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OSU notebook: Cowboys coach Mike Gundy challenges defense

by John Helsley Published: December 4, 2011

During the hours leading up to kickoff, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy took time to specially motivate his defense for the task at hand.

With the Cowboys needing a statement win for BCS purposes, Gundy told his defenders they could make a statement, too.

“I had mentioned to our defense that this was a time for them to shine,” Gundy said, “and be on the big stage in the spotlight.

“They had taken some heat throughout the year and if they wanted to prove to people that just half of what I said during the season (about them) was right, that they needed to do it tonight.”

Message received.

The Cowboys shutout the Sooners until the final moments with an aggressive and dominant performance — a 44-10 victory in a defacto Big 12 Championship game.

“I mentioned to them that tonight was their night. And I don't think there's any question they showed up in a big way.”


Gundy says he has laid awake at night, dreaming of the day he could hand a Big 12 championship trophy to program benefactor Boone Pickens. Saturday night, that dream was fulfilled.

Pickens said the feeling of beating OU for the Big 12 title trumps any business deal he's ever made.

“Of course it does,” Pickens said. “I really like the feeling tonight. I don't know when I've ever felt this way ever about my school.”

Pickens has given over $500 million to OSU. His original gift was $20 million, followed by $165 million. Pickens said he didn't say anything until the second donation.

“I said I was tired of leaving the stadium with my head down,” Pickens said. “I got tired of looking at my shoes when I left.”

No heads were down Saturday night.

“What he started here, everybody else bought in,” Gundy said. “There's a sense of pride in this program.”


Cowboys wide receiver Justin Blackmon finished with 10 catches, pushing his season total to 113.

That broke the OSU record for receptions in a season, set last year by Blackmon at 111.

The Biletnikoff Award winner a year ago, Blackmon is a finalist for the honor again.


Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden grew up in Oklahoma, making Saturday night's win all the better, especially considering he and Blackmon came back for one more season instead of jumping to the NFL.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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