OSU motivated for Heart of Dallas Bowl
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Friday, December 21, 2012
12/21/12 at 3:40 AM
Related story: OSU football notebook: Money man.
STILLWATER - Before Dec. 2, the Heart of Dallas Bowl was unfamiliar to many Oklahoma State players.
"Did it change its name? I'd never heard of it," Cowboy linebacker Caleb Lavey said Thursday. "Once I found out it was in the old Cotton Bowl, I got really excited. I've never gotten to play there."
The new title sponsor for the Heart of Dallas Bowl, formerly the TicketCity Bowl, is a non-profit organization that works to reduce homelessness in Dallas.
For Lavey and other members of the team from the Dallas area, the New Year's Day game against Purdue is an opportunity to play close to home.
"I'll get to see a lot of my friends, a lot of my family," Lavey said. "I'll get to enjoy my time with my teammates and show them around."
A year removed from the first BCS bowl in program history, OSU unexpectedly slid to the Heart of Dallas instead of seemingly more likely destinations like the Alamo or Buffalo Wild Wings bowls.
"This doesn't have anything to do with the Heart of Dallas Bowl, but anybody that is involved in a situation like that, you kind of have expectations," coach Mike Gundy said. "I'm sure (players) read what is in the newspaper and what is online and they kind of have an idea of where they are supposed to go based on where they are finished.
"I don't think there is any question that anytime you fall down to where you are not supposed to be, there is disappointment. But that's life."
Gundy and the rest of the coaches have been tasked with getting their team interested in the bowl, regardless of any lingering letdown.
"Bowl games are about competing," Gundy said after the bowl announcement. "The teams that play well in bowl games are the ones that really want to be there and really want to play one more game."
For OSU's seniors, the game brings a lot of meaning and motivation.
"I won't ever play college football again," cornerback Brodrick Brown said. "I will never play with my teammates again or this same group of young men.
"I will never get coached by these coaches again, so I just to go out there and have fun and play a good game and have no regrets."
Still, it's no primetime Fiesta Bowl matchup like a year ago; the game begins at 11 a.m., is the only bowl shown on ESPNU and has the largest point spread of the bowl season (OSU is favored by 17 points).
None of those facts seems to matter to the Cowboys, who are headed to their seventh straight bowl.
"Any bowl game is a privilege," linebacker Shaun Lewis said. "If you look at it from that standpoint, it's easy to get fired up for it.
"We're excited to play in it. We would rather be playing in the Heart of Dallas Bowl than sitting at home watching other teams play."
Heart of Dallas Bowl
OSU (7-5) vs. Purdue (6-6)
11 a.m. Jan. 1 At Cotton Bowl, Dallas
TV: ESPNU-253 Radio: KFAQ am1170
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452