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OSU Football: Week 13 Notebook

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State plays host to No. 4 Baylor as well as ESPN's "College Gameday" this weekend in what looks like a de facto Big 12 title game. The Cowboys blew out Texas 38-13 last week behind a suffocating defensive effort and four touchdowns from quarterback Clint Chelf. But the Bears are a totally different animal. Baylor brings the nation's top offense (684 yards, 61 points per game) and a much-improved defense to Stillwater. Mike Gundy had plenty of nice things to say about the Baylor Bears – but that wasn't all – in his weekly press conference.

• "We've got our work cut out for us this week playing the best team in the league," Gundy said. "Baylor's pretty much had their way with everybody they've played this year."

• Gundy said he likens Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty to any of the NFL-caliber quarterbacks that have come out of the Big 12 in the past several years. Among that list are Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Landry Jones.

• They're the ultimate test (for a defense) in college football," Gundy gushed about Baylor. "I think it's fair to say we have a good defense now. And hopefully they'll continue to play well this week against the best offense in the country."

• But despite the ballyhooed Bears bringing a national spotlight to the game, Gundy doesn't think the hype will affect his Cowboys. "We have good leadership. They have a good feel for where we're at as a football team, what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are. They realize the importance of last night's preparation and tonight's preparation."

• Chelf had 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns to go with 197 through the air and two more scores. Gundy said his senior signal caller gets better each game. "The mental aspect of his games gets better each week. He's not a flashy runner but he's nifty and has good vision. We've known that, we just haven't been sure how much of that we've wanted to use based on how the team progressed throughout the season."

• It's no mystery Gundy is pleased with his defense and coordinator Glenn Spencer. He does think there is room for improvement though. "We've started to change the tradition in football at Oklahoma State over the last few years, but we're just kind of tip of the iceberg on defense."

• Gundy also said he'd "be surprised" if Baylor walked out of Boone Pickens Stadium with 61 points.

• Then, out of the blue, a reporter asked if Gundy had seen any effects in recruiting since the denigrating Sports Illustrated articles came out and Gundy chuckled this reply: "We had 19 commits when it came out and I think we have 22 now. I think it helped us in recruiting," Gundy said. "It benefitted our program and for the most part, until somebody brings it up, it's faded and almost like it's not even there anymore. We had four or five players that are really, really good players that started calling us and showing interest the next few weeks after the article came out. That was the only thing I could attribute it to because we weren't playing very good. There was interest from players that didn't have any interest in us until that article came out."

• Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich wouldn't tip his hand on the offense's gameplan against the Bears' defense, but the Cowboys have been playing very conservative offensively for two weeks now. It's about time to "open up" the playbook.

• Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer pointed to the Baylor offensive line as the reason for the Bears' dominance this season. "The difference between their teams in the past and this year, is the five guys up front," Spencer said. "They average 300 yards rushing. They've always had the skill guys, from what I can remember."

• Safety Zack Craig said the Cowboy defense can't forget about the Baylor rushing attack on Saturday. "Everyone talks about their quarterback, but they average 300 yards rushing a game," Craig said. "I don't think people really realize that. Their passing is great but their running backs are some of the best in this league."

• Receiver Charlie Moore said the excitement caused by "College Gameday" coming to Stillwater will enhance the experience and atmosphere. "All of that stuff is so awesome for the university and this team. It's going to make it a little more fun and more alive in warm-ups and during the game. It's going to be a great atmosphere. We're just excited to play the No. 3 team in the country."

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