Oklahoma State arrives in Morgantown, W.Va., this weekend still carrying the preseason optimism that resulted in the Cowboys being named the Big 12 favorites.
At 3-0 and ranked No. 11 nationally, OSU will be a three-touchdown favorite — on the road.
Did Cowboys coach Mike Gundy have the foresight to imagine such a status change for the program when he took over as head coach in 2005?
“I don't know that I ever thought that far ahead,” Gundy said. “When I got the job, I thought we had a huge task and we were going to have to work diligently day by day and never really put much thought into it until we started collecting some players that I felt like had the capability of playing in the NFL.
“And once we started to gather some of those guys on our team … in most cases, if you get good quarterback play and you have a few guys that are going to get picked in the draft, you have a chance to win your conference.”
WVU DEFENSE PREPARED FOR OSU?
The Mountaineers may be big underdogs against OSU, but chatter coming out of Morgantown suggests they feel like they're ready for anything the Cowboys bring on offense.
The similarities in their offenses — WVU coach Dana Holgorsen is the architect of both school's attacks — brings a certain familiarity. And the Mountaineers have faced dual-threat quarterbacks in Oklahoma's Blake Bell and Maryland's C.J. Brown, perhaps preparing them for OSU's J.W. Walsh.
“I think with the Oklahoma game, it is hard to find a quarterback who runs better than (Bell) did,” said Mountaineers defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, a Marlow native whose background includes coaching stops at several Oklahoma high schools and Tulsa University. “As for Walsh, I am very impressed with him. The kid has size. He runs well, but also throws the ball extremely well for a kid his size.