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OSU Football: Week 11 Notebook

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Mike Gundy and the No. 15 Cowboys used last weekends' 52-34 dismantling of Texas Tech to throw their names back in contention for the Big 12 title and a BCS berth. Gundy emphasized maintaining focus when Kansas comes to Stillwater while meeting with the media on Monday.

• Lowly Kansas (2-6, 0-5) enters the week as a 30-point underdog, but Gundy pointed out the Jayhawks' strong suit. "Kansas is way plus in turnover margin also and they don't beat themselves. They've been in games and lost late but for the most part they haven't beaten themselves this year."

• The head coach had loads of praise for his improved running game. "I don't think there's any question (that the running game has been better), with Des (Roland) being able to carry the load," Gundy said. "That's allowed Rennie to come in and use some of his speed and strength when the defense is fatigued. And then Jeremy came in and made some plays for us."

• He also compared Roland to former OSU running back Keith Toston, saying "(Toston) was as good in the fourth quarter as he was in the first quarter because he had a physical presence about him. He didn't really fatigue from a strength standpoint and I think Des has an opportunity to do that as he matures."

• Gundy called Clint Chelf's award-winning game "good, not great." On his quarterback's 67-yard bolt for a touchdown in the third quarter, Gundy said "There's times when he's nifty and he's productive, it just doesn't look as good when he's executing the run game. There's a lot of questions earlier in the year about the two quarterbacks having different plays; he runs the same plays."

• Although the Cowboys have won games in a variety of ways this season, Gundy said the goal was to win, regardless of which route the team took to get there. "We have to work our way through where we're deficient and get better but also play to the strengths of our football team," Gundy said. "Ultimately we want to win games."

• The Cowboys plugged receiver Josh Stewart into the backfield for a couple plays on Saturday. Gundy said it was an effort to get the ball to his one of his best playmakers. "We would love for (Stewart) to touch the ball 10-15 times a game," Gundy said. "I've said this for years, that you can't always promise that with a wide receiver. You can toss the ball to ‘em, flip it to ‘em like we do in these spread offenses but they can take that away. It's easier to give it to a running back. You can almost secure that he's going to get it so many times. So we try to find ways for (Stewart) to touch the football within the system that we use on game day."

• Gundy had high praise for cornerback Tyler Patmon, who transferred from Kansas to bolster the Cowboy secondary. "Tyler Patmon's been a really big impact player. We didn't have Kevin Peterson and he had to play against a team that had over 100 plays (against Tech). He's been tremendous for us on special teams. We brought him in here to add some depth to our secondary and either way you look at it, he's essentially a starter."

• At the KU game this Saturday, Oklahoma State will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the 1988 football team and Barry Sanders' Heisman. Gundy was asked what he appreciated about that season and he basically replied: Barry Sanders. "He's the best college football player to ever play the game. You can say what you want. He ran up 37 touchdowns and however many yards back when we only had 65 plays a game. We weren't even in high-tempo offenses and he very seldom played in fourth quarters."

• Gundy estimated that Sanders would have run for 75 touchdowns and 4,000 yards in today's up-tempo offenses.

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