Oklahoma State’s football players sat at Stillwater Regional Airport for 5 1/2 hours Friday afternoon/evening, waiting for their replacement charter jet to arrive.
“It’s a great place (with) great people, but at some point you run out of conversation. They’ve got like three gumball machines and one snack machine, and they ran out of the cheddar-flavored Lay’s really fast,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said with a smile after OSU’s 48-14 rout of Kansas University on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The game kicked off just 13 hours after the Cowboys settled into their team hotel.
“I was proud of our guys. Nobody complained. They started playing games they learned back in Boy Scouts,” Gundy said of the airport frivolity.
“We made it clear to them we did not want them to use that as an excuse,” Gundy added in a more serious tone. “It doesn’t make a difference how you get there. You’ve got to show up on the field and win the game.”
In retrospect, the travel trouble made for a nice little team-bonding exercise: something to tell the grandkids about some day.
“I don’t know if you guys have ever been to the Stillwater Airport, but it’s about 50 by 50. It’s not very big. When you’ve got 100 people, it’s cramped,” said OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden.
He completed 31 of 43 passes and torched KU for 389 yards and three touchdowns, passing Zac Robinson as the school’s all-time single-season total-offense leader (3,708 yards to 3,671).
“We played cards, kind of hung out. It actually went by pretty quick. I spent $3 on candy. Normally I wouldn’t eat candy, but that was the only thing to eat. It was a little adversity. We overcame it,” Weeden added.
Justin Blackmon caught 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, Kendall Hunter rushed for 105 yards off 22 carries, and the defense had a goal-line stand that kept OSU in front, 17-14, in the second quarter.
Also, Michael Harrison of the special teams blocked a punt and scooped it up for a five-yard touchdown, upping the margin to 34-14.
It all added up to OSU’s 10th victory in 11 games. The 2010 Cowboys became the first team in school history to win 10 games in the regular season heading into Saturday night’s home battle against rival Oklahoma.
“It’s a big win for us. We’ve been playing football for 110 years and have never been able to accomplish that,” Gundy said. “When we started the season, my message to them was, ‘You are not as talented as the team that just left here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t win all your games.’ I’m not for sure I thought we were going to win 10 games when I said that, but it sounds like they bought into it. It’s pretty significant to win 10 games during the regular season.”
Weeden said he mentioned it in the huddle.
“I told the line. I said, ‘I don’t know if you guys realize this, but we have a chance to make history,’’’ said Weeden, a 27-year-old QB who played minor-league baseball for five years. “They were like, ‘Really?’ They had no idea. Some guys (on team) knew, some didn’t which is probably a good thing. It feels good to get No. 10.”
As far as specifics in win No. 10 ...
“The game-changer was the blocked punt,” Gundy said.
The goal-line stand, which stuffed KU twice on running plays from the one, was ...
“Huge,” said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young, who once had the same job at KU. “They are right there on the one-foot line. Stopping them there (twice) kind of changed the game. The offense took it 99 yards (and settled for field goal). That’s a huge difference right there.”