Sunday Rewind: OSU-Texas A Day Later

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy doesn't beat around the bush on his Sunday teleconference calls. Gundy's conversation over the phone with the beat media is usually a midway point in his Sunday work day. He and the staff have usually finished up viewing Saturday's game by the time he visits with the media. In this case, it was OSU's disappointing 38-35 loss to Texas on Saturday night.

After speaking with the media it is on to watching tape on the next opponent, in this case the undefeated Kansas Jayhawks. Gundy was quick to point out just what happened Saturday as the Cowboys saw a 21-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter and turn into a 38-35 Texas victory.

"We played hard," said Gundy. "I watched the tape and I can't fault the effort of our players, but the one thing you can't do defensively when you have a three touchdown lead is give up big plays. We were a little fatigued and didn't tackle as well. We'll work on that, but it came down to just not giving up big plays and we gave up the big run (a 75-yard touchdown by Jamaal Charles) and the big pass play (a 60-yard completion from Colt McCoy to Jordan Shipley). That allowed them to them back into the game quicker."

The next ingredient to the Texas comeback involved the Cowboy offense, which had gone unstopped most of the day, and the Texas defense.

"We weren't able to run the ball when we wanted to run the ball," said Gundy of a point he has made most of the season. "You probably saw them rolling down with a single safety look, so they were loading the box to stop the run. We had trouble with their three technique and shade (defensive tackles) knocking our guard and center back in the fourth quarter. We stayed aggressive and threw the ball, but that sometimes stops the clock and we came up a little short."

Finally, the three prong of problems moves to the special teams. "We didn't punch the field goal through (the missed 32-yard attempt with 1:13 left)," added Gundy. "We hit that and then have a chance to stop them and win the game."

The field goal got further discussion during the call. "I consider that a chipshot, punching that right through," Gundy said of the miss by Jason Ricks. "I'm really mystified by it. There wasn't any pressure on it. The snap was good, the hold was good and so was the protection. He just missed it.

"It just comes down to making plays (late)," summarized the OSU head coach. "Their players did and we didn't."

In the bright spots category there was the overall play of the offense, and particularly that of quarterback Zac Robinson. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew had a career best day with eight receptions for 87 yards and the clutch score at the end of the first half.

On defense, Gundy pointed out defensive tackle Tonga Tea and the return of linebacker Chris Collins. "We got more out of Junior (Tea)," said Gundy of the 6-0, 315-pound junior college transfer. "He played better, pretty good. It's been our history that junior college players like that play much better in their second year. Junior has been here almost a year."

On Collins, Gundy was more just glad to get him back. "He got emotional some and over ran some plays," said the head coach. "He played 32 plays and I'm anxious to get the injury report and see how his toe felt. This week it felt all right and we needed him to play (because of linebacker injuries). He wasn't much of a factor after the layoff."

Gundy had no comment on Collins' availability this week as there are court proceedings in Texarkana, Texas, that he might have to attend.

This team has been able for the past two years to get past gut wrenching losses, bag them, and come back and post big wins the following week. They've already done it twice this season beating Texas Tech after the loss at Troy and coming back to beat Nebraska on the road after losing a similar type heartbreaker at Texas A&M. The 2006 team also pulled off wins following tough losses and one of the victims was Kansas. The Cowboys lost a 10-point lead in the final four minutes at Kansas State and followed that with an explosive win over the Jayhawks in Lawrence.

"It will help (playing an highly ranked Kansas team)," said Gundy. "It's football and, them or anybody else, our responsibility is to do the best we can to prepare and play well on Saturday. It's no different, this loss was just as hard as the A&M game and the others. They are all big games."

Saturday will be a big game. ABC will be in Stillwater for a 7 p.m. prime time kickoff that will go to most of, if not all, the nation. Kansas is highly ranked and unbeaten. It is the final home game of the 2007 season and Senior Night for 12 players that have started one or more games this season and 19 players overall.

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