agronomy majors.

During the Cowboys' walk around at the stadium, defensive tackle Brad Girtman spent several minutes talking alone with OSU head coach Les Miles. Girtman has not played since spraining an ankle at UCLA in the first quarter of the season opener. Girtman has gone in and out of Miles' doghouse and the Cowboy players' Unity Council. Girtman has practiced the past several weeks and suited up for the Bedlam game with Oklahoma last Saturday. It is uncertain if Girtman will play tonight against Texas, but he is on the trip.

Cowboy cornerback Darrent Williams has pronounced himself healthy and ready to play. Williams said he will wear a soft cast on the right arm that was broken when he made a tackle in the Big 12 opener against Iowa State. Williams, who practiced all week, is keyed up for his first action in a month and says he will play both cornerback and return punts.

The Cowboys traveled Friday night to a nearby theater where they watched the recently released movie "Friday Night Lights." There are no Cowboys on the squad that played at Odessa Permian, the Texas high school power that is featured in the movie.

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