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OSU Football: Week 15 Notebook

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

December football means conference championship football and that's what will be at stake for the sixth-ranked Cowboys when Oklahoma comes to town and Bedlam hits Stillwater this weekend. Thanks to the off week, both teams have had two weeks to prepare for Saturday's clash. Here's what Mike Gundy and his team had to say at their weekly press conference.

• Gundy downplayed the rivalry-factor in this game by saying the stakes are as high as possible regardless of the opponent. "Our goal is to win the conference," Gundy said. "People say this is a big game. They're all big games when you're in the situation that we're in."

• But he later explained that, for him, Bedlam isn't the hated rivalry like many fans are used to. "Most of those guys (on the OU coaching staff) are my friends. I go back a long way with a lot of those guys and so I certainly don't see it as a hated rivalry. Do we want to win? Yeah, we want to win. Do we want to win every Saturday? You bet we do. Do we want to play hard? Do we want to be physical? You bet. But to feel that way about them, I guess that's just not in my nature."

• Gundy shrugged off the anticipated winter weather when asked if it would be a factor in the game.

• He singled out several receivers, saying "they carried us through a time when we weren't very good." He praised Tracy Moore, Charlie Moore, Josh Stewart, Jhajuan Seales, Brandon Sheperd, David Glidden and noted losing Austin Hays, Blake Webb and, for a while, Blake Jackson, has limited some of the Cowboys' offensive game plan.

• Saturday also marks Senior Day for 28 Cowboys. Gundy said this group of seniors has set the standard at Oklahoma State and that he gets a lot of satisfaction seeing former players come back to visit. "They're going to go out there and get a real job and they'll be part of Oklahoma State football forever and ultimately that's the satisfaction that we get seeing them come back."

• One of those seniors is fullback Kye Staley. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich has been around the former Guthrie Bluejay less than a year but he recognizes the attitude that Staley brings to the field. "It's great to see Kye get some carries. He has earned them. He is a workhorse. He is a very tough and physical back, and I would definitely not want to be blocked by him."

• Staley spoke passionately about his final home game. "It's the last game, against OU. It's the last time to play in Boone Pickens Stadium for the rest of my life. I want to go out with the W."

• Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said the Cowboys have to prepare for both Sooner quarterbacks, Trevor Knight and Blake Bell. "They play out of the pistol more with (Knight), and there's more of a veer option element to it, but they still use the power run game, too. Both quarterbacks run the schemes effectively and they can both be thrown in at any moment."

• Safety Daytawion Lowe said Bedlam plus the stakes of a Big 12 Championship will add up to a special day in Boone Pickens Stadium. "That just makes it even more special because you know they're going to be coming in here trying to take something away from you, so we know that we have to be on our guard and we have to defend our stadium."

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