No. 6 Cowboys absorb injuries, prepare for Kansas
Even with an extra week, defensive end Cooper Bassett doesn't think No. 6 Oklahoma State's coaches have had their last say about the wild Big 12 opener that ended up being a comeback victory.
The Cowboys (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) headed into their open week after digging out of a 17-point halftime hole to win at then-No. 8 Texas A&M. That just meant a couple extra days to look back at all that went right and wrong before moving forward with preparations for this week's game against Kansas.
''We're going to be reminded of that. It's good to have negative motivation,'' Bassett said Monday. ''It's good to have things that you can look back at, you're embarrassed at as a competitor and say, `I never want that to happen again.' And we'll use that throughout the season.
''Now, the positives for an athlete, unfortunately, are kind of short-lived. ... because our coaches will remind us more of the things we did in the first half than we did in the second half.''
Nothing had gone right for the Cowboys by halftime in College Station. They were trailing 20-3, unable to slow down the Aggies' offense or get their own high-powered offense going.
A few turnovers turned the tide and Oklahoma State ended up celebrating a 30-29 win - with coach Mike Gundy dancing in the locker room in a video that's now become the second Internet sensation of his career.
''They get a kick out of it when a coach dances,'' Gundy said. ''Now, I've had several people text me about dance lessons and all that. ... That's it for me, so it'd be like a 7-second lesson. It's my only move.''
The Cowboys practiced three times last week, then took a long weekend off before returning for their normal Sunday night session.
Gundy said he thought there was still good enthusiasm, and he hoped the emotional high hasn't completely faded away.
''You see it both ways. Sometimes momentum's a factor, sometimes guys need a break,'' Gundy said. ''I don't know that anybody has the answer to that. Hopefully we can start fast and pick up where we left off.''
Oklahoma State also had extra time to deal with season-ending injuries to starting left guard Jonathan Rush (knee) and cornerback Devin Hedgepeth (ruptured Achilles tendon). Senior Nick Martinez, who has started the last 17 games, is expected to take Rush's place in the latest lineup shuffle up front.
Martinez has already started twice at left tackle, once at right guard and once at left guard as line coach Joe Wickline has had the luxury of tinkering with different combinations because of improved depth.
Hedgepeth was not a starter but played regularly in a secondary that Gundy has called the Cowboys' deepest in his seven years as head coach.
So, the injuries came at the positions where his team is perhaps best prepared to take hits.
''It's a serious blow but because we've been able to work some other players, maybe it doesn't knock us down and we have to get back up,'' Gundy said. ''We stumble around a little bit and kind of regain our composure.''