Cowboy Practice Notes: Aug. 12

Inside Gallagher-Iba Arena in the northwest lobby outside of the football locker room and the training room there was fresh fruits, some snacks, cold Gatorade and a huge birthday cake on Tuesday. Mike Gundy is now 41! The cake, as usual, was supplied by his wife, Kristen, and it looked like it was popular with the Cowboy players.

Running into practice Gundy said all he had for lunch was a salad and that he had not had a piece of his own birthday cake. After practice he outlined how his birthday was going.

"Two-a-days and a full day of work," said Gundy when asked if he was having a good birthday. "Dinner and meetings with the players until 9:30 and then staff meeting until around 11 and that wraps it up."

Maybe, there is a steak or another cake, something waiting for him at home, or maybe a wife and three boys waiting to sing Happy Birthday.

No New Injuries
Several days after the scrimmage there are no reports of any injuries from Saturday's 120 plays of live action. The only long term injuries from camp have been to linebacker Tolu Moala with his shoulder and before camp, during the summer, the torn Achillies for freshman defensive end Jeremy Gray.

Good news is that junior running back Keith Toston is running again and hGundy believes he will be back in a matter of four to five days.

Zac Robinson Really Likes His Targets
As the page turns in preparation for the game with Washington State in Seattle, the question begs to quarterback Zac Robinson as to whether he is happy with the way his pass receivers are working for him and with him in the offense.

"Absolutely, the guys that have stepped up are the guys we needed to step up, and guys that I saw in the summer have really improved a lot and become even better -- Will Cole, Hunbert Anyiam, Josh Cooper, we've got a lot of receivers that are going to make a lot of plays for us," said a smiling Robinson.

The junior quarterback said he is really pleased about Dez Bryant, who has really progressed to the point he can catch virtually anything.

"Every day he makes some catch that makes everybody go crazy," exclaimed Robinson wearing even a bigger smile. "He is an unbelievable talent that just continues to get better and run better routes and block better. I'm looking forward to playing with him this season starting August 30th."

Kicker Dan Bailey on Kicking Jobs and Special Teams
Bailey; who came to Oklahoma State by way of Mustang, Okla. and Southwest Covenant High School, and after a year at Arkansas, surfaced as the kickoff specialist last season in the homecoming win over Kansas State. Bailey is battling sensational freshman Quinn Sharp and has been holding on to the job from day one and was a perfect three for three on field goals in the scrimmage.

"I think in a way there's not any pressure there," said Bailey. "It is my job to lose, so I just have to maintain. Quinn is really good and has a lot of talent. He has been pushing me pretty hard, but as far as pressure I think it has been pretty laid back because of the group we do have because we are all comfortable with each other."

Now that he is first on the depth chart in kicking placements (field goals and PATs) is he comfortable doing that and handling kickoffs where punter Matt Fodge is also in the mix.

"That would be nice, but at the same time I just try to work hard at both positions and I just want to do what I can to help the team. If he wants me hitting kickoffs or if he wants me doing both then I'll do both. I have been focusing an even amount of time on both and we'll do whatever we need to."

Everybody connected with Cowboy football wants to know that special teams will improve back to where Oklahoma State is one of the best all around teams in that area. The specialists can't do it all, but they are very involved. They are also very determined to see the special teams earn that distinction.

"As far as the specialists go we have a lot of experience and Matt Fodge and Zach Allen are really good leaders. I think as far as specialists go there is a lot of maturity and they really help us in learning what we need to do and I think the special teams will be better overall this season."

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