John Klein: OSU must make quick recovery to beat Baylor
BY JOHN KLEIN Senior Sports Columnist
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
11/27/12 at 5:27 AM
Go to John Klein's Blog Original Print Headline: OSU must make quick recovery to beat Baylor
STILLWATER - It seems inevitable that Oklahoma State is headed for a long and painful recovery from the dramatic loss at Oklahoma.
However, no matter how disappointing, OSU has done a good job of rebounding after tough losses under coach Mike Gundy.
The Cowboys will need some of Gundy's magic this week.
Oklahoma State will have to somehow recover from what had to be an absolutely crushing overtime loss at Oklahoma in time to face red-hot Baylor.
"The first thing is we have to get over it," said Gundy.
OSU must go on the road to face a team that defeated the No. 1 team in the nation the last time Baylor played in Waco.
The Bears have beaten Kansas State and Texas Tech the past two weeks.
Baylor is more than capable of beating Oklahoma State and sending the Cowboys off to a bowl on a big downer.
"It is another week in the Big 12, and that means another exciting game," said Gundy.
That's the challenge facing Gundy this week.
So, Gundy changed the routine on Sunday. Instead of the usual film study, the Cowboys watched films of several stand-up comedians.
"A comedy hour," said Gundy. "They needed it. They needed a little bit of a break."
If Oklahoma State plays as well as it has the past three weeks - routs of Texas Tech and West Virginia and an overtime loss at OU - then the Cowboys should win.
If not, Baylor can ruin what has been somewhat of an uplifting season for the Cowboys, who have successfully dealt with a series of devastating injuries.
"I felt good about our team by the time they left on Sunday night," said Gundy.
Crushing losses in Gundy's eight years usually have been followed by uplifting victories.
Gundy, who preaches not getting too high or too low regardless of what happens, has a proven record of enduring a painful loss.
The most obvious was last year's loss at Iowa State, a few inches separating OSU from the national championship game.
The Cowboys followed it up with a blowout victory over OU.
Two years ago, OSU lost to Oklahoma in the final minute of a tossup game and followed up by hammering Arizona in the Alamo Bowl.
In 2008, OSU rebounded from a devastating 28-24 loss to Texas by beating Iowa State. In 2007, OSU lost 24-23 at Texas A&M then came back the next week and crushed Nebraska, 45-14. In 2006, OSU lost in overtime to Texas A&M and followed up by beating Nebraska.
"I never get over it," said Gundy. "I'll get up three years from now and think about it.
"They (Sooners) made the last play. I don't like it, but I have to be OK with it and move on."
Oklahoma State's recent history is full of bounce-back games by the Cowboys.
This might be the most difficult of bounce-back games for OSU under Gundy.
"I think some sting more than others," said OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken. "We had a lot riding on that game. But they all matter to you.
"It is always hard the next week (after a tough loss). This will be harder."
The way OSU lost was devastating - one play away from winning in Norman. In addition, Baylor is good.
Anything less than playing at peak level, something the Cowboys have been doing in recent weeks, probably will not be enough against Baylor.
No one may have a tougher job this week than OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. Three of the four losses this year, and pretty much last year's loss at Iowa State, can be pinned on OSU's lack of defense.
Certainly, OSU's inability to stop OU on its long final drive, including a final fourth-down play, was the deciding factor in the loss at Norman.
"Our guys were really into it," said Young. "As a group, we gave up some big plays and lost it at the end. It is difficult. But, I really believe it is easier for the players to bounce back than the coaches. The losses, going back over every little play, lingers with us longer."
Young said he felt the defensive players were already onto Baylor by Sunday night.
"I believe the players are past it," said Young. "Kids are really resilient. Any game is tough, and that was a tough one.
"I think the coaches are still in mourning. But we'll get over it."
Monken said the Cowboys have to get over it.
"Like any team in our league, you are a hair away from winning or losing," said Monken. "We'll have to be ready."
If not, the perception of the Cowboys, as a team that successfully endured a devastating series of injuries, may be downgraded.