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OSU football notebook: Cowboys excelling on kickoff coverage

OSU has had a few notable special teams blunders this season — particularly on field goal tries and punts. But one area where the Cowboys have excelled is on covering kickoffs, ranking fifth in the nation in that category with 16.31 yards allowed per return.
BY GINA MIZELL Modified: October 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm •  Published: October 13, 2013
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Oklahoma State has had a few notable special teams blunders this season — particularly on field goal tries and punts. But one area where the Cowboys have excelled is on covering kickoffs, ranking fifth in the nation in that category with 16.31 yards allowed per return.

That figure even includes a 66-yard return given up against Mississippi State in the Cowboys' opener.

Coach Mike Gundy attributes part of the kickoff coverage success to Kip Smith's ability to “sky kick,” which often forces the returner to take the ball deep in his own territory rather than letting it go for a touchback. But health may be what's most helped that unit.

“In past years, we've had some guys that were on that unit that got hurt and we had to sub young guys in,” Gundy said. “There's an art to the return game and the kick coverage game and those players get considerably better through experience.”

GUNDY'S FAVORITE UNIFORMS? ALL BLACK

OSU has been part of the college football uniform phenomenon for three seasons. But the topic bubbled up locally again last week, when Oklahoma and Texas debuted jerseys with gold trim around the numbers for their Red River Rivalry game.

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