But playing in front of more than 53,000 people in Lubbock won't faze the Cowboys, quarterback Zac Robinson says.
"Every week it seems like we're playing a big game. Obviously this week is just as big as the other ones. This team has done a great job of staying focused throughout the week (leading up to each game). It all starts with the preparation we do throughout the week, and the coaches really do a good job of keeping us focused. That's why we've been so successful," said Robinson, who threw 211 yards and was one of three Cowboys to rush for more than 100 yards (116 on 13 carries) in leading OSU to a 49-45 victory over the Red Raiders a year ago in just his second start at quarterback.
Robinson had replaced Bobby Reid as the Cowboys' starting quarterback the previous week, with disastrous results when Oklahoma State lost to Troy, 41-23, in a nationally televised (ESPN) Friday night game. Robinson turned the ball over three times (two interceptions and a fumble), but he rebounded the next week to lead the Cowboys to the upset of the Red Raiders.
"He played well," Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy said of Robinson's performance against the Red Raiders in 2007. "I think we found out he could run good. He rushed for over 100 yards in that game. He handled himself pretty well in some crucial situations."
Robinson said, "I think that was one of our biggest wins last year. That was my first start at home, and I wasn't really sure what position I was in, whether I was going to continue to be the starter. I'd hoped that was the case but I knew I needed to go out and perform."
"I know that we told him it was his job, and that if he continued to play well that he would keep it," Gundy said.
Robinson has certainly done everything Gundy and the Cowboy coaching staff has asked of him the past two seasons. But on Oklahoma State's Top-3 World Tour he has played second fiddle to some other top Big 12 quarterbacks. Chase Daniel of Missouri was considered the Heisman Trophy favorite when the Cowboys made the road trip to Columbia, Mo., five weeks ago. Colt McCoy had replaced Daniel as the favorite in the eye of many Heisman voters when Oklahoma State played in Austin two weeks ago.
Now Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell is among those whose name is being mentioned for the Heisman, following his impressive performance in leading the Red Raiders to last Saturday's upset of the Longhorns. Harrell has thrown for 3,621 yards for 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions while completing 70.7 percent of his passes this season.
Robinson, however, doesn't mind being overlooked – as long as the Cowboys keep winning.
"We all have the utmost respect for each other. The quarterback play has been outstanding in the Big 12, there's no question about it. Every week you see guys putting up big numbers and playing really well and helping their teams be successful," Robinson said. "There's definitely a lot of respect that us as quarterbacks have for each other."