Cowboys Prepare For Ex-Sooner Bomar

STILLWATER – If there's one single reason for Oklahoma State to take Sam Houston State seriously on Saturday night it's one name – Rhett Bomar. OSU head coach Mike Gundy once said that Bomar was one of the best high school quarterbacks he had ever seen when he was at Grand Prairie (Texas) High School. He hasn't changed his opinion of Bomar much in the last few years.

Bomar, as anyone who follows college football knows, began his college career at the University of Oklahoma before being kicked off the team prior to the 2006 season. He transferred to Sam Houston State, a Football Championship Subdivision team (formerly known as Division I-AA) in Huntsville, Texas, and sat out last season. But he has had an immediate impact for the Bearkats, who are 2-1 and ranked 15th in the Football Championship Subdivision rankings.

"Well Bomar helps them out tremendously because he can make plays," Gundy said, "and any time you play against a player that touches the ball almost every play offensively that can make plays, you'd better be ready to play."

It won't be Bomar's first game ever against Oklahoma State. He helped Oklahoma to a 42-14 victory over Oklahoma State on Nov. 26, 2005. The redshirt freshman was 13-of-21 passing for 206 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, while throwing one interception.

That didn't surprise Gundy, who saw the No. 1-ranked high school quarterback in the nation in person.

"He and (current Georgia quarterback Matthew) Stafford were really good high school players. I can remember going to watch their practice in the spring … and thinking, wow, if I could throw like that I wouldn't be coaching," Gundy said of Bomar. "I wasn't used to seeing high school quarterbacks with such strong arms prior to their senior year in high school. He was really good in high school."

Gundy knows his Cowboy team – especially his defense, which allowed a school-record 718 yards of total offense to Texas Tech on Saturday – had better be prepared when they take the field this Saturday night against Bomar and the Bearkats. Bomar is 69-of-111 passing for 819 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions through three games. He has also rushed for 149 yards and two TDs.

Bomar totaled 461 yards of offense (103 rushing and 358 passing) in Sam Houston State's 41-38 loss to No. 4 North Dakota State on Sept. 15. The Bearkats trailed 34-20 before Bomar rallied his team with 17 consecutive points, including a go-ahead 7-yard touchdown pass with just 26 seconds remaining. However, North Dakota State got the win on a 27-yard touchdown pass with just seven seconds left.

Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell threw for a career-best 646 yards (fourth best ever in NCAA history) against the Cowboy defense last weekend. Is Bomar capable of doing the same?

"Bomar is playing very good," Gundy said. "He's running the ball effectively; he's throwing the ball well. They're doing a lot of things on offense to give people some problems. We'll have our hands full in slowing them down. We'll have to have a good game plan."

Gundy said that the Cowboys really don't benefit from having faced Bomar nearly two years ago, though.

"It doesn't help, other than we know that he's a good player. The guy can throw the ball and he can run, and he competes. But he's playing in a system now that's completely different than he was," the OSU head coach said.

"I think he's improved just because he's more mature. Obviously, he's older and he's going to be a better player, but they're doing some things with him. They're spreading things out. They're running that pistol set with the back behind him in the shotgun. They're faking one way, and spinning him around and running him another way. They're doing things that benefit his ability. So you have to corral him in space, and he can run. He's very similar athletically to the way that Zac (Robinson) plays, when Zac takes off and runs. Bomar can do the same things. I don't know who's faster; I just know that Bomar is a good player."

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