Sunday Rewind: Perfect Time For Off Week

"I'm sure we we'll have a lot of media this week," Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said sarcastically as his Sunday teleconference with the media ended. Gundy was referring to the Cowboys enjoying an off week that will benefit them, while Bedlam rival Oklahoma will be in the national spotlight with a Big 12 South showdown game Saturday in Norman against No. 2 Texas Tech.

The off week following Saturday night's 30-17 win at Colorado will work in the Cowboys' favor in a lot of ways.

Gundy said he had a conversation about that topic earlier with Boone Pickens. The head coach's conclusion was it will be a needed break after a long conference grind for the players, and it could be an extremely valuable break for one major Cowboy playmaker.

"That's always good," said Gundy. "It's always a plus to get them fresh and let them catch up academically and just be a college student for a week."

The players will run on Sunday night, hold a light practice on Monday afternoon and then two regular practices on Tuesday and Wednesday before getting four full days off -- Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- which is a first ever from Gundy and his staff.

"It'll be good to give them a break from us," said passing game coordinator and tight ends coach Doug Meacham. "They need some time away from us and then we'll get back together to get ready for Bedlam. We know they will be wired for that. We won't have to say anything to them to get them motivated for that game. Our players are ready for that."

Gundy added that the coaches will use Thursday, Friday and Saturday for recruiting as the staff will use their final fall days allotted on the road for evaluation. High school playoffs are going on in all key states where the Cowboys are doing the majority of their recruiting -- Oklahoma, Texas, and Georgia.

Finally, and perhaps most important, the break will give the players a physical break and one Cowboy, who was one of several banged up at Colorado may need it.

"I thought Kendall Hunter had a quad contusion but it was not a quad contusion and we'll see how he comes out," said Gundy leaving the audience of media hanging. That's more than the head coach usually elaborates about injuries. Obviously, if Hunter's injury is more serious then the off week allows him to get ready for Bedlam is huge.

On the win, Gundy was pleased. He pointed out that the staff did not report to the offices until noon on Sunday after a 2:30 a.m. return from Colorado.

"I just finished watching offensive tape," he said. "I thought they played very well and it may have been the best game the offensive line played all year. Colorado was averaging giving up only 17 points a game at home. West Virginia, Texas, Kansas State, Eastern Washington all came in and had struggles and that was a concern going in. We should have punched one in on the early going. Zac made a bad throw in the second half. But for the most part the guys played pretty well."

Oklahoma went to Boulder and had its season hopes dashed last season because of the loss, and Colorado also went on the road last season and defeated Texas Tech in Lubbock. This season there was the aforementioned win over West Virginia, and Texas found itself challenged by Colorado. The Buffs were 5-1 at home going into Saturday night. They were playing for bowl eligibility and celebrating Senior Night.

"It is a good win, and unless you are tied in to what we do or you are with us every day you might not realize how our kids handle that situation week to week. The altitude and playing at night tied into it. These guys were loose before the game and loose in the locker room. I almost thought they were too loose, and they played very well and it worked out really well for us," Gundy said.

"With the coaching staff you have to be careful about patting yourself on the back but coming back from key big wins and big losses and having done pretty well, prepared and played well is a credit to the coaching staff," continued Gundy. "It's also the discipline and leadership within the group and with that most of those things will take care of themselves."

Gundy added that the players themselves know they have played well, other than the loss at Tech, "as good as any team in the country week in and week out," according to Gundy.

The players know their situation for now, for Bedlam, and for the bowls heading into this break week.

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