Mike Gundy's early years as head coach revealed progress for OSU, yet still lacked a defining breakthrough into his fourth season.
Then the Cowboys won at No. 3 Missouri in 2008, signaling the start of a takeoff.
“I think it was a big win for us,” Gundy said. “A 7 o'clock game on national TV with a big audience, and they were really good.”
Behind quarterback Chase Daniel, the Tigers rode a potent offense to national prominence.
“Going into that game, I don't think they had had a three-and-out all year,” Gundy said. “On the first series, we had them at third-and-13 or third-and-15, and they converted. They threw the ball to that big tight end … and I thought, ‘Oh great.'
“I think we ended up stopping them on three or four three-and-outs that game, though. It was a really big win for us on a really big stage that gave our players the evidence to think that we could do whatever was needed for people to believe in us. It was a big win for our university and our program.”
LEWIS ANTICIPATING TICKET CRUSH
With 71 players from Texas on the roster, the Cotton Bowl represents a return home of some sort for the majority of Cowboys.