Moving on

After a 17-15 loss to the Longhorns, OSU turns its focus to Kansas State. The Cowboys face a tough road ahead, with challenges of a Big 12 schedule awaiting.

After a heartbreaking two-point loss to Texas, the Oklahoma State Cowboys must march along. This is the Big 12 Conference after all, and there isn't time to wallow in the "what-coulda-been's".

Kansas State. Texas Tech. Nebraska. Texas A&M. Oklahoma.

These are the teams waiting to stand between OSU and its bowl hopes. These are also teams that help make up the Top 25.

OSU wide receiver John Lewis, whose third quarter touchdown grab in Austin allowed the Cowboys to make it a two-point game, said the focus is now on the next opponent.

"We just have to put it behind us and get ready for next week," Lewis said. "I don't think you can dwell on a loss for so long because it might interfere with the next game."

Against the Longhorns, the OSU defense stood strong. Allowing only 17 points, it was the fewest points Texas scored at home in ages. However, penalties, a botched extra-point attempt and an interception in OSU's final offensive drive haunted the Cowboys as the clock ticked down.

OSU coach Les Miles said he wants to get beyond the mentality of staying close with top teams, and get to where his team can pull out the win. Miles said OSU is capable of winning matchups against marquee teams, and it shouldn't be a surprise when the Cowboys win.

"Any time you play hard and you don't win it's painful. Hopefully we can get beyond playing hard and finishing close," Miles said. "Hopefully we will go beyond playing Texas and teams like Texas hard, and get to a point where we can play them to win. The focus from this point forward is to play to win."

QB Josh Fields echoed Miles' sentiments by saying he was tired of fans 'being happy with a close game', and hopes they will encourage the team to be victorious on the field.

"The way most people were going about it was that they wanted us to gain a learning experience and were happy to hang with them," Fields said. "Our team doesn't want people to give us credit for hanging with a team - we want to win games. It was pretty frustrating for people being happy for us hanging with them because that is not what we want. We want to go out and win the big games."

Miles also hinted there may be some changes in the make-up of the special teams personnel. After receiver T.D. Bryant went 45-yards to the end zone for OSU's first touchdown, the extra-point attempt failed. After discovering there weren't enough players on the line, Jed Newkirk snapped the ball to holder Sky Rylant who juggled the ball after kicker Luke Phillips had started his kicking motion.

Because of the failed attempt, the Cowboys were later forced to turn to a two-point conversion play after Lewis' touchdown. The pass from Fields to Rashaun Woods was complete, but officials said Woods' feet were in the end zone, and the ball never broke the plane.

"Our special teams have been the best in the Big 12 and have gotten up and answered the challenge," Miles said. "We did have some inconsistent snaps and we have to correct this."

A Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas awaits the orange troops, and they are ready to swallow the Texas loss hard and move on.

"It's a different challenge to face an option attack," Miles said. "Our defense is going to have to make some adjustments and take into account that their quarterback is a very mobile and capable runner."

When asked which QB seems eaiser to prepare for, Texas' Chris Simms or KSU's Ell Roberson, OSU defensive lineman Pagitte McGee said it doesn't matter either way.

"It is pretty hard to say because whichever quarterback you take, it is going to be a hard contest."

Oklahoma State received a little credit for its efforts Saturday, garnering a small nod from voters in the ESPN/USAToday poll. OSU made its debut by getting six votes in the weekly poll.


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