Gundy: It's Back To Work For The Cowboys

Sure it's the Labor Day weekend and getting the whole family out for a burger and hot dog with a little swimming, playing some catch, watching some baseball or college football on the tube would be great. If you're on the OSU football staff, forget about it. There may have been time for an early Sunday morning church service but pretty quickly celebrating Georgia was over with.

Joe DeForest and Doug Meacham had recruits in on official visits as standout linebacker Shaun Lewis from Fort Bend (Hightower), Texas, was in Stillwater with his family, and also making their official visits were defensive tackle Diamonte Wheeler and wide receiver Montra Nelson, both from Arlington (Bowie), Texas.

All three players are committed but all wanted to see everything with their families. This was their official visit and that meant head coach Mike Gundy, Johnny Barr, and players were involved in hosting and entertaining the prospects as well.

You can bet that co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Joe Wickline was in about 5 a.m. to start grading his tape. After all, he has more players to grade.

"The guys got a chance to celebrate last night," said Gundy. "We can't overlook Houston. They came in here last year and made plays. They are a very good football team."

Gundy had told his players in the locker room after the win over Georgia that the next game would be more difficult. From this side of things, I agree. I have always preached that Houston is a tough opponent. They have speed and talent. They are not intimidated and will relish the opportunity to come in and knock off the highly ranked Cowboys.

That said, how did the head coach feel about the way his team played in the 24-10 conquest of the Georgia Bulldogs of the mighty SEC?

"I thought the defense played well," said Gundy. "We got some plays out of a lot of guys. Shane Jarka made some plays and he caused that big fumble. I thought Donald Booker ran around and made plays. Perrish Cox made some exceptional plays. I thought as a group we played very well."

It was suggested by Tulsa World beat writer Bill Haisten that there were few missed tackles and Gundy agreed. "Yes, we did a good job and I think you guys could see that Georgia was a good tackling team. We put a lot of good players out in space and they were making tackles. Kendall (Hunter) got out there one time and made them miss on their sideline but there weren't a lot of missed tackles."

Offensively, the Cowboys were not anywhere near meeting the satisfaction of the head coach and that included the head coach's performance as well.

"We didn't play very good," said Gundy. "We just weren't very good. The (new) guards weren't very good, but they were going against a good group of defensive tackles.

"Kendall wasn't happy. He wants to rush for 150 yards, but we went against a good defensive run football team. It was difficult, but I thought Kendall gave us a lot. I thought he ran very effective and got some yards after contact.

"I thought we matched their toughness and we ran the ball well late in the game," continued the head coach, who is now 4-1 in season-opening games, "except for one series and that was poor play calling on the coach's part. It was that second to last series."

Gundy said Georgia paid extra attention to Dez Bryant. It looked like they positioned a safety over the top and appeared to play some three cloud coverage shading to Dez. He still had a Dez-credible catch on that first touchdown.

"He's done so many that we kind of take them for granted," said Gundy. "His body control was so great on that catch. I don't know how he turned his body several different directions and then flop his body to make the catch. It was another great catch."

Special teams were good with Cox's return and Sharp's kickoffs and punting along with Bailey's field goal. But there were problems fielding punts.

"We've got errors, mainly fielding punts, and I think some of that is first game stuff," said Gundy. "We have to clean those up but I think some of that is nationwide."

The biggest plus is that in a week that saw tight end Jamal Mosley leave the team amid the bad publicity of a rape investigation, and starting linebacker Orie Lemon go down with a non-contact ACL knee injury, not to mention all the rumors and crazy stuff flying around amidst a backdrop of the Georgia game being the biggest in school history, the team pulled together and did the job.

"I'm happy with the way they gave effort and that they sticked together," said Gundy on Sunday. "I believe they are expecting to win, but we have a lot of work ahead of us."

They do have a lot of work ahead but they also have as good a first-game foundation to build on as any team ever at Oklahoma State.

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