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OSU Football: Week 5 Notebook

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Oklahoma State opens conference play on the road against West Virginia and old friends Dana Holgorsen and Joe Deforest. Mike Gundy, Glenn Spencer, Mike Yurcich and several players met with the media on Monday to preview the matchup.

• Gundy said fundamentals, discipline and structure are important factors when playing on the road. "You have to start fast and try to take the crowd out of it on the road," Gundy said. "Unfortunately this will be our sixth out of our last seven games that we're playing away from Boone Pickens so I would hope that it's helped us some, if there's anything to gain from (playing on the road)."

• Quarterback J.W. Walsh added "there's not a better feeling than being able to go out there and shut up 70,000 people."

• Gundy and Spencer expressed confidence in WVU coach Dana Holgorsen's ability to get the Mountaineers back on track after struggling in recent weeks. Defensive coordinator Spencer said everybody sees the obvious, "they've struggled offensively a couple games but if you look at that Maryland game, they went up and down the field on them and all of a sudden they have six turnovers. So it was just one of those days that it just wasn't working out."

• Running back Jeremy Smith said Holgorsen's motto while a coordinator at OSU was "go fast." But the Cowboys have since amended that motto to "move even faster."

• "West Virginia is a pretty good team, their defense is pretty nice," Smith said. "But this really isn't about them. It's always about us, the way we prepare to go out there and take care of business."

• "This year so far when we've traveled we've handled it the right way, we've handled it like a business trip," Walsh said. "I think with the leadership we have on the team we'll continue to handle traveling with success."

• The Cowboys were frequently prompted to explain success in the red zone where the team is 15-for-15 (all touchdowns) this season. Offensive coordinator Yurcich said "when you can pass the ball and run the ball equally, you give yourself the best chance and the defense can't lean in one direction or the other."

• "I think our ability to run the football with the quarterback has helped those (red zone) statistics," Gundy said. "We have a wealth of knowledge on both sides of the ball and those (coordinators) have had a good plan. We'll know a lot more as we start to run through conference schedule here in the next few weeks of where we're at as a football team."

• Safety Daytawion Lowe said the defense takes it one game at a time. "For the most part, as a unit, we're just closer but I don't feel like we've proved nothing yet," Lowe said.

• Linebacker Caleb Lavey said practicing against an offense similar to the one Holgorsen runs at West Virginia helps the defense prepare. "We're going against a lot of the same offensive plays (in practice) that Dana still uses," the senior said.

• Spencer was pleased with the defensive preparation, noting the Cowboys worked on playing off blocks, tackling, shedding cut blocks and "schematically doing some things that we want to try against West Virginia."

• Yurcich, who came to OSU from Shippensburgh State in Pennsylvania, noted that Saturday would be the first Oklahoma State game his father would be able to attend. Yurcich said his father takes care of his 104-year old mother (Mike's grandmother) and that makes it difficult to attend many games.

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