Poke Football Notes

This week is dead week and next week is final exams, so it will be light going for the Oklahoma State squad over the next two weeks. The players are being left to study for exams and finish the fall semester strong academically. The players are encouraged to spend some time away from studying by participating in workouts in the weight room under the coordination of strength and conditioning coach Gary Calcagno and his staff.

The team will hold practices on Saturday and Sunday, but they will be shortened from the regular practice length.

Following the end of final exams, the team will hold three or four practices in Stillwater in early preparation for Ohio State and the Alamo Bowl and then break camp for a few days with family before meeting up in San Antonio. The tentative date of arrival for the Cowboys in San Antonio is Wednesday, Dec. 22.

The Cowboys will headquarter at the Marriott River Center Hotel. The team's practice site will be Alamo Heights High School, but practices are expected to be closed to the public.

Video Exchange Leaves Grad Assistants & Coaches Busy
Oklahoma State and Ohio State agreed to a full season video exchange leaving the Cowboys graduate assistants, who do most of the video breakdown, and coordinators Mike Gundy and Bill Clay with plenty to do for the next few days. The video will be broken down and categorized in the computer by later this week for scouting and game plan purposes.

Miles and Tressel Meet In San Antonio Thursday
Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles and Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel will both be in San Antonio for the annual Alamo Bowl Coach's Luncheon and Golf Event at the Silver Horn Golf Club on Thursday.
The two head coaches do know each other and have met on several occassions in the past. Miles grew up in Ohio and played and coached at Michigan, while Tressel was a longtime successful head coach at Youngstown State in Division I-AA before moving on to take over the job at Ohio State where he won a national championship in 2002 to go with his many national titles with the YSU Penguins.

(Below is a story with comments from Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel and several Buckeye players courtesy of Bucknuts. com, a member of the Scout.com family.)
Every year there seems to be drama with the Bowl Championship Series. Last year, Ohio State seemed headed to a rematch with Miami (Fla.) in the Orange Bowl. But when the parings were announced, OSU instead was shuffled off to the Fiesta Bowl to face Kansas State.
This year, it seemed that Cal would fill one of the two at-large berths in the BCS with unbeaten Utah taking the other. But when Texas moved by Cal into fourth place in the BCS standings – and accordingly assuring itself an at-large bid – the dominos began to fall.
Texas replaced Cal against Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Then, the Big 12's bowl ladder changed as the Cotton selected Texas A&M and the Holiday got dibs on Texas Tech.
That left the Alamo Bowl to select Oklahoma State to face Ohio State in its game. This match-up of 7-4 teams will be played Wed., Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
OSU coach Jim Tressel met with the media to discuss his team's Alamo Bowl opponent.
"We thought it would be Texas Tech or Oklahoma State," Tressel said. "It was a little bit according to what trickled down from the BCS situation. I guess Texas ended up getting in the BCS, which is great for them. We knew it would be one or the other.
"Oklahoma State is a very physical team, coached by an Ohio guy (Les Miles). It will be a great challenge."
The Cowboys ran the ball 77 percent of the time this season.
"Everyone we've talked to in the Big 12 and that has played them says they are very physical and they have great athletes," Tressel said. "They get after it. I'm sure it will be the opposite end of the spectrum from what Texas Tech's attack would have been."
Tressel was asked for what he knows about Miles.
"I've known Coach Miles for a lot of years," Tressel said. "He is an Ohio guy who coached at Michigan for a while. He'll have some built in feel for Ohio State. I have admired the job he's done since he's been at Oklahoma State. It seems like every year they get a little bit better. Every year, they seem to do something that gives them a chance to take another step."
OSU quarterback Troy Smith said he recalls watching Oklahoma State on television earlier this year.
"I know it's a worthy opponent," Smith said. "I know they're going to be up for the challenge and so are we. Just getting a chance to go out and play a game and rekindle the fire we had against Michigan, we want to end this season on a positive note."
Defensive end Simon Fraser said he was glad to finally have an opponent to prepare for.
"We were preparing for both (OSU and Texas Tech)," he said. "Now it brings the story to a different aspect because now we know who we're playing. It's real difficult to go to practice and not know who we're preparing for."
Fraser said the Buckeyes must prepare for the challenge of facing OSU back Vernand Morency, who rushed for 1,454 yards and scored 12 touchdowns this year.
"We know there will be a challenge in front of us," he said.

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