Gundy: Two Areas To Get Extra Work

The situation is spookingly similar especially since it will come on the last weekend before Halloween. The Cowboys are coming off another gut-wrenching loss. Three weeks ago it was to Kansas State after leading 27-17 with 4:25 to play and Saturday night it was to Texas A&M after leading 27-20 with less than two minutes to play and the Aggies stuck with a fourth-and 13 yards to go.

This Saturday's opponent Nebraska lost on a field goal with 23 seconds to go, where three weeks ago Kansas had lost to Texas A&M on a touchdown with 34 seconds left. The Cowboys recovered to defeat the Jayhawks, 42-32, in the battle of two teams fighting off depressing losses. Now OSU and Nebraska will get ready to stage a similar showdown at Boone Pickens Stadium on 2:30 p.m. on ABC.

Before they do Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said on Sunday his team needs to address two problems coming out of Saturday's overtime loss to the Aggies. Two failed extra points and the defense failing to come up with a finishing stop on that fourth-and-13 situation insure those two areas will get extra work this week.

The Cowboys failed to get the kick off on the first extra point when they took a 6-3 first quarter lead on Mike Hamilton's touchdown run. The snap from Zach Allen was bobbled by holder Cole Reynolds and Jason Ricks never had a chance to kick it.

"Yes, it happens all over the country," said Gundy. "We work extremely hard every day on extra points, and that was what maybe the first bobbled snap we've had in two years."

On the extra point try in overtime (Gundy said he never considered going for a two-point conversion because it works only 33 percent of the time), the snap and hold were good and Ricks simply hit a low kick.

"Ricks has played well, and he just missed it -- a low kick," said Gundy. "We don't accept it. I believe that PATs should be about 99 percent. We have to do a better job."

When told that Ricks came into the game 29-of-29 and is now 76-of-80 for his career Gundy added this. "We'll work it hard this week and make any corrections we need to make on it. We need to snap and hold it, get it up, and get it through."

The other glaring situation from the game came on Texas A&M's scoring drive that finished with a Stephen McGee touchdown to Joey Thomas with three seconds on the clock. The drive started at the A&M 35-yard line after OSU kickoff specialist Bruce Redden tried to hit the kickoff too hard and sent it out of bounds. But following third down when Nate Peterson and Victor DeGrate made a sandwich out of Aggies quarterback McGee at the A&M 32-yard line Texas A&M faced a fourth-and-13. It was a perfect opportunity for the Cowboys defense to finish the Aggies off.

Instead, McGee after scrambling around found jumbo tailback Javorskie Lane on a short pass he took seven more yards for a 17-yard gain and first down on the way to overtime.

"On fourth down-and-13 we have to step up and stop them," Gundy said lamenting that watching plays like that wears on you as a coach. "They ran a four vertical and we had it covered, so the quarterback threw to his check down receiver behind him and he makes a good catch and by the time our guys could rally up he got the first down.

"It's a case where the defense makes plays at times," added Gundy, who has a career record of 8-10 as a second-year head coach. "We don't see many lack of efforts. They are playing hard, still miss some tackles in space. But you have to find a way to finish. Somebody has to step up there and make a play."

Gundy agreed that the defense has played well in practice in two-minute situations, but said it is not enough and the answer for him is to put them in that situation more in practice which he added will happen starting this week. It's not a bad idea in that working on getting off the field, whether it is early in the game or in the final two minutes, is never a bad situation to drill.

Gundy added that freshman linebacker Patrick Lavine, who should be back for the Nebraska game, had his best game as did veteran linebacker Rodrick Johnson. He also had similar compliments for Donovan Woods, who had his first interception of the season. But he gave the most praise on defense to defensive end Victor DeGrate.

"He played very well," said Gundy of the senior captain. "He ran across the field to make tackles."

Gundy said the offensive line performed very well, D'Juan Woods had his best game as a blocker at the receiver position. Dantrell Savage, completely healthy, ran the ball the way the Cowboy staff felt he would when they signed him out of junior college, and with Bobby Reid out backup quarterback Zac Robinson played well.

"He did a good job under pressure," said Gundy, who personally coaches the quarterbacks. "He made some plays, converted some third downs, ran the ball well, and threw some touchdown passes."

Gundy said he expects that Bobby Reid will be able to play against Nebraska and disagreed with the description of Reid's injury that reporters said they received in the press box Saturday night. Oklahoman reporter Mike Baldwin claimed the media was told over the press box PA that it was a mild concussion and that Reid was done for the night.

Gundy said he was never told that and still hadn't been. He instead agreed with Baldwin that offensive coordinator Larry Fedora told the media after the game that Reid was "dinged in the head." As for the difference between dinged and mild concussion, I'm not sure that is in any medical books. It is safe to say Reid had some sort of head or upper neck injury that caused him to be dizzy and disoriented.

"Yes, I think Bobby will be able to play this week," said Gundy. "Then again they (medical staff) may come in and tell me he's not going to."

So, if you are looking for a mystery to go along with the scenario we painted in the first portion of the story that two teams eager to erase last Saturday will meet in Stillwater this week, you have it. Will Bobby Reid be recovered in time to play on Saturday? No quarterback controversy here, but Gundy and OSU fans now know the second teamer is equiped to play.

GoPokes Top Stories