Cowboy Football Notebook

After fighting back from a very serious knee injury last season, running back Kye Staley got some reps in the team portion of practice Sunday. He had a carry and caught a couple of passes. Head coach Mike Gundy first reported to the media that Staley "had a slight setback" in Sunday's practice. Staley said it was nothing more than a slight setback and he intends to be back on the field quickly.

The redshirt freshman from Guthrie, Okla., also talked about how he has gone about working back off that devastating knee injury.

"When it happened, that was an injury that is rarely ever seen," said Staley. "I tore ACL, MCL, PCL miniscus, hamstring, calf with nerve damage.

"After it happened I wanted to be depressed but I thought that there are people that have gone through so much worse. I tried to stay positive with my mom, my uncle, everybody, my family, Guthrie support they all told me to stay positive and they had my back.

"It was the worse time in my life and I had never been in that position and I couldn't do much. I could barely walk and do my laundry. I had to lean on my roommates to help me out. It was just a hard time, but I think it has made me stronger and more hungry to come back and play.

"It feels good, but I know there are times it is going to ache," added Staley. "I just have to use ice like so many football players do on injuries."

Andrew McGee Going Well
Andrew McGee worked hard all spring and summer to come back from a broken back suffered last season in the Bedlam game in Norman. The 6-0, 191-pound native of Magee, Miss., had 32 tackles, a sack, one interception and six passes broken up last season.

He is a key to the Cowboys in the secondary and he said so far, so good in fall camp.

"I had a great summer," said McGee, who said he has done fine so far in camp. "I got cleared for my neck in June, and I was able to work out and hit it full speed and I was able to get all my speed and all my strength back really fast."

Another Coach that Doesn't Read the Paper
New offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is another in the line of coaches that claim not to read the newspaper or at least to read much into them. Holgorsen was featured in both papers this weekend and again on Monday after the media day activities in Stillwater late Sunday afternoon. Holgorsen was also a fan favorite at Fan Appreciation Day.

"It comes with the job," said Holgorsen. "I try not to read into your guys work because it can turn negative in a hurry. I don't pay any attention to it; it's part of the job.

"What I enjoy is sitting up in the staff room with these offensive coaches and talking football, figuring out game plans and going out and teaching kids and trying to get them ready as a unit. Because when it comes down to it, it matters, not from my standpoint, but what these kids do out on the field."

So far, so good. The offense has looked good. Consistency and building up depth is critical work in camp.

Opponent Watch: Washington State
The Washington State Cougars, who visit Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 4, for a national cable telecast on FoxSportsNet, held their first workout late Sunday afternoon.

Here is a shortened version of the account from Mike Robinson of Cougfans.com:
PULLMAN – Quarterback Jeff Tuel picked up where he left off in last spring's Crimson and Gray game -- looking good – but the biggest story from WSU's first day of fall football camp was the work of the rookies. Head coach Paul Wulff was quick to point out there were 31 newbies on the field. Among those standing out in that crowd were offensive lineman John Fullington and a host of receivers.

Fullington, a 6-5, 268-pounder from North Mason High, impressed with his hustle and aggressiveness. Meanwhile, rookie wideouts Kristoff Williams, Bobby Ratliff, Isiah Barton and Marquess Wilson served notice that deciding who plays and who redshirts among them this season isn't going to be easy.

"Marquis, Kristoff and Bobby and all the new guys have really impressed... because they all just want to learn," said junior receiver Jared Karstetter.

On one particularly noteworthy play, Tuel rolled out of the pocket and connected with a beautiful pass to Barton, a JC transfer, for a long gain. Tuel led the first unit offense to a relatively mistake-free day. Outside of a few incompletions he was mostly sharp. Seniors Daniel Blackledge and Jeffrey Solomon and sophomore Gino Simone were his favorite targets.

While there were no pads today, there was still plenty of contact and intensity. The starting defensive line – ends Travis Long and Kevin Kooyman and tackles Brandon Rankin and Bernard Wolfgramm – gave fits to the second-unit offensive line.

The level of competition in the defensive secondary should make for an interesting camp if Day 1 was any indication. The entire secondary – whether the 1's or 2's were playing -- was blanketing receivers and showing incredible speed chasing down running backs during drills.

The first unit was CB Aire Justin, S Chima Nwachukwu, S Tyree Toomer and CB Daniel Simmons on Sunday. S LeAndre Daniels, the listed starter at free safety and Jamal Atofau both had strong afternoons.

Offensively the Cougs looked better than a customary Day 1.

In one instance, the Tuel roll out and throw to Barton was savvy stuff. In addition, there were long catches in traffic by tight ends Andrei Lintz and Skylar Stormo. Freshman tight end Aaron Dunn, the most touted member of the freshman recruiting class, also made a sweet grab on an underthrown ball.


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