Wins and losses a family affairIn the span of seven days, OSU experienced emotional extremes in the form of a major victory and a deflating defeat. In each case, Cowboys coaches had a message of perspective for their players to handle the situations. And each comes with challenges. "It’s no different from raising children,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. "You don’t want to be too soft on them. But then you also want them to be able to come to you and open up to you. "So it’s a real fine line there in that, ‘Enjoy the victory, but get back to work.’ And, ‘OK, this is what happened, this is why it happened, we have to come back to work and correct our mistakes and move forward.’ "I don’t think there’s any difference. I certainly would rather do the first one. But they’re both difficult.”
Twist of fateSenior running back Keith Toston is likely to receive a rare start against Rice, with Kendall Hunter unlikely to play because of a bum ankle. Beau Johnson will join Toston in what figures to be a running back platoon. For Toston, it would be a sixth start in a career that has seen him endure highs and lows. He earned playing time as a true freshman and has run for 1,660 yards and 17 touchdowns in three-plus seasons. Not bad for a backup who nearly never made it on the offensive side of the ball. "We thought he was going to be a safety,” Gundy said. "He showed a lot of toughness for a true freshman, so obviously, we never moved him.”
Bad tasteThe Houston game left the Cowboys with an unsavory taste of defeat. Safety Johnny Thomas said the team can use the desire to rid that as motivation. "We don’t want to feel that anymore,” Thomas said.
Point Of emphasisCollege football officials have been instructed to make helmet-to-helmet penalties a "point of emphasis” this season. The Cowboys have witnessed the emphasis, with several calls already going for and against them through two games. The emphasis, at times, has appeared misplaced upon replays. "That’s a tough rule,” Gundy said. "We have to try and coach it and coach it. It’s hard for everybody, not just us. But when guys go in there to tackle, it’s just hard to not lead with your head and your shoulder. "I think it’s a tough play to call for the officials, just because it happens so fast, because ‘Did he lead with his helmet, or did he lead with his shoulder?’ I think it’s a very difficult call for them to make.”
Dawg’s costly plane tripWhat’s it worth to have your starting, yet feverish, quarterback in place for game day? For Georgia: $6,274. Bulldogs quarterback Joe Cox didn’t travel with the team to Stillwater, instead flying on a private plane later the Friday night before the game. Cox was sick with a virus, running a 100-plus temperature, and team officials worried about the illness spreading. So they sent Cox on a university-owned turbo prop plane, with the steep costs associated with pilots, crew and expenses. By John Helsley
Wins and losses a family affair