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HCS Op-Ed: Cowboys Become Thursday Night Regulars

This Thursday will mark the fourth non-Saturday game the Cowboys have played in the last six years. The first three games against Colorado, Texas A&M and Iowa State were all thrillers. If history is any indication, this one could turn out the same way.

The first game, in 2009, came against Colorado on a Thursday night, with an injured Zac Robinson sitting on the bench and Alex Cate as his replacement. The Cowboys trailed 21-10 at halftime and Cate was 0-9 with an interception in the first half. After getting booed into the locker room, coach Mike Gundy decided to make a change at quarterback: insert Brandon Weeden. Weeden threw for 168 yards in the second half and threw for two touchdowns to rally the Cowboys to a 31-28 victory.

The next matchup came a year later in Stillwater against Texas A&M. The Cowboys trailed 14-0 early, but behind Brandon Weeden’s 284-yard and two touchdown performance, the Cowboys were able to pull off the exciting 38-35 victory. With the game tied at 35, Shaun Lewis intercepted a Jerrod Johnson pass in the final seconds that put the Cowboys in position to win the game. After moving down to the Aggie 23-yard line, Dan Bailey put through a 40-yard field goal as time expired to win the game for Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys third matchup, in 2011, came against Iowa State on a Friday night. With the Cowboys sitting at 10-0, the plan was to escape Ames and have a showdown with OU for a chance at the BCS Title Game. But, tragedy struck before the Cowboys were to take the field. Just hours before kickoff, a small plane crashed near Perryville Arkansas killing two members of the Oklahoma State women’s basketball team, along with the pilot and his wife. Playing with heavy hearts, the Cowboys were ahead 24-7 early in the second half, but Oklahoma State could never shake Iowa State. With just over five minutes left in regulation, the Cyclones clawed their way back into a tie with Oklahoma State. Nevertheless, Quinn Sharp still had a chance to make a field goal to win the game, but he missed the 37-yard field goal wide right and Iowa State went on to win, 37-31.

Oklahoma State should have the advantage heading into this game against Texas Tech Thursday night. Although the Cowboys are playing without starting quarterback J.W. Walsh, Daxx Garman looked great in his first career start against Texas San Antonio. At the moment, the Cowboys have much more momentum than the Red Raiders. Texas Tech is coming off a 49-28 loss to a mediocre Arkansas team at home. Lastly, the game is in Stillwater, which is a tremendous help for the Cowboys. Surprisingly, the last time this was a single digit contest was in 2009 when the Cowboys won 24-17. I think the Cowboys will start out a little bit slow, but ultimately I think this game is a sleeper as opposed to a thriller. I got the Cowboys, 45-20.

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