Cowboys Go From Hunter To Hunted In One Week

STILLWATER - It was just last week that a hungry Oklahoma State football team prepared for a chance to win its first Big 12 game in the final home game of the season, and in doing so knock off the 13th-ranked team in the nation in Texas Tech. In the sports version of big game hunting the Cowboys were the hunters and the Red Raiders were the hunted.

Oklahoma State had lost five games in a row while Texas Tech was 8-1 and even looking at a possible Bowl Championship Series bowl bid. On Saturday the hunters bagged a trophy skin as Mike Leach's explosive spread offense was held to just 10 points and just 338 yards. It was the lowest offensive output for Tech in 36 games.

This week Oklahoma State, which is still clinging to possible bowl eligiblity as they need to win out to go to postseason for the fourth year in a row, travels to Baylor. Baylor has lost five games in a row – similiar to the Cowboys a week ago – and the fifth loss, a 31-16 loss at Missouri on Saturday, knocked them out of the bowl picture. The Bears are either devastated or they will come out hungry on Senior Day at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday for their 1 p.m. season finale.

"We could win this one and that would be five and that would be Baylor's best record since they began the Big 12," said an exasperated Baylor head coach Guy Morriss. "Something to shoot for, something our seniors can be proud of and something we'll try to motivate them with, and see if we can't get number five."

The Cowboys kind of know the feeling that Baylor has this season, although they don't know the feeling of being totally out of the bowl picture. The Cowboy seniors, who really enjoyed their Senior Day against Texas Tech, have been to three bowl games in a row and going to four has them still hungry even if they are the trophy in Baylor's sights.

"That is going to be a big part of it because we were able to get a win against a quality team and that kind of put us back into being the hunted," said senior offensive tackle Charlie Johnson. "What we have to realize as a team is that we still have a lot to play for. Going to a bowl game for the fourth straight year, I think that would be the first time in history at Oklahoma State that's been done. We still have a lot to play for and it's not what they're going to do, it's what we're going to do in preparing and getting ready to go down and win a football game."

Johnson knows he and the rest of the seniors will have to help out this week. There are a lot of young players who haven't experienced a big win like the Cowboys had over Tech.

"There is a trick to winning often and it's where the highs can't get too high and the lows can't get too low," added Johnson. "This was a big high for us (beating Tech) and a lot of guys haven't had a win like that, and it is going to take us seniors and older guys to remind the younger guys that game is in the past and that if we don't go get this one then what we did last week doesn't matter. It will take a lot of leadership to get the team to come down and focus where we can go get this win on Saturday."

Baylor's Morriss sounded down in his interview on Monday, but by the time it was coming to a close he had picked back up.

"Hopefully they'll (Baylor players) respond and we'll have a good week and get after this bunch," said Morris. "We're going to play to win this sucker, definitely."

Time to forget about Tech and get ready for Saturday's sucker.

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