November 4, 2012

Cowboys fall in Manhattan

By the time coach Mike Gundy got to the press conference, his face said it all.

Normally a more outgoing coach, the head man for the Cowboys seemed detached, as if he were in a daze.

"You travel on the road and play a good football team, and you turn the ball over, you're poor on special teams, and you don't tackle well, essentially you don't give yourself a chance to win," he said softly. "I was disappointed we couldn't give them a better game and put ourselves in position to win at the end."

The quiet coach had seen a lot tonight. He watched his Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2 Big 12) squad go up on the second-ranked team in the nation 7-0 in the first quarter, only to forfeit the lead and never regain it again. He watched Wes Lunt, his starting quarterback who already missed a handful of games with a leg injury, leave this match early with an unknown injury. He saw his defensive secondary get shredded by a bruising offense and a Heisman-frontrunner quarterback.

But most of all, he saw a 44-30 loss, and he felt disappointment.

"It's just disappointing to me that we played so poorly," he said. "Ultimately we didn't give ourselves a chance to win."

The dagger driven into the Cowboys' hearts was in the form of turnovers, a mistake the Pokes made five times. One of them was a Lunt interception that the Wildcats returned for a touchdown, while another was a running back fumble deep in OSU territory that ultimately led to another score.

"I think the inexperience played into it," Gundy said. "Obviously Wes didn't play well at all. He's a freshman, so I'd say inexperience had to do with it."

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