Reid And Pinson To Return Against Iowa State?

Mike Gundy is looking for positive signs as the Oklahoma Stte Cowboys hope to break a three-game losing streak when they travel to Iowa State on Saturday. He received a couple good signs Monday when quarterback Bobby Reid and linebacker Lawrence Pinson had the protective boots removed from their injured feet. Gundy is hoping to receive even better news later this week and get both back on the field against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Reid, out with an unidentified foot injury, did not even travel with the team to College Station, Texas, and was replaced in the lineup by sophomore Al Pena. Pena, making his first collegiate start, was 13 of 32 passing but committed five turnovers (one fumble and four interceptions).

Pinson, a senior and leader of the defense, warmed up prior to the game but his high ankle sprain kept him from playing. Sophomore Rodrick Johnson, freshman Kevin White (who was moved from tailback to linebacker four weeks ago), and senior Trumain Carroll (listed as s third team defensive end) tried to make up for the loss of Pinson. Senior Pagitte McGee would have moved to the middle but he is out with a knee injury.

Gundy said both Reid and Pinson make the Cowboys a better team.

"Bobby's not wearing a boot ... then it's just day-to-day," Gundy said. "There's no way to predict (if he'll be able to play Saturday) on a lower extremity like that. If he's going to play Saturday he needs to practice, at least get half the reps (on Wednesday). He's not far enough along to (not practice this week and still play Saturday)."

Gundy said the OSU defense, which allowed nearly 700 total yards of offense, definitely missed not having Pinson on the field.

"We're a different team with Lawrence Pinson (out there). His leadership. His physical ability to get up in there and smack a guy, and his identification of what's going on is really a benefit for us," Gundy said. "That makes a big difference for our football team when he plays."

One of the few bright spots for the Cowboys against Texas A&M was the play of redshirt freshman tailback Mike Hamilton, who rushed for 97 yards on 12 carries. But Gundy – as he has week after week during the Cowboys' offensive struggles this season – says he won't abandon the no-huddle, spread offense for a more power attack like the I-formation. Although, he did say they will continue to run out of the I-formation in some cases.

"We'd probably do OK with it but several years down the line I want to be able to have a chance to win every game we play. I don't think we can do it playing smash-mouth football," he said. "I'm not here to win six or seven (games a season), (although) I'd love to win six or seven this year."

Donovan Woods saw his most extensive playing time of the season at free safety when starter Stephen James was sidelined with an injury.

"He did OK," Gundy said. "He gets better but his motor doesn't run like a defensive guy yet. What you saw that's encouraging is he ends up down there on the wide out, and (Reggie McNeal) throws it up and it's me against you and he goes up and knocks it away. That's encouraging. A lot of times, though, his motor isn't running like it needs to be. Defense is a whole new ball game. Jamie Thompson, the reason he's successful is because he runs like a mad man. Jamar Ransom is the same way – he's all over the place. The motor has to run and his motor doesn't run right now because ... it's just hard to go from wearing a green jersey (to protect the quarterbacks in practice) to now you're trying to strike someone."

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