Orange-White Game Notebook

Nearly 300 former Cowboy football players and coaches returned to Stillwater this weekend for the first ever "Legends of the Gridirion" weekend, and Mike Gundy couldn't have been more pleased. Among the Cowboys returning was 1988 Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders.

"We had a great turnout," Gundy said. "It was a big day for those guys. We had a function last night, and had about 150 of them, and at the golf tournament today (at Karsten Creek) there were about 200 of them there. I think they said there were 275 guys at the luncheon today (before the game).

"You couldn't ask for anything more. We expect to have over 400 next year. There are a lot of guys who came back who hadn't been here in 15 or 20 years. It was important to us – our staff – to get those guys back. We had a great showing."

Grant Jones: Defensive Standout
If not for Grant Jones who knows how many points the Orange offense would have put on the scoreboard. But the senior safety from Pawnee, Okla., did his part for the White team, intercepting two passes, forcing a fumble and leading his team with nine tackles.

"I was trying to show everybody what I was made of. The coaches have moved me around a lot, and I was trying to prove to the coaches that I could play one spot and be good at it," said Jones, who is now at safety after playing cornerback, linebacker and tailback in the past 12 months.

"We were the underdogs so we have to prove ourselves," said Jones, who picked off Bobby Reid's pass intended for tight end Brandon Pettigrew in the first quarter. "We had to overcome the Orange team. I think I proved myself today. I think the whole White team proved themselves today."

The second Jones interception came in the fourth quarter when the Orange team was preparing to score again. Reid rolled to his left and could have run the ball into the end zone for a touchdown but he tried to throw it to tight end Justin Waller in the back of the end zone. Jones, covering another receiver, leaped high and intercepted the ball in the end zone.

"Grant made a couple big plays," Gundy said. "Grant played really well, and made the big play on the goal line. He showed up a couple times. He stripped the ball from (Adarius) Bowman, and then he intercepted Bobby in the middle of the field. I was pleased to see him do that."

Gundy Praises Chris Collins
Orange linebacker Chris Collins tied Jeremy Nethon with a team-high seven tackles, and caught the eye of Mike Gundy. "Chris Collins showed up a bunch," Gundy said. "The announcer sometimes was saying it was a different player (making the tackle), but most of the time it was him."

Gundy Wanted Competitive Game
Gundy explained why he gave the White team 14 points to start the game, another 14 after they fell behind 31-17 at halftime, and then 10 more to make the score 41-31 in the second half.

"Because I think it kept the crowd in the game," the Cowboy head coach said. "It forced us to call timeouts late, and put us in a situation here we could use the two-minute offense, (and) we weren't any good at it. What good does it do to let us win by four touchdowns, and the crowd starts talking and guys go to the concession stands, and then the teams relax. It kept us in a good game all the way until the end."

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