Now four-plus weeks from suffering a knee injury against Louisiana-Lafayette, quarterback Wes Lunt appears to be nearing a return to game action.
How near, however, remains unclear.
Monday during his weekly press conference, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy termed Lunt as “day-to-day,” heading into this week's homecoming game against Iowa State.
Still, Lunt was back in uniform for the first time Saturday at Kansas. And OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken said while playing Lunt wouldn't have been an ideal situation, the possibility did exist.
“We didn't take him to just stand there and be a decoy,” Monken said. “We took him with the thought that if we had to have him we could.”
Monken added that Sunday night, Lunt did some running — one necessary step in his return to the lineup — threw passes in seven-on-seven drills and took some reps during the team period, along with J.W. Walsh, who is now 2-1 as Lunt's replacement.
“I think as we move forward, we'll assess where he's at and then figure who we think gives us the best chance to win,” Monken said. “When he's healthy enough to go, I don't know when that is.
“Now, I think the knee is pretty stable, it's just the tightness and the pain. We'll move on down the road and see how he practices and go from there.”
Monken was asked if he was a betting man, would he bet on Lunt playing Saturday against Iowa State?
“I like to bet, but I don't know whether he's going to play or not,” Monken said. “I really don't. I'm hopeful that he's capable of playing and give us an option.”
TCU KICKOFF TIME SET
The Big 12 announced that the Cowboys' Oct. 27 game against TCU is set for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The game — the first pairing the teams as members of the conference — will be televised by FSN.
YOUNG REGRETS LATE AGGRESSIVENESS
OSU led 20-0 going into the fourth quarter at Kansas and appeared on the verge of a shutout, controlling the Jayhawks and limiting them to 236 yards through three quarters.
But KU scored two touchdowns and even placed the outcome in doubt, leaving Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young regretting some of his own calls.
On both of the touchdowns, Young called for blitzes, helping spring scoring plays of 21 and 30 yards.
“I blitzed twice late in the game and shouldn't have, in hindsight,” Young said. “If we'd have executed it would have been real good. But we didn't execute as we should have and it ended up being two touchdowns.
“We need to win the surest way, just line up and play our base (defense) and let them try to beat us making three and four yards a play.”
DEFENSE MAKES A STAND
OSU's late-game defense wasn't all bad.
After pulling closer at 20-14, the Jayhawks got the ball again and moved into Cowboys territory, where the OSU defense finally made a stand, eventually stopping KU on a fourth-and-5 play from the 41.
Linebacker Alex Elkins said he relished the opportunity.
“I was already on the field, jumping up and down, screaming and hollering,” Elkins said. “That's what I play for. I want that opportunity. It's not basketball, but if I played basketball, I would want the ball in my hands for the last shot.
“I was actually excited about it. And I knew that if we got out there and had the opportunity to stop them, we would do it.”
OPPONENT WATCH: ISU IN THE BCS
Iowa State has played a challenging early schedule, with games against Tulsa and Iowa in nonconference play and league games against Texas Tech, TCU and Kansas State.
So while 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, the Cyclones still cracked the BCS Standings, opening at No. 24 in the initial rankings.
For ISU, it's the first BCS ranking in program history.
“I was kind of an about-time thing,” Cyclones running back Jeff Woody told reporters Monday. “We've played well all year, for the most part. We know we're a good team. It's kind of a validation of what we think we are.”
By John Helsley