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July 23, 2013

Gundy, Pokes See Tough Challenge in Mississippi State

DALLAS, Texas - Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy is well aware of the challenge he has in playing a neutral site game against Mississippi State to open the season. Playing in at Reliant Stadium against an SEC team, gives Gundy and a task his football teams hasn't had to start the season.

Typically, Oklahoma State will work on preparing for an entire season during fall camp, this year they will still do that, but additionally adjust to a more game week like approach throughout the entirety of camp with the tall order the Pokes have.

"We've had a formula at Oklahoma State over the last really five, six, seven years that we feel like gives us the best chance to be strong, be in great shape, and be fresh at the end of the season so our teams can perform at the highest level," said Gundy, "It changes our approach as a coaching staff and what we do in preseason practice."

Gundy admits he has altered his offseason and his team's offseason just in preparation for this game at Reliant Stadium.

"When you play an opponent that's in the category that Oklahoma State's in and Mississippi State's in, that you have to play well in the first game to win," said Gundy.

The Cowboys' Head Coach, Gundy has made that message clear to his team. Oklahoma State senior linebacker, Shaun Lewis feels that playing a bigger game, on a bigger stage in week one has had his team, the projected Big 12 Champions, more motivated.

"It brings a different element to the offseason training program, guys aren't as easy to take days off, they're willing to put in the extra work needed to get a victory," said Lewis.

The preseason All-Big 12 selection, Lewis also believes since league pride is on the line between the SEC and the Big 12, that his teammates want to prove that the Big 12 can play against an SEC team like Mississippi State.

"The Big 12 is the best conference, so anytime we step out on the field against a big time opponent we try to prove that," Lewis added.

Mississippi State and Oklahoma State meet on August 31st in Houston at 2:30 PM.


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