OSU notebook: Justin Gilbert chasing return records

BY JOHN HELSLEY, Staff Writer, jhelsley@opubco.com Published: October 17, 2011

Just halfway into his sophomore season, Justin Gilbert is already taking aim at kick return records.

Gilbert has already tied OSU's mark for touchdown returns, matching Perrish Cox with four scores after Saturday's 100-yard runback at Texas.

In sight: C.J. Spiller's NCAA record of seven.

Ask Gilbert, he'll get there.

“It's all about leverage and reading the blocks and being patient and hitting the hole as fast as I can,” he said. “Once I hit the second level, I'm pretty confident that I'm getting in the end zone.”

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said he predicted this of Gilbert in previous private conversations.

“I felt like by the time he finished here, you could forget about Perrish Cox,” Gundy said. “So far, he is making that statement true.”

Gilbert's touchdown return against the Longhorns came from four yards deep in the end zone. Does he have a limit?

“It's all up to the lead returner, whether he wants me to stay in or not,” Gilbert said. “If I'm catching the ball and moving backwards, he'll want me to stay in. If I catch it, I'm wanting to come out. But it's all up to him. If I hear him say stop, I'll stop.”

Gilbert's big return at Texas was followed by a 100-yard runback by the Longhorns' Fozzy Whitaker. On the ensuing kick, Gilbert fielded the ball deep in the end zone and took a knee, to the displeasure of many.

“I was kind of disappointed, too,” he said. “I was a little bit winded. But I still think I could have returned it to the house again.”

HOMECOMING KICKOFF SET

The Cowboys' homecoming game against Baylor will kick off at 2:30 p.m., set for national television on ABC and ESPN2.

The game will feature a reverse-mirror telecast, meaning those who don't receive the regional ABC feed can view the game on ESPN2.

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