Larry Fedora: Planning Without Adarius Bowman

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy opened Monday's weekly news conference with the announcement wide receiver Adarius Bowman won't play in the final two regular season games. It appears Bowman has a second degree tear of the MCL in his knee (sprained knee). He may return for a bowl game but until then Larry Fedora must find a way to keep the Big 12's most productive offense rolling.

Bowman has been responsible for 89 receiving yards per game and three touchdowns in Big 12 play for Fedora's offense (532.5 yards per game), not to mention acting as a nice decoy for the running game and other receivers.

"We'll have to make some adjustments and some other guys are going to have to step up," started Fedora on addressing the offense without Bowman. "I still expect us to do what we do. We won't change our system.

"Hopefully, somebody will step up and make those plays that Adarius was making. We are going to miss him and he is a great player and a great playmaker for us. It is going to put pressure on some other players to make those plays for us. We'll make the adjustments this week in practice and we'll try to keep rolling."

Using the second half of the 43-28 loss to Kansas on Saturday as a preview, the offense did seem to adjust. It took almost a quarter as the Cowboys struggled most of the third quarter, but thanks to big plays from quarterback Zac Robinson, tough running from Dantrell Savage and big catches from Dez Bryant, Tommy Devereaux and Damian Davis in the passing game, the offense got better.

"They adjusted, but unfortunately they didn't adjust quick enough," Fedora said of the offense in the second half against Kansas playing without Bowman. "You would have liked to make that adjustment immediately. All of our players know how much A.D. means to the offense, but he knows that we've got to go and somebody has to get out there, and we've got to play because we have a game to win."

A question I anticipate and one the fans have to ask themselves is that after a month of thinking Big 12 South title and being in the hunt, now the goal is bowl eligibility and getting to postseason. A similar conclusion as last season. We asked Fedora if he anticipates it being enough for the players.

"One thing that we preach about, and Mike preaches from the beginning of the season, is that you play the game one way because you love playing the game and not because of the things that come out of it," explained Fedora. "You play the game because you love playing football. You play hard because nothing else matters and that's the way you play the game. Now, obviously we know the mental aspects that come when you play the game and the guys need to reset their goals and get bowl eligible this week."

In case you are wondering, Baylor is struggling defensively. They have been no closer than 21 points in any of their seven Big 12 losses. They are just in front of the OSU defense and ranked 106th in the nation allowing 454 yards and a league worst 36.3 points per game. The Bears should be motivated to play the role of the Grinch and do their best to keep the Cowboys from having a happy holidays on a bowl trip.

"I'm sure that is extra motivation," agreed Fedora on Baylor's motivation. "I'll reinterate what I said (about us), it's a game and you only get so many opportunities to play it and our guys have a chance to earn one more opportunity (bowl game)."

One member of the media was asking Fedora about other job opportunities that could come his way at the end of the regular season.

"I'll be honest, I haven't really given it a whole of thought," said Fedora. "It is really hard, especially now, to focus on too many things during the season. Basically all I can do is get ready for Baylor."

Fedora has the right idea, beat Baylor and OSU goes bowling and who knows what else could come the Cowboys way or the way of a pretty successful offensive coordinator.

"Then we can talk about it, but a lot of things won't happen if we don't do our job against Baylor," added Fedora.

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