Cowboy Football Report

The biggest concern of OSU head coach Mike Gundy entering this week was getting the team back into the focus and the intensity of game week coming off the open week. The time off was badly needed after 12 straight weeks of fall camp and game weeks. There were also the players that needed the time off to heal up injuries and be ready physically for the final stretch drive of the regular season.

Mission accomplished on all fronts. The Cowboys are a healthier team coming off the open week. The break was not only beneficial, but appreciated by the players. One former player told me he wished Les Miles had understood how to best handle an open week and said he really wished he'd played for Gundy.

"Gundy gets it," he said.

Gundy also got the reward back from his team for getting it. Both the two and a half hour practice Tuesday and the two-hour plus practice on Monday, which also included a lengthy conditioning period, were high on effort, and the focus was there as both the offense and defense further soaked up the game plan for Saturday.

One of the strengths of this team is they dispose of the previous week quickly and get to the task at hand of the current week. They did that after disappointing losses like Troy and Texas A&M to come back and post huge wins over Texas Tech and Nebraska. They also disposed of the Nebraska win and prepared for the homecoming win over Kansas State. This week they disposed of the open week to get back to work for Texas.

Game Day Forecast
It doesn't get much more pleasant than it is predicted to be for Saturday. The morning low will be 47 degrees but should warm up to the high of 69 degrees by kickoff. The skies will be partly sunny and there should be a brisk breeze of 10 to 15 miles per hour blowing through Boone Pickens Stadium. Chance for precipatation is low at 20 percent.

Zac Robinson Keeps A Steady Course for the Offense
I have said often this season that the secret weapon in the Oklahoma State offense is the demeanor and mental approach of quarterback Zac Robinson. The sophomore from Littleton, Colo., is physically gifted as both a passer and a runner, but as offensive coordinator Larry Fedora pointed out when the quarterback switch was made earlier in the season, Robinson is so even keeled. His facial expression doesn't change whether the Cowboys are two touchdowns up or two touchdowns down. He really could have a great career on the World Series of Poker circuit.

"I just try to stay the course and keep playing no matter what happens," said Robinson.

Knocked out of the Texas A&M game, Robinson came back to engineer -- and often that meant running the option keeper -- the win against Nebraska the next week. Last time out he took some big hits from the most physical team the Cowboys have played, Kansas State. He handles it and doesn't shy away from keeping the ball in his own hands or when passing, unloading the ball too early.

"They were definitely a very physical football team and getting through that game healthy and knowing we can take a physical team is big for this offense," added Robinson.

Speaking of throwing, after a tough first start at Troy he has made really good decisions when passing the ball.

"Comfort, and a lot of credit goes to the coaches because they put us in great situations to succeed," said Robinson of only throwing three interceptions in the last four games. "Comfort in having been out on the field and run the offense."

Finally, back to the poker face aspect of it. The Cowboys are converting big on third downs now after a rough start in that area, and boy, are they converting. Three of the Cowboys touchdowns against Kansas State came on third-and-long situations.

"We definitely practice all of those situations and we have a package of what we are going to do in those third-and-long situations or whatever the situation is, so we feel comfortable with the plays we're running," said Robinson. "We just go out and execute and we feel comfortable that we can make it work."

The ultra cool attitude from Robinson is yet another weapon causing this OSU offense to be the best in the Big 12 this season.

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