Sunday Rewind: Time Will Tell With Robinson

STILLWATER - With the short week there was no Sunday teleconference for Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. Instead Gundy found himself standing at the podium in the new theater room looking out at the cameras and reporters just 19 hours after doing the same thing following Saturday night's 24-17 victory over Texas Tech. But some things had changed in the 19 hours since Gundy and the media met.

The Cowboys have risen to 12th in the Associated Press football poll, 13th in the USA Today Coaches poll, and they are now 12th in the newly released BCS Standings.

Some things had not changed, like the first topic of the news conference. Gundy cut to the chase and before he was asked went ahead and addressed the health and status of quarterback Zac Robinson, who after rushing for 99 yards and throwing a touchdown pass in the game left the field with under a minute to go after a brutal collision with Texas Tech cornerback Jamar Wall as Robinson was scrambling to the end zone.

Robinson was on the field awhile and left under his own power, but seemed woozy before being walked to the training room before the game ended. Saturday night he looked much better when he left the locker room and actually went with his parents to go eat after the game.

"He's over here today and has been around and had some tests done and I think he's fine," said Gundy. "When you are involved in an incident like that, they are going to continue to test you every day. Up to this point, his tests went very well. He was over here. I saw him at 2:30 or 3:00 today.

"He was down there and he was getting ice on his shoulder and they were doing all those tests on him and he was very responsive. So from that standpoint, we're anticipating him being able to play this week, but they'll evaluate him each day," Gundy added.

The injury is two-fold, not just the potential for a head injury but also the soreness to his shoulder and right side.

"We want to do what's best for him first," added Gundy. "If he's not ready to play, then we're not going to play him. Just sitting him because of the opponent we're playing, we're not in a position to do that, especially with a guy that means as much as he does to our football team.

"We want to do what's best for him and his future. Then we'll do what's best for the team next."

Robinson's teammates were encouraged by what they saw on Sunday and they all seem to have a very high opinion of his toughness, although one of the guys that blocks for him says he constantly cautions him on having a little less bravado.

"I always tell him ‘Zac, man you need to slide, You can't do this. We need you.'" said offensive tackle Russell Okung. "I guess that just shows the type of competitor that he really is."

"It's big for us to just see him walking around," said running back Keith Toston. "It gives us a sign that he could play. If he doesn't, just as I was a guy that had to step in because of injury, I'm sure we have a guy that can step in and help the team win."

As for this week, it is a huge game and the Cowboys are trying to dive into Colorado preparation as quickly as possible. Sunday night was a mix of a Monday and Tuesday practice, Monday becomes a Tuesday-Wednesday practice and Tuesday will be Thursday.

"I don't have a lot of information for you on Colorado," said Gundy. "We've watched some tape. It's so early in the process. On defense, they're really, really blitzing. They blitz every two or three plays. They're bringing guys from everywhere all the time.

"Offensively, I've visited just a little bit with Coach (Bill) Young and I know they've had a quarterback change and their running back is making some plays for them. So I don't have a lot of information from that standpoint.

"Obviously, you've got to cut down what you do," continued Gundy on preparation. "You get one real practice, which is tomorrow (Monday). For us, it's new this far into the season. I think we feel like we have to be really smart from a fatigue standpoint of how we handle the players. They'll be with us tonight and less than 24 hours they were just playing in a game; a very exhausting, very physical football game.

"In most cases they've had all day today off and all day tomorrow and we catch them at 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock on a Monday night. We just try to take all those things into consideration and keep the guys moving forward."

It is a big game for exposure. Thursday night college football has become somewhat akin to Monday night for the NFL. It's the night the other teams and coaches are watching, not to mention the fans. It is also Senior Night for this huge OSU senior class, many of whom were in the first group that Gundy signed just a month after taking over as head coach. It is a very special class that could still really set themselves apart in these last two games and the bowl game.

"I guess you really don't know how it's going to hit you until you're actually in the moment and you're walking out on the field with your family and the crowd is going crazy," said senior Andre Sexton. "It's going to be a big moment for all of us because we've been here and we've seen the whole program change. It's going to feel good for us that we're kind of leaving something behind for the younger guys to keep carrying on."

Gundy said, "The other day at practice I heard Russell Okung visiting with some guys and talking about what this class was able to accomplish. Everything moves so fast during this time of the year. It seems like we were just taking off going to the movie before we played Georgia and there were guys out here trying to buy tickets holding up those signs. It seem like that was just a few days ago.

"It moves so fast, so there's not a lot of time to really reflect. Most of that happens after we play our final game and start doing some recruiting and traveling around and have a little bit more time to think. You think and kind of reflect back on what certain players or the team was able to accomplish and the things that we need to work on and get better and change in the future and you continue to build and grow.

"These guys have really done a good job. They've accomplished a lot. It's very important that they stay focused and prepare and practice well this week in order to keep moving forward."

This is not a night the seniors want to waste. It would be a huge upset if this class did.

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