Cowboy Football Practice: Day 17

STILLWATER - If it's raining in Athens, Ga., two weeks from Saturday night the Oklahoma State Cowboys will be prepared. But, according to head coach Mike Gundy, there are some other areas that need to be shored up before the Cowboys visit the 13th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the 2007 season opener.

Gundy and the rest of the coaching staff have plenty of tape to review as they put the squad through a just over three-hour, 160-play scrimmage in almost constant and varying degrees of rain on what is considered the traditional closing day of preseason camp.

The only witnesses to the scrimmage were the squad, support staff, and a few parents. Afterwards, Gundy, his coaches, and players gave away little specifics on the scrimmage. It is known that they worked every special team scenario and put the offense and defense through just about every conceivable situation, including overtime. Gundy, as he has become good at doing, wasn't giving away much information for Georgia to use in preparing for the Cowboys.

"We had a good scrimmage, 160 plays, so we got a lot of work done," opened Gundy in his post-scrimmage meeting with the media. "it's a good thing we are not playing tonight because we had a lot of mistakes. We had players that gave good effort but we have a long way to go. We have to eliminate mistakes and play better on both sides of the ball.

"Mistakes, overall, the kind you can't have in the first game, especially against a team (Georgia) as good as they are. The effort is there. Guys are making plays -- we had guys on both sides of the ball make plays. The good thing is we have two weeks before we play. Looking forward to getting back to practice next week and working on the game plan for Georgia."

Gundy said he liked a lot of things he saw, but the errors seem to stick in a coach's mind. "There were a lot of bright spots and we had a lot of players that made plays, but we have to cut back especially on those mental errors and be a more disciplined team," he added. "Our first scrimmage was good from that point, but I thought we set ourselves back some with this one."

Both coordinators, Larry Fedora on offense and Tim Beckman on defense, chimed in with their thoughts.

"I thought it was good. We got a lot of plays in," said Fedora. "The ones played a complete game. The twos got a complete game in, and we got some work with the threes. I felt pretty good where we were. We are definitely ahead of where we were last year at this time because all of those guys know what we are doing. It is night and day where we are versus last year at this point. I feel very comfortable with where we are. We still have a ways to go before we are ready for Georgia."

Beckman added, "We have two more weeks left "We are making strides each and every day, and I think with the things we are incorporating with this defense I am seeing improvement. I am proud of the way they have picked up the scheme and in working toward getting ready for Georgia.

"Turnovers have been a big key for us, we had quite a few turnovers. The kids are getting around the football and that's what creates the turnovers. I think that has been one of the big pluses for us. It (tackling) is getting there. It's better each practice. To me it is a thing that has to constantly get better."

Two of the key performers on either side of the ball are quarterback Bobby Reid and linebacker Jeremy Nethon. They too weighed in on the scrimmage without giving away too much for Georgia.

"I think it was (the best) scrimmage for the offense," said Reid. "We've been doing this for two, two and a half weeks now, day in and day out. I think guys were a little more motivated to finish up. Guys made plays today."

"Our main goal was to get better each practice, each scrimmage and there are things we have done toward that," said Nethon. "We still have a long ways until Georgia and we have to correct somethings in the film room and on the field."

Gundy said there was very little Georgia work in the scrimmage. The coaching staff wanted to see the ones, twos, and threes and be able to make decisions on the depth chart and the travel squad situation heading into the Georgia game and the first month of the season. The coaching staff will look at the tape over the next two days and have a more concrete idea on personnel when the team is together for the next major practice Tuesday.

There will be a light practice Sunday evening and then the team will have the day off from practice on Monday for the first day of classes in the new semester.

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