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Cowboys save wear and tear for the ballgames

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, Published: August 25, 2011

STILLWATER — It's not that the Oklahoma State football team's preseason practices haven't had any hitting.

There have been plenty of “live thuds,” as coach Mike Gundy likes to say.

But the Cowboys never full-on scrimmaged during fall camp. And Gundy revealed Thursday that, for the second year in a row, OSU will not scrimmage at all before its season-opener Sept. 3 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.

“I hope the decision we made as a coaching staff was good,” Gundy said. “To keep everybody up and running full speed, keep them healthy, keep them fresh and hope that there's enough maturity on our team that they can go play hard in the first game.”

That doesn't mean practice doesn't feature any contact. It just means that the goal is to avoid taking players all the way to the ground.

How much to tackle during the preseason is a question that every football coach constantly wrestles with. Gundy even joked Thursday that “there's probably one that I played for…saying I'm crazy.”

That would be former OSU coach Pat Jones. While Jones noted that there's no right or wrong strategy when it comes to hitting in practice, he admitted he still believes in the old-school philosophy.

“If you want to not get anybody hurt, just give up football,” Jones said. “There's obviously a trade off, and you've got to use some sense about it.”

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