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Oklahoma State football notebook: Cowboys focusing on themselves %u2014 not Texas %u2014 during bye week

Next Saturday's showdown with No. 12 Texas is a highly anticipated game for Oklahoma State, and a contest that will likely go a long way in determining the Big 12 standings. But Mike Gundy said much of this week's practice work has been on the base offense and defense.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: September 20, 2012
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“For us to be a great team, we've got to do a great job of forcing turnovers.”

Last season, the Cowboys were both a great team (Big 12 and Fiesta Bowl champions) and did a great job of forcing turnovers (an NCAA-best 44). This season, the Cowboys have just three takeaways in three games, with two coming against lowly Savannah State and one coming on a completely unforced fumble against ULL.

OSU is currently tied for 107th in the nation in turnover margin (-4) and tied for 95th in the nation in takeaways (three). Alabama and Mississippi State are tied for first in the NCAA in turnover margin (+11), while those two schools and Kansas lead the nation with 12 turnovers forced so far in 2012.

OPPONENT WATCH: LONGHORNS CONFIDENT, BUT NOT COCKY

Blowout victories over Wyoming, New Mexico and Mississippi in nonconference play have helped Texas climb in the polls, shown David Ash is an improved quarterback and may be the early indications that the Longhorns are “back.”

The first three games of conference play will be very telling for Texas, however, as the Longhorns follow their trip to Stillwater on Sept. 29 with a home date against West Virginia and then their annual Cotton Bowl showdown with Oklahoma.

Because of the soft early schedule — and what's ahead starting next week — coach Mack Brown insists his team is not overconfident.

“It's a younger team, and we'll talk to 'em,” Brown told the Austin American-Statesman. “Around here, we get too high too fast and too low. But they pretty much understand what's ahead of them. They know who's playing good and who's not. They're not going up there (to Stillwater) cocky.”