Cowboy Football: Spring Practice Day 13

STILLWATER - Common exams caused a change in the schedule Monday. This happens some in the spring and also in the fall. Common exams are for those classes that are offered at many times. Classes such as Psychology, Algebra and Astronomy come together at one time for tests, and they are offered at the same time as football practice, so the 13th practice of the spring was moved up to 2:15 p.m.

The closed practice was held on the grass practice fields east of Gallagher-Iba Arena, so really anybody that wanted to sneak a peak could. The practice included corrections from Friday's 146-play scrimmage.

There was also an emphasis on one-on-one work in the passing game as the wide receivers and tight ends worked against the linebackers and secondary. Even more impressive and interesting was the work between the offensive and defensive linemen. Later they also worked one-on-one drills involving the same groups with emphasis on the running game.

"I thought we had another good practice today after about period four or five," said head coach Mike Gundy, suggesting a sluggish start. "We were a little bit slow. I thought that it would be that way after we had a 146-play scrimmage there's a chance guys can be a little sluggish but once we got going our practice was better. We had a lot of no-huddle work in a hurry situation.

"Ultimately, I thought we had a good practice and just looking forward to our last one on Wednesday before we have fun with the spring game on Saturday."

There was also an extended team period that included work on coming off the goal line, red-zone work, four-minute, and two-minute work. Back up quarterbacks Alex Cate and Brandon Weeden each got a lot of work as did a lot of the young wide receivers. From this point forward Dez Bryant and Damian Davis, while young, will not be included in the young and developing wide receivers group. They are starters. It's important the other receivers come along.

"Artie Woods is in the developmental stage again," answered Gundy. "Hugh (Hubert Anyiam), William Cole, (Josh) Cooper; Cooper set a record for most drops in a spring scrimmage on Friday; but he came back today and made a couple of catches. Bo Bowling is not young, but he is new.

"There are four or five guys that I think have the work ethic to push themselves and I think they have enough savvy that playing in games early won't effect them. We need them to develop and I think we are going to be better at wide out this year than we were last year because we have an overall depth that we didn't have last year."

Gundy said the defense continues to play well as it did in the scrimmage on Friday. It was not a complete domination, but the defense won the day even in the estimation of the offensive coaches and players. The defensive line had a really productive day Friday and continued to play well Monday.

"Defensively, we are just further ahead than we thought we would be," said Gundy. "We still need 12 or 15 more practices, but I do agree that they (defensive line) have improved."

The good news is the Cowboys have continued to stay healthy, including Monday, and the format for the spring game is set.

"We're going to try and pick teams tomorrow and go on Saturday like we did last year," said Gundy. "We've stayed fairly healthy so we should be okay by splitting teams and going with the same format that we did last year.

"We thought that the fans and the people outside the program enjoyed that game so we'll try to do it the same way. We'll split the coaches up and they'll put in trick plays. It's a really good event for everybody. It's part of our alumni week and we have a lot of players back and they enjoy that part of it."

The coaching staff will select the teams Tuesday in a meeting and not a draft format.

"We try to make it as even as we can, and I don't think there is anybody in that room , on our staff, that has enough draft knowledge to do it the right way if we draft them," explained Gundy. "We try to make it as even as possible. We try not to put an immature offensive lineman next to another immature offensive lineman. We try to put a vet next to a young player so they can help them. You want to get the game executed as best you can."

The Cowboys have one more practice remaining before Saturday's Orange-White contest. The practice on Wednesday is closed and will likely feature a some light scrimmage work.

The Orange-White Game will begin Saturday at 4 p.m. and will be followed by a free concert featuring country performer Keith Anderson in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Earlier in the day on campus OSU baseball will host Nebraska at 1 p.m. at Allie Reynolds Stadium. The softball team is home Saturday afternoon and the nationally ranked OSU men's tennis team will host national power Baylor at the DeBois Tennis Courts. It is a big sports weekend.

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