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Cowboys save wear and tear for the ballgames

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: August 25, 2011

But so far, the plan to keep OSU players healthy during the preseason has worked, as the Cowboys have not suffered any major injuries since fall camp began.

“It's so critical that we get to the ballgame with our players,” OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young said. “We feel like if we can get into a game with our players and get to a bowl game with the same guys who started the first game, we could have a tremendous year.

“We lose one player or two players, all of a sudden, we can get very average.”

Another part of the no-scrimmage philosophy is to spend more time focusing on complicated schemes rather than wearing bodies down before the season even begins. OSU defensive end Jamie Blatnick has noticed a difference between camp two years ago — where the Cowboys did scrimmage — and camp the past two seasons.

“It's really paid off,” Blatnick said of the new style. “People do better when they know what they're supposed to do, rather than just grinding, grinding, grinding.”

But the big question is, will OSU be ready to actually tackle someone when the time comes?

“We hope,” Gundy said. “Those discussions have all taken place, and that's one of the things that keeps me up at night, I guarantee you.”