Running Game Is A Bright Spot

The Oklahoma State Cowboys had their second and final two-a-day workout of fall camp on Thursday with a full pads session in the morning and a shoulder pads and shorts evening practice. The two workouts Thursday are leading up to Saturday's major scrimmage for the Cowboys.

"We want good tackling (from the defense), and good execution on offense," OSU head coach Mike Gundy said when asked what he expects to see in Saturday's scrimmage. "We just want good football. We want to see good fundamental football, and guys playing hard. They're going to make mistakes but we want them making mistakes going full speed.

"We believe in practicing and tackling and doing everything in order to get prepared to play in a game, especially with an opponent like Georgia (on Sept. 5)."

One person who was unable to go full speed Thursday was senior running back Beau Johnson, who sat out with a foot injury but is expected to return to practice Friday and be available to participate in Saturday's scrimmage.

Gundy is looking forward to seeing what Johnson and the stable of running backs can do in a live situation.

"Keith (Toston) has done well. Beau Johnson missed today's practice with a sprained foot. He'll be back tomorrow. Beau has done very well, and Toston has done well," Gundy said.

"(Redshirt freshman) Travis Miller has gotten better. He's still not there from a toughness standpoint, but youth has got a hold of him. (True freshman) Dexter Pratt made some plays, but youth has got a hold of him too. We kind of think of him as being around here for a while because he came in at the semester but he's still a freshman.

"I like (true freshman) Jeremy Smith, and (redshirt freshman) Kye Staley has done very well. We've got a good group of running backs. We ought to be able to run the ball for a number of years," Gundy added.

Gundy said a productive run game with junior Kendall Hunter is the key to the Cowboys' season.

"We want to run the ball 40 times a game, and throw it 35, so you would expect him to get 20 carries," Gundy said of Hunter. "If he stays healthy, like he has, he's been very durable… and then once he's done his job and we're fortunate enough to be in a situation then you can put other guys in and let them run.

"We have a lot of confidence in Toston and Beau Johsnon, and Kye Staley for that matter."

As much as Gundy and the coaching staff are looking forward to Saturday's closed scrimmage, the players are probably even more excited.

"I want to find out how much some of the younger players, or the players that haven't played in a game yet, know without the coaches being out there with them," said Gundy.

"They like to go play football, and just like any other sport when you're in preseason practice like this they get bored. They want to go play. They're entertainers … they entertain on Saturday."

The Cowboys return to the practice field for a single workout at 4:45 p.m. Friday. The workout is closed to the public.

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