Part of the normal routine for any game played away from home is to do a walk-thru at the stadium the evening before the contest.
But Oklahoma State won’t have that luxury for its season opener against Mississippi State, as Reliant Stadium will host the Houston-Southern game that Friday night. Houston is playing at the NFL venue this season while the school constructs a new stadium.
“I’ve never been on a road trip, ever, where you couldn’t get in the stadium (the day before),” coach Mike Gundy said.
Gundy said the Cowboys won’t instead stage a walk-thru at another location. Part of that reasoning is because of the expected hot and humid weather. But the bigger part is the fact that the walk-thru isn’t really about the light (light) workout as much as it is about getting familiar with new surroundings.
“The kids that have never seen it,” Gundy said, “you get them in the locker room and they know where the training room is, they know where the bathroom is, they know where the equipment table is set up, they know where their locker is. Because when we get to the stadium (on game day), you only have (a limited) number of minutes (before pregame warm-ups).
“And you’re going to travel with 20 to 22 to 28 kids that have never really traveled. It takes them a few minutes to figure everything out. Then you run late and then everyone starts yelling at each other…”
Gundy has, of course, been inside Reliant for the 2002 Houston Bowl. But he doesn’t plan to give his players an idea of what to expect.
“Those kids that haven’t seen it, they’re going to walk around and look,” Gundy said. “It doesn’t make a difference what I’ve told them.”