QB picture not yet clear for Cowboys

Monday, November 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ The question of whether Oklahoma State quarterback Aso Pogi will start against No. 4 Oklahoma this week may be decided simply by his health.

Pogi left Saturday's game against Baylor after aggravating a leg injury. He didn't return, although coach Les Miles said Pogi could have played if needed.

Freshman Josh Fields took over for Pogi and played well, going 10-of-18 for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

``We realize that Josh had a very productive day and came in and played extremely well for us,'' Miles said Monday at his weekly news conference. ``Both, in my opinion, will deserve strong consideration for the starting nod. But I think you have to go through the week a little bit to find out exactly the lay of the land.''

Pogi has been taking about 60 percent of the snaps with the first team, and Miles said that would continue this week.

``You want the week to unfold naturally. You don't want to make a premature decision,'' he said. ``You want to see how guys respond to practice. And if this thing gets worse with Aso as opposed to getting better, there's no real decision to make.''

The Cowboys (3-7, 1-6 Big 12) ended a five-game losing streak with their 38-22 victory over Baylor. They close out their season Saturday afternoon in Norman against an Oklahoma team that still has hopes of reaching the national championship game.

Miles said he wouldn't be concerned about starting Fields, a true freshman, in the difficult setting of Memorial Stadium against Oklahoma's outstanding defense.

``Any quarterback we put in the game against this Sooner defense will be tested,'' Miles said. ``The consideration of the age of both quarterbacks, the guy who's taken the most snaps throughout the year, his health, will all be factors that will play into deciding which is the guy.''

The Cowboys, heavy underdogs this week, avoided last place in the Big 12 South standings by beating Baylor. The defense gave up more than 500 yards, but came up with four interceptions including two that were run back for touchdowns by freshman cornerback Darrent Williams.

Miles said he didn't look at the victory as one that got a monkey off his back.

``I kind of always took it for granted that it was going to happen. I just wish that it had happened earlier,'' he said. ``I'm just thankful for the kids. They are working hard still.''