Oklahoma State football team prepares for Missouri

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, right, pushes past Missouri defensive back Castine Bridges for a first down in the Tigers' loss last October in Columbia.

When Oklahoma State played Missouri last season, the Cowboys upset the then-No. 3 Tigers 28-23. Oklahoma State was then 6-0 and ranked 17th.

“I think it’s probably one of the biggest wins for this era that we’ve had in a while,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said in his Monday news conference. “Because there’s no question, and I think everybody out there would agree that the program’s come along, and we’ve played better, but we hadn’t had really that milestone victory that people talk about.”

Gundy’s team is preparing for its rematch with Missouri at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. Both teams are 4-1. Oklahoma State is ranked No. 16 by the Associated Press, Missouri is unranked.

“Obviously No. 12 (Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon) is a really, really good football player,” Gundy said. “He’s one of the best we’ve seen in years. He gets off blocks. He makes plays. He shows great effort. Their safeties tackle very well. This’ll be a great challenge for us, but we’re looking forward to getting back out there tonight and getting back to work.”

Oklahoma State might be playing without top receiver Dez Bryant, who was declared ineligible by Oklahoma State last week after it was discovered he lied to the NCAA about a meeting with former NFL player Deion Sanders. Bryant was expected to go through a follow-up interview with the NCAA on Tuesday on Indianapolis. Gundy said Oklahoma State has filed an appeal for Bryant’s reinstatement.

“I’ll be real honest with you,” Gundy said. “I’ve told them just to keep me informed so I can work with Dez. I don’t know when he’s getting on a plane. I don’t know where he’s going. I don’t know who he’s talking to. I’m talking about our staff. We’re in full support of him, but it’s out of our hands now.”In Bryant’s absence, Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson passed for 279 yards in the Cowboys’ 36-31 win against Texas A&M on Saturday. Gundy said his team’s offense is different without Bryant, but is unsure how that affects other teams’ plans.

“You would have to ask the other teams that,” he said. The question for them would be, ‘Would you prefer to spread the field and cover a number of guys or would you prefer to try and cover Dez?’ That’s probably the question you’re asking. You’d have to direct that toward them. I’m not sure. I do know that we have more balance.”

Wide receiver Hubert Anyiam had three catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in the game against Texas A&M.

“As a coach, it’s funny. Over the last three years, I get questions in this media conference a lot, ‘How come Dez only touched the ball twice in the first half?’,” Gundy said. “And then the next week I’ll get a question, ‘Well how come you don’t spread it out?’ And so, I think it’s a good topic for conversation, but Hubert’s worked hard and deserves to get the ball.”

Bryant isn’t the only starter with an uncertain status for the game. Running back Kendall Hunter is day-to-day with a leg injury and hasn’t played since Sept. 12. Keith Toston started the past three games at running back and ran for 130 yards against Texas A&M.

“It’s a perfect example that if there’s a player that you’ve relied on for a number of games or a couple of years that can’t play, then it’s an opportunity for another guy to step up and see what he can do,” Gundy said. “Keith’s been sitting there, and he works hard for us and he’s been durable for us. He just stays in the flow.”


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