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October 23, 2008

Big 12: Gundy takes blame for Texas loss

MORE PREVIEWS: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy can't get last season's game against Texas out of his head.

"There are some games that never leave you," he said. "Whatever side of your brain that records information and data, I'd like to be able to get some of it out. But it never goes away."

Texas has won 10 in a row over Oklahoma State and overcame a 35-14 deficit in the fourth quarter last season to escape Boone Pickens Stadium with a 38-35 victory on a field goal by Ryan Bailey as time expired.

"We should have won. … That was my fault as the coach," Gundy said. "We should have just sat on the ball and used the clock on offense and played soft on defense, but we didn't."

This season, the Cowboys are 7-0 for the first time since going 9-0 in 1945 and are a top-10 team for the first time since 1988 - when Gundy was playing quarterback and handing off a lot to a tailback named Barry Sanders.

Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson is actually a shade ahead of Colt McCoy, Texas' Heisman front-runner, in passing efficiency. Robinson is No. 3 (191.9 points), while McCoy is No. 4 (190.8) That stat tends to favor yards per pass attempt, and Robinson is averaging 11.1 yards per attempt. Only Tulsa's David Johnson is averaging more than Robinson, at 12 yards per attempt.

The story lately for the Cowboys is the emergence of wide receiver Dez Bryant (one of 57 Texans on Oklahoma State's roster), who has 11 touchdown receptions and is second nationally in receiving yards per game (115.6). Running back Kendall Hunter (another Texan) is sixth nationally in rushing (136.4 ypg) and is a major reason the Cowboys are fifth in rushing offense (283.1 ypg) and fourth in scoring offense (46.4 ppg). Oklahoma State also has given up only five sacks, partly because Robinson's quick feet help him elude the rush.

"We were in position to win the Texas game (last year), and we didn't finish," Gundy said. "I think I learned as a coach, as much as the players needed to learn, how to handle the game. I only hope our players will put me in the same position again as a coach."

  • BEST MATCHUP
  • Kansas QB Todd Reesing vs. Texas Tech's secondary. Reesing hooked up with Dezmon Briscoe for 269 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma's defense in Norman last week in a 45-31 loss to the Sooners. Now, Reesing is at home against a Tech team trying to prove its defense is championship-worthy. Nebraska threw for 357 yards against Tech in a game that went overtime. If Reesing gets hot, watch out. KU has won 13 in a row at home.

  • PLAYER TO WATCH
  • THE SCHEDULE
    Saturday
    Texas Tech at Kansas, noon
    Baylor at Nebraska, 12:30 p.m.
    Oklahoma at Kansas State, 12:30 p.m.
    Oklahoma State at Texas, 3:30 p.m.
    Colorado at Missouri, 6:30 p.m.
    Texas A&M at Iowa State, 7:00 p.m.

    Baylor QB Robert Griffin. The Bears go to Lincoln, Neb., a week after getting pounded 34-6 at Oklahoma State. Nebraska has looked like three different teams this season – horrible (losing 52-17 at home to Missouri), adequate (in a 37-31 overtime loss at Texas Tech) and polished (in a 35-7 win at Iowa State last week). If Nebraska No. 1 shows up this week, Griffin - a true freshman who has yet to throw an interception this season - could make things tough for the Huskers.

  • WHO'S HOT
  • Texas' McCoy set a school record for consecutive completions (17) in a 56-31 rout of Missouri and finished the night 29-for-32 (90.6 percent) for 337 yards and two touchdowns. McCoy also ran for two scores. … One week after rushing 26 times for 48 yards against Texas, Oklahoma ran 44 times for 206 yards against Kansas. The Sooners were led by Chris Brown, who ran 12 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. … Oklahoma has won 22 in a row at home, a streak that is the longest in the nation. … Colorado RB Rodney Stewart, who had 29 carries for 141 yards in a 14-13 victory over Kansas State last week, posted his third 100-yard game. He tied Lamont Warren for most 100-yard games by a freshman in CU history. … Briscoe's 12 catches for 269 yards for Kansas against OU set a school record for catches in a game and marked the first time since 1989 that a KU receiver had more than 200 yards. … Iowa State has forced a league-high 20 turnovers. … Kansas State leads the nation with seven blocked kicks this season.

  • WHO'S NOT
  • Nebraska is 119th nationally in net punting, averaging 27.4 yards per punt. … Colorado is 92nd in passing offense (182.6 ypg) and 96th in total offense (316.3 ypg). Coach Dan Hawkins benched his son, Cody, in a 14-13 victory over Kansas State and burned the redshirt of freshman QB Tyler Hansen. Hansen was 7-for-14 for 71 yards and a touchdown with one interception while rotating with Cody Hawkins. … Texas A&M is 110th nationally in scoring defense, giving up 34.4 points per game. … Kansas State can't stop the run, ranking 101st nationally in rush defense. The Wildcats are giving up 190.6 yards per game on the ground. … Texas Tech is one of the most penalized teams in the nation, averaging nearly nine flags per game (8.7) for 72.4 yards. Oklahoma State is only slightly better than Tech, averaging 8.3 flags per game for 71.4 yards.

  • WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
  • "I'm trying to figure this team out because they've surprised me. I'm still a little lost. They're coming faster than I anticipated."
    – Texas coach Mack Brown, whose team is No. 1 in the BCS standings

    "We are not at the level we are used to, so we expect more. But if you look at us compared to everyone else in the league, we are probably toward the top of everything. We want more."
    – Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on his defense after giving up 45 points to Texas and 31 points to Kansas in back-to-back weeks.

    "By no imagination do I think losing the game is progress. That's not progress. … We had an aggressive nature. There was a lot of energy on the field, a lot of want-to, a lot of support amongst teammates for teammates. So I saw a lot of things that I hadn't necessarily seen."
    – Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman after his team lost to Texas Tech 43-25 after holding a 23-20 lead in the third quarter

  • ETC.
  • Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell set the Big 12 career record for total offense (13,276) previously held by Missouri's Brad Smith. … Texas A&M redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill had 104 receiving yards on five catches against Texas Tech. He is the first A&M freshman to have consecutive 100-yard receiving games in school history. … K-State QB Josh Freeman has gone 143 pass attempts without an interception. Freeman has 36 TD passes and needs only one more to tie the school career record held by Ell Roberson… Missouri TE Chase Coffman set the school career receptions record after posting 12 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown against Texas. Coffman has 213 receptions, breaking the previous record of 203 set by former TE Martin Rucker. … Reesing has set Kansas career record for completions (486) and total offense (6,425 yards).

    MORE PREVIEWS: ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC

    Chip Brown is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at chipbrown210@gmail.com.



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