The Cowboys went to Kansas State, where they hadn't won a football game since 1988, minus the nation's top receiver (Justin Blackmon) and two other contributing wideouts (Tracy Moore and Hubert Anyiam) from their spread offense.
Coming off their first loss of the season, the scenario might have appeared bleak.
"I like to think that we're at a point in our program where we're able to win some games if everything doesn't work in our favor," said OSU coach Mike Gundy. "I don't know that it's always been that way at Oklahoma State."
In the game, the Cowboys committed two early turnovers and were flagged 10 times for 100 yards in penalties.
"We had every opportunity to go up and not play well and come home and blame it on Justin and certain other guys that didn't take care of their business," Gundy said. "But Orie Lemon and Johnny (Thomas) and Ugo (Chinasa) and Kendall (Hunter) and our offensive line, who are kind of quiet leaders, those guys just kind of rallied and said, 'This is not what we stand for.'
"I'm very proud of them for that. It needs to continue on."
GUNDY ON LIST
Gundy is among seven on the watch list for the 2010 Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.
The only Big 12 coach on the list, Gundy is joined by Auburn's Gene Chizik, Boise State's Chris Petersen, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Oregon's Chip Kelly, Arizona's Mike Stoops and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz as those being followed for the Dodd Trophy.
The recipient of the award will be announced at halftime of the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.
Gundy said Blackmon and Moore would return to the rotation in full Saturday against Baylor, suggesting their punishment has been served.
Blackmon did not make the trip to Manhattan after facing a DUI complaint on an ill-advised trip to last week's Dallas Cowboys game. Moore, also along on the Dallas excursion, did not play on offense against Kansas State, limited only to special teams.
Anyiam, suffering from a high ankle sprain, was limited in practice Sunday night and is questionable for Baylor.
Backup cornerback and return man Justin Gilbert, also battling a bum ankle, was more active in practice and is probable.
Down 7-0 late in the first half at K-State, the Cowboys went on a clutch drive to a tying touchdown that resulted in relief and rejuvenation for the offense.
"Our defense played so well in the first half," said quarterback Brandon Weeden. "I kept telling them, 'We're going to get some points.' We just never did.
"That drive was kind of the difference. We got a little momentum going into halftime. That was probably the biggest drive of the game."
The flip of the calendar brings a fun vow of unity at OSU: No-Shave November.
"If I can grow a beard, I'll be stoked, because I've never tried," Weeden said.
Weeden's growth has already begun. Others, it seems, might have a harder time.
"All the quarterbacks are involved," Weeden said. "Clint Chelf is 19, I'm not sure he's shaved in 19 years. He's got nothing, just bald.
"We're going to give it a shot. I'll be very surprised if I make it all 30 days of the month."
While many of the Cowboys have no one to answer to but the mirror, Weeden has a wife, Melanie, at home. And early indications are not favorable.
"No, she doesn't like it," Weeden said. "I told her this morning I was going to try it, and she wasn't very happy about it."