OSU notebook: Cowboys' Jonathan Rush, Devin Hedgepeth out for season

BY JOHN HELSLEY and BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writers Published: September 24, 2011

RUSH, HEDGEPETH OUT FOR SEASON

The win at Texas A&M came at a cost. Starting guard Jonathan Rush and backup cornerback Devin Hedgepeth were both lost to season-ending injuries.


Rush suffered a left knee injury, while Hedgepeth ruptured an Achilles tendon.

“That's a blow,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said.

The loss of Hedgepeth, who played significant minutes, enhances Andrae May's role, with Larry Stephens likely to move up as the fourth corner.

Nick Martinez slid over and Parker Graham moved up to fill Rush's spot.

OSU's line depth proved helpful in other areas, too. When center Grant Garner went out briefly, Casey LaBrue stepped in and played well.

“The center got cramped and hurt his ankle, then we put in a guy who has been a darn walk-on and been around for two or three years, Casey LaBrue,” said OSU offensive line coach Joe Wickline. “Now he's on scholarship. And he earned his keep a little bit.”

FINAL PLAY NOT IN THE PLAYBOOK

Facing fourth-and-26 Saturday from their own 39 with five seconds to play, the Cowboys opted not to punt.

They opted to run out the clock, with Justin Blackmon running 39 yards out of the end zone for a safety.

“That's the first time I've ever been told to run backwards,” said Blackmon. “They told me to run out the back of the end zone when the clock hit zero.”

So now Blackmon, to go with his many prominent receiving records, has what is likely the record for longest single play rushing loss.

“That's nice,” he said with a smile.

And Blackmon will take it, happily.

“I'll take all the glory for it,” Blackmon said.

Not that he knew it was coming. The call won't be found in the OSU playbook.

“No practice,” Blackmon said. “It was right there on the spot. I didn't ask to do it or anything, it just happened.”

Gundy cracked that the final snap was going to one of two players: “Either (Brandon) Weeden or Blackmon.”

Uh, for 39 yards, Blackmon is the guy.

And it was simple, really. Catch the ball, run the wrong way, but don't cross the end line until time had expired.

“I watched the clock,” on the video board, Blackmon said.

REALIGNMENT TALK DIDN'T GO UNNOTICED

At one point this week, the Cowboys seemed to be headed for the Pac-12. Gundy even talked about recruiting California.

Then the Big 12 was resuscitated – again – keeping the Cowboys in the Midwest, for now. And after the game Saturday, Gundy admitted the chatter was unavoidable.

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