Sunday Rewind: Win Tempered By Injuries

It was seen in the locker room on Saturday night. Sure, there was excitement following the Oklahoma State Cowboys' 56-37 win over a speedy and game Houston Cougars outfit but there was also the presence of fellas gone down. Some of the tone of the later was apparent in Mike Gundy's voice in his Sunday conference call with beat reporters.

"We played pretty well," said Gundy of the offense after he said he had not had a chance to watch the defensive tape from the game. "The offensive line played well. Zac (Robinson) played better in the second half, and (Brandon) Pettigrew caught and blocked pretty well."

Gundy did not mention the two obvious stars of the game because they were, well, very obvious. After tabulating all the stats from week two in the Big 12, the Cowboys' Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant sit on top of all others at their respective positions.

Hunter leads the Big 12 in rushing with a 158.5 yards per game, which is 52.5 yards per game better than second place DeMarco Murray of OU. Murray was voted preseason All-Big 12 by the media and Hunter was not.

Dez Bryant is leading all Big 12 receivers in yards per game with 163. That is 48 yards per game better than Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech in second. Crabtree is a returning All-American and Bryant was not voted preseason all-Big 12.

Stats mean little most of the time and especially early in the season, but this duo has earned their numbers against solid competition and may have a chance to run some up when OSU plays its lone FCS opponent in Missouri State this coming Saturday.

Missouri State (0-1) opened its season last Thursday hosting Division II Washburn and got upset 35-27 in that contest.

Back to the sobering news as Gundy said little had changed on the injury report as safety Lucien Antoine did tear the ACL in his left knee and will be lost for the season. The Cowboys are checking on what he has as far as a possible redshirt season. Our early report may have been wrong and he may have a redshirt season. He was born June 4, 1985, but his high school graduation year and entry at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College are the key numbers.

Wide receiver Artrell Woods had a left knee sprain and defensive tackle Jeray Chatham aggravated a foot injury, and both may be kept out this week against Missouri State with the hope that along with the following open week they could get all the way back.

Wide receiver and blocking star Damian Davis, who had a rare double cut down -- one at the line and one downfield -- in the Robinson to Dez Bryant 74-yard screen for a touchdown, has a slight shoulder injury.

"I saw it live because it happened right in front of us," said Gundy of the Davis blocking exacta. "That was something I don't think I've ever seen in open space. I've seen it in the interior but not in open space."

As for the open week coming up to help with the injury toll from Saturday night, "I never look past tomorrow or the next game," said the Cowboys' head coach.

As for the problems the injuries create and the fact that only three different players (Bryant, Pettigrew and Hunter) caught passes in the win over Houston, Gundy addressed those.

"That's kind of been our track record the past several seasons," said Gundy of mainly throwing to a few receivers. "We have plays designed to get everybody in the offense the ball but those guys were making big plays. We didn't throw the ball that much, 24 times maybe. It was actually 21 actual throws with a sack and a couple of scrambles."

With the absence of Antoine the nickel back position falls to improved senior T.J. Bell.

"I haven't talked with the defense (staff) yet but I would think that is the way it would go with T.J. Bell," said Gundy. "Relying on a true freshman is not something you like to do but when you have season-ending injuries you generally have to get a freshman ready to back up."

That freshman at nickel is likely Johnny Thomas.

It was a big win, a win that will be good for recruiting, but one that certainly came with a price.


Besides the impressive standing of Hunter and Bryant the Cowboys and some of their players occupy nice positions in the Big 12 individual and team stats, and they've done it playing as solid a schedule as any team in the league and one that is better than most.

Team Standings
Total Offense - 3rd at 533-yards per game
Rushing Offense - 1st at 276.5-yards per game
Passing Offense - 8th at 256.5-yards per game
Scoring Offense - 4th at 47.5-points per game
Total Defense - 6th at 339.5-yards per game
Scoring Defense - 12th at 25 points per game (considering the schedule not disappointed in that at all)
Net Punt - 2nd
Punt Returns - 1st
Field Goals % - Tied for 1st
PAT Conversions - Tied for 1st
Third-Down conversions - 3rd
Fourth-Down conversions - 1st

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