Big 12 football: Cowboys, Wildcats looking to rebound

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Houston quarterback Case Keenum signals a touchdown during Saturday's upset win against No. 5 Oklahoma State.

COLUMBIA – Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has experienced a roller coaster of emotion with his team, and the Cowboys have only played twice.

After opening the season with a highly publicized win over Georgia, the Cowboys allowed 45 points Saturday in a 10-point loss to Houston.

Gundy said his team can learn a lot from the disappointment.

"You just tell them the truth," he said in Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "What we do in college football is no different than what people do in their life. They have a setback, then they need to find a way to correct the mistakes that may have caused a setback, and then get ready for the next opportunity to have success."

Oklahoma State was ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll before the Houston game.

"The only difference in college football than any other aspect out there in the real world is we're in the public's eye," Gundy said. "Everything we do every weekend, people see it, and there's a lot of talk about it. It's everyday life for these guys, and there's great life lessons that have to be learned here."

Zac Robinson lost a fumble and then threw an interception in the fourth quarter, a period in which Houston outscored the Cowboys 21-7.

"We have a lot of confidence in Zac," Gundy said. "We would like for him to take care of the football better than he has in the last game. To improve in that area will improve our offense considerably."

"Essentially what it came down to is we turned the ball over and lost the turnover battle considerably," he said. "When you do that, it's hard to win games against teams that have guys that can make plays."

KANSAS STATE LOSES: Coach Bill Snyder is in his second head coaching stint at Kansas State but is faced with challenges after the Wildcats lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 17-15 on a late field goal.

Despite outgaining the Ragin' Cajuns by 90 yards, the Kansas State offense did not score until the fourth quarter.

"I was pleased to a certain degree that our youngsters did come back, close the gap, took the lead, (and) actually got some offense on the board which was sorely missed in the first half of the ballgame," Snyder said.

Quarterback Carson Coffman, whose brother Chase Coffman played at tight end for Missouri through last season, struggled Saturday, throwing 13 completions on 25 attempts with one interception.

"I think right now it's quite obvious we need to have substantial improvement in that position (quarterback)," Snyder acknowledged. "We have to make better decisions. We've got to throw the ball more accurately."

Still, Snyder said his team's mindset is becoming more conducive to success.

"I think the mental toughness was something that I was continually hoping that we would develop," he said. "And I think we got a little closer in that respect."

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