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Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy: Cowboys prepared for Nebraska's top-ranked pass defense

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: October 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm •  Published: October 18, 2010

Nebraska leads the nation in pass defense. Oklahoma State is third nationally in passing.

How the Cornhuskers fare against OSU's balanced attack, led by wide receiver Justin Blackmon, is the marquee matchup when the Cowboys host Nebraska Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium.

"I'm sure they'll bracket coverage Blackmon," OSU coach Mike Gundy said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference. "Our guys have to be prepared and have a plan how to attack that. And we have to protect. They've been able to get pressure. There are some good matchups that should make the game interesting."

After watching Blackmon compile 10 receptions for 207 yards, Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said Blackmon is an elite receiver that's difficult to stop, even with double coverage.

"He plays fast. He's big. He's physical," Tuberville said. "The only touchdown they made in the second half we went for an interception. We have a safety that jumps pretty good and (Blackmon) just out jumped him, made the reception and ran about 50 yards.

"He had a great day on us but we focused on him. It wasn't like we tried to cover the field and tried to be balanced. We put two guys on him. He has so much acceleration. He's a heck of a player... He has no fear. He'll catch it across the middle, post routes, go routes and short routes and breaks tackles. That's the quality of a great receiver."

Despite Nebraska's loss to Texas, Gundy said the Cornhuskers are still an elite team.

"A week ago, or 10 days ago, most people across the country would think they had a chance to compete for the national championship if they had continued to move on," Gundy said. "College football is so unpredictable. Each week we're all vulnerable. Hopefully our guys understand that."

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said Monday he probably made a mistake when he removed talented freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez in the second half after the Longhorns stuffed the Cornhuskers' option game. Pelini said Martinez will start Saturday in Stillwater.

In the loss to Texas, Martinez was held to 21 yards rushing on 13 carries and was 4-of-12 passing for 63 yards.

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