Cowboy Football Notepad

The Oklahoma State Cowboys report to campus Thursday for the start of fall camp. The first practice is Friday morning, and Fan Appreciation Day is Sunday from 2-4 p.m. We will have thoughts from defensive coordinator Bill Young, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, and assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Joe DeForest on Wednesday.

Cowboys will be Early Risers with 8 a.m. Practices
Mother Nature has Oklahoma in a heat wave as Tuesday during the Mike Gundy Media Golf Day at Karsten Creek the temperature was rising to 104 degrees before the media, participants, and Cowboy coaches got off the golf course. The coaching staff met early Tuesday morning and finalized a revised plan for 8 a.m. practices.

"We moved practice up an hour and a half and everybody is aware the heat index is going to be up around 110 (degrees) for the next two weeks and we feel that we need to get them on the field as early as possible and try and condition them but also be smart in the way we handle them," said OSU head coach Mike Gundy of his team.

"I think it is important that you realize over a period of 29 practices that we need to keep them fresh and productive over that time."

Along the lines of work load, everybody is aware of the injury last week to former OSU and current Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant. The high ankle sprain suffered near the end of a Dallas practice will keep Bryant out of the preseason and missing some 4 to 6 weeks of practice. Division I college teams have larger rosters but the numbers game is still tight.

"There is a real fine line in having your team prepared for the heat and also prepared to play physical enough in the first game," said Gundy. "You also want to make sure you show up in the first game with the guys that give you the best chance to win. We have done a pretty good job of that over the last few years.

"I think the approach is changing, listening to the people that are involved with our team from a medical standpoint. I think as coaches we are listening and making changes and putting our places in position to have success not only in the first game but the rest of the season."

The typical practices on a daily basis will begin at eight a.m. and be over around 10:30 a.m. There are four days where the team will conduct two-a-day practices with a late afternoon practice. There are also two scrimmages schedule later in the day on Saturdays.

How Is Gundy Different?
This is Mike Gundy's sixth season as head coach at Oklahoma State and he was asked by Dean Blevins of the OKblitz.com how he is different now than his first year as a head coach?

"I think just my ability to handle situations like the ones that have come up with Jamie (Blatnick) and Vic (Johnson) and the heat," started Gundy. "Those situation that nobody likes to talk about or deal with but that is the way it is.

"I got asked that question today about what is going on and how that effects the start of the season. It effects me because I have to dedicate time to it that I really wouldn't want to do. I also know that we are going to a conclusion that is the best decision in all those areas and move forward and not let that take away from the start of the season.

"The improvement that I have made in those areas, which is experience and maturity, is second to none to where I am different from six years ago."

Practice and Looking for Freshmen
Gundy will not have to lock himself in on the offensive side of the ball this season. That will give him time to do more things.

"Similar to what I went through in the spring, I'm very much looking forward to learning more about the offense," said Gundy. "It's similar to what I went through and got involved when Coach (Larry) Fedora came in here. I'm excited about spending more time watching the defense and being with special teams."

One area that Gundy has always excelled at both as an assistant, a coordinator, and a head coach is spotting freshmen that can help early in camp.

"That is always the fun part, which guys have the ability to help you out from day one," said Gundy. "Because of the youth and the inexperience on our team we will be looking for 8 to 10 guys that will be able to help us in certain areas this year and backup and then their playing time increases during the season and special teams."

Season Tickets Looking Good
A source reported Tuesday that Cowboys football season tickets sales are close to 90 percent of what were sold last year in a record season-ticket campaign. That is a good number considering that kickoff for the season is still a month away. That number also doesn't include student ticket sales, which could be up this year because of a large increase in freshmen enrollment.

Single game tickets are now for sale and you may want to hustle if you looking for homecoming tickets as our same source confirmed that Nebraska fans are calling and buying them in bunches.


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