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OSU football: Cowboys' team chemistry was a late bloomer

OSU coach Mike Gundy says the team has grown more in that area over the last six weeks than any team he's ever coached.
Oklahoman Published: November 11, 2013

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer,

STILLWATER — In today's world of rapid reaction and instant analysis, it's easy to be quick to judge the ceiling of a college football team after just a handful of games.

Following a stunning loss at West Virginia in late September and a sluggish offensive performance in a close win over Kansas State the following week, Oklahoma State looked like a squad that was, well, pretty mediocre.

Now, after five consecutive wins, the Cowboys are back in control of their Big 12 title destiny heading into three crucial contests against Texas, Baylor and Oklahoma to finish out the regular season.

Several factors have contributed to OSU's climb back into contention. Key personnel changes at quarterback, running back and along the offensive line. Some new offensive wrinkles. Natural development of players and coaches that comes with a long season.

But coach Mike Gundy zeroed on the intangible of team chemistry this week, saying that the Cowboys have grown more in that area over the last six weeks than any team he's ever coached.

“If we knew (why that was), we would do it every year,” Gundy said. “We've been fortunate here that we've had good leadership and chemistry, but this team was later in developing that.

“I didn't see it until five or six weeks ago. Now, they've kind of gelled and they really enjoy being around each other.”

The term “chemistry” is sometimes difficult to describe, and even more difficult to force.

Cowboy safety Daytawion Lowe feels it in the locker room, where “it's all fun. Not fighting-type stuff.” Linebacker Caleb Lavey feels it on the practice field, where “it's not hard to motivate guys.” Receiver Charlie Moore feels it off the field, where the entire group of pass-catchers comes to his house for a weekly dinner on Thursday nights.

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