Cotton Bowl Preparations Winding Down

STILLWATER - With just one more more practice scheduled for Tuesday morning before head coach Mike Gundy sends his players off from a Christmas break home with family and friends, the Oklahoma State Cowboys used Monday afternoon to get physical as the two-hour, 20-minute practice finished with some full speed work between the top two offenses and defenses.

It was easy to tell from a physical standpoint the coaching staff was looking to ramp it up a little on Monday. With the game plans in on both sides of the ball it was time to apply some game time intensity to the situation.

"Ole Miss is a very physical team defensively," said co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer. "They have size and speed up front and their defensive ends are a handful for anybody.

"We have to be able to run the football. On the perimeter our wide receivers had better be ready for lots of physical play. We have to match that. This will be a game about who plays with more toughness," Brewer added.

The same exists for the defense as Ole Miss will represent one of the biggest offensive lines the Cowboys have seen this season, maybe a little taller than Iowa State and just a shade less on the scales. The Rebels have plenty of speed in the skill positions with the likes of running back Dexter McCluster and wide receiver Shay Hodge.

That is why it couldn't have been too disappointing when the defense and offense hooked it up that players on both sides had a problem hearing the whistle to end the play. It was a practice reminiscent of August. Everybody walked off the field friendly, after all it is the holiday season.

The Cowboys will be out of Stillwater shortly after noon Tuesday and the report time in Dallas will be 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 26. The first practice at Cowboys Stadium for the OSU Cowboys will be 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27.

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