Practice Report 12: Storms Strike Again

Mother Nature struck again Saturday morning, a little earlier than expected, and as a result the Cowboys had to postpone their scheduled scrimmage. The players moved the activity into the auxillary gym at Gallagher-Iba Arena for a hybrid walk through. Usually just the offense, defense and special teams hold walk throughs separately, but Saturday it was offense walking through against defense. The earliest the Cowboys will get in the scrimmage will be on Monday.

Talking to coaches there was some value in the missed time outside, but the 90-minute walk through was no substitute for a two-hour scrimmage. It also leaves the Cowboys with two practices they can make up as a clarification on the rules shows the Cowboys can make up the Friday practice as well that lasted only about 25 minutes before a large storm ran them inside. That same storm tore the chainlink fence off its posts on the southeast corner of the practice field. The black windscreen was also damaged on the east end of the practice field.

The coaching staff met until about 3 p.m. on Saturday and started formulating a plan to reschedule the practice itinerary for next week. The problem created by the rain is that the Cowboys can't afford to tear up the new natural grass practice fields they would like to use all season. The fields have held up well so far, but a scrimmage while they are wet would do major damage. There is no indoor facility to move into, and the new football pro synthetic surface won't be completed in Boone Pickens Stadium until Aug. 21 at the earliest, and Aug. 24 at the latest.

So far the coaching staff has decided to stick with the day off planned for Sunday. Players will have most of Sunday free with the annual Camp Cowboy activities planned for Sunday evening. This is an event where they learn the fight song and alma mater, learn about other OSU traditions, meet OSU student, faculty, and administrative leaders, and further develop team comraderie. The hope is the day off will give the field time to dry out if nature will cooperate.

Practice will resume on Monday with the plan to hold a scrimmage, most likely in the afternoon but weather could dictate an earlier start time. There is the possibility of moving the scrimmage to an off campus site such as UCO's stadium or Ponca City with both facilities having artificial surfaces. However, that is a last resort. The rest of the practice week will be rescheduled based on when the scrimmage gets done, but it is likely they will do more than the originally scheduled one day of two-a-day workouts next week.

Normally rain in August is a good thing, but with the stadium surface being redone the Cowboys really need a dry spell until school starts on Aug. 22.

The bonus is some of the banged up and injured players like defensive ends Nathan Peterson and Marque Fountain should be back for Monday along with kicker Jason Ricks. All players are getting a chance to get their legs and muscles back after a pretty good grind to start camp over the first eight work days.

It was also disappointing because a number of parents had come in to see their sons scrimmage. We met Roderick Price, the father of freshman wide receiver Ricky Price, and Ernest Sexton, the father of freshman safety Andre Sexton. Both dads, who flew in for the day from Houston, were taking it in stride. At least some of the players got a chance to spend some quality time with their parents.

As the week progresses you can check here and definitely check www.okstate.com, the official OSU athletics website, for practice schedule changes and updates.

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