STILLWATER — Though there was a large grumbling from players and fans when Oklahoma State’s season opener against Tulsa was postponed last week, Cowboy coach Mike Gundy has looked at the new kickoff to the season with a glass half-full approach.
Not only did the extra week simply give Oklahoma State another week to prepare – which could prove important after several Big 12 Conference teams were embarrassed in the first week of games over the weekend – but it also allowed the Cowboys to improve their health heading into the contest with the Golden Hurricane.
“We've had a few players that had minor injuries that we should get back this week, is an advantage,” Gundy said. “… We try to take advantage as much as possible as we could with the extra week, and then also give our players enough days off where they felt like they could recover from their body, through the preseason and try to put them in the best position possible to play the game.”
Gundy said he didn’t notice a change in attitude from his players after they had to shift from a game week mentality to another week of practice when the postponement was announced at the start of last week.
“They've had so many changes over the last few months, I don't think it affected them much at all,” Gundy said Monday. “I know they practiced really well last week and then we gave them Sunday off, and then today off, and then we'll start again on Tuesday.
"I can't really tell any difference over the last few months with all the different changes. They've seemed to handle them well and all I go off is practice and their enthusiasm in practice has been just fine.”
The postponement in the game was from the side of the Golden Hurricane.
Tulsa had to miss nine days of practice in August due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program.
While there are still two more tests to be taken this week for the Cowboy program, Gundy had positive news on the current state of COVID for the Cowboys.
“We’re sitting here at zero,” Gundy said. “… We feel very good. As you know it can change. We’re testing three times a week. We still have to test again Wednesday and Friday. You ask me where we’re at now, I gave you those numbers, can they change? Sure. Will they change throughout the season? I’m sure they will.”
Oklahoma State confirmed those numbers from Gundy when it released the latest round of testing through Friday.
According to OSU athletics, football has no active cases, while the entire athletic department has 11 total cases – four have been reported for women’s soccer, the only fall sport to have any active cases (cross country also has zero) – with seven active cases being listed among “all other sports.”