OSU football notebook: Playing outside
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 3:06 AM
Oklahoma State continued bowl preparations for the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Tuesday against Purdue with an outdoor practice Friday at Highland Park High School in Dallas.
Mike Gundy could have chosen to conduct the workout inside Highland Park's $4.5 million indoor practice facility (the Green Bay Packers used it to get ready for Super Bowl XLV), but cold weather did not chase the Cowboys indoors.
"It's a really beautiful facility, but if we don't have any precipitation coming down, there is no reason for us to go inside," Gundy said.
Because of the Jan. 1 weather forecast (high of 45, low of 30, chance of rain), Gundy wanted to get his team accustomed to possible game-day conditions, according to receiver Charlie Moore.
Trains, plains and automobiles: A player usually has an interesting story regarding bowl travel. For instance, a plane was overbooked last year when OSU played in the Fiesta Bowl, so center Evan Epstein had to fly to North Carolina to get to Arizona.
The interesting travel story this year happened to offensive tackle Parker Graham, who took a delayed flight to DFW Airport and told a shuttle driver he needed to go to the Omni Dallas Hotel.
The driver misunderstood and drove Graham toward Fort Worth, according to Epstein, who traded texts with Graham during the wrong-way journey.
After Graham corrected the driver, the driver cussed at Graham in French.
"And (the driver) didn't know that Parker knows French," Epstein said, adding that it will be a story Graham will always remember.
"It was funny for us," Epstein added. "And he comes into the team meeting in the wrong outfit with a plate of food, stuffing his face because he missed lunch."
No surprises: Gundy was asked if every OSU player who was expected to make the trip to Dallas indeed made the trip.
"All of our guys are here," he said.
Doing his part: OSU is minus offensive coordinator and playcaller Todd Monken, who was hired as head coach at Southern Miss. Gundy, who once doubled as a playcaller and head coach, is chipping in to assume some of Monken's former duties. Gundy was asked how it feels to be involved with offensive game planning again.
"You forget all the work that is involved in preparing to attack a defense and all the film study and adjustments during practice," Gundy said. "But it's fun. I enjoy being with the quarterbacks and enjoy being out there with the team and getting into the X's and O's of the game."
Scoreboard watching: Baylor launched the Big 12's postseason with a 49-26 rout of UCLA in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday.
"I think it will be interesting to watch the Big 12 teams compete," Gundy said, adding that some people across the country think the Big 12's offensive numbers were inflated because they were achieved against allegedly "average" defenses.
"And I haven't felt that way," he said. "So hopefully the Big 12 teams will play well. It's good for all of us when they do play well."