Cowboy Football: Final Scrimmage Of The Fall

The next time Big 12 football officials congregate on the Oklahoma State campus it will be to officiate the Cowboys' home opener against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Sept. 8. The officials made their final pre-season visit to Stillwater on Wednesday afternoon for a short, crisp 50 to 60 play scrimmage.

The Cowboys worked all phases of special teams and different situations on offense and defense. Remember, head coach Mike Gundy wasn't so happy on Saturday after the team's longest scrimmage, which Gundy revealed was a 204-play marathon. Today the head coach seemed much happier.

"I feel good about our team and we are in good physical condition," said Gundy. "It was better today and those (mistakes in the last scrimmage) are things that can be corrected. I just thought their focus last Saturday wasn't as good as I wanted it to be.

"We still have four good practices left, but we won't go live anymore. We'll just be thud from here on out. We still need to practice and we're not ready to cancel practice yet. We just have to polish up, but we'll still go hard Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday."

A large portion of the scrimmage involved the special teams, all phases. In Tuesday night's practice report, special teams coordinator and associate head coach Joe DeForest said he was happy with most of his special teams and just wanted more work for some. He said he was very happy with his veteran specialists which includes kicker Jason Ricks.

"I feel really comfortable right now," said Ricks ,who was very solid in his field goal kicking today and for the past week. "I had a little hiccup during two-a-days with my groin and things like that but I feel I came back even stronger. The timing with our guys, because we've been around each other so long, feels so natural."

It's easy to see with the opener against Georgia just a week out that the players are anxious to get to Athens. That is a common feeling from teams all across the country.

"I was in that stage real bad last week and I told Coach Gundy, I don't even want to play Georgia right now, I want to fight 'em," said pre-season All-American wide receiver Adarius Bowman. "It's just to the point that our guys have done such a great job with scouting reports and watching film all summer and our preparation for the first game. Our leaders have stepped up and kept everybody focused and we've brought in the freshmen and showed them what we are trying to do as a team. I got to say my team is ready to play right now."

Coaches, on the other hand, like Gundy saying he isn't ready to cancel practice, want as much time as they get.

"No doubt about it. I will need all the way to the first to be ready," said offensive coordinator Larry Fedora. "I think these guys have been through a long camp and there's been a lot of hitting. They are ready to hit somebody else and play ball. The good thing we've been preparing for the first day of camp with how we installed and with what we've put in so I think the guys understand the game plan and if you're not careful with it they'll get bored with it."

So how do you keep that from happening? "Keep pushing. Keep driving. That's all you do," concluded Fedora.

That is what they will do as practice continues Thursday.

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