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Oklahoma State football notebook: Mike Yurcich embracing first bowl experience

BY GINA MIZELL Published: December 20, 2013
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Finishing the season in a bowl game has become a regular occurrence for Oklahoma State players and coaches, with the Cowboys' Cotton Bowl matchup against Missouri marking their eighth consecutive bowl appearance.

But for first-year offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich, this is a new experience.

He played football at Division II's California University of Pennsylvania and coached almost exclusively in lower-level football — other than two seasons as a graduate assistant at Indiana that did not finish with bowl games — before coming to OSU.

Will he allow himself to take it all in?

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “I love everything about it. The preparation that we're able to have and being able to practice for it and being able to go down there in Dallas, it's gonna be a fun event.”

OSU FB STALEY, MIZZOU RB JOSEY SHARE SIMILAR COMEBACK STORIES

When asked about Kye Staley finishing out his six-year OSU career in the Cotton Bowl, Cowboy coach Mike Gundy compared his comeback journey to Missouri running back Henry Josey.

Josey, like Staley, suffered a devastating knee injury late in the 2011 season, which caused him to miss all of 2012.

But Josey has recovered in a big way, going over 1,000 yards for the season in the SEC championship game to become just the second running back in school history to hit that clip twice in a career.

“I don't know the young man,” Gundy said. “But I'm guessing that he was like Kye in that he just refused to listen to people tell him that he couldn't play.”

Staley, meanwhile, has shaken off some early-season injury troubles to remain a powerful lead blocker at fullback for the Cowboys. He's even gotten the ball on occasion down the stretch, recording nine carries for 32 yards and two touchdowns.

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