Oklahoma State's Blackmon hopes to play Saturday
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy had enough trouble convincing All-American receiver Justin Blackmon he wasn't going to get to play again after taking a shot to the head.
He's hoping he won't have the same problem a week later.
Gundy said he believes Blackmon will be able to play for the third-ranked Cowboys against Baylor (4-2, 1-2 Big 12) on Saturday after he was held out of the second half of last week's victory at Missouri. Oklahoma State (7-0, 4-0) will already be without another starting receiver after Hubert Anyiam suffered a season-ending foot injury a week ago.
Gundy said Blackmon, the nation's top receiver last season, probably could have played after he took a blow to the head and started experiencing headaches last week. He stopped short of saying whether Blackmon had a concussion.
"Back when I played, they didn't know what it was. They just put you back out there and you were OK one way or the other, which I think is wrong because nobody knew what they were back then," Gundy said. "Precautionary measures are taken now for all the right reasons."
Gundy said Blackmon was eager to get back into the Missouri game and he considered taking away the Biletnikoff Award winner's helmet to make sure he didn't go back in.
"Whether we'd like to admit it or not, some of those players that are really, really good, they're put together differently than normal people," Gundy said. "They don't think the same way. You just look at the history of the game. There's very few of those really good players that are just normal like we are."
The Cowboys' offense kept clicking without Blackmon and Anyiam, but the running game became the major focus. After attempting passes on 37 of 46 first-half plays - including 24 straight at one point - Oklahoma State tried more rushes than passes in the second half.
Still, Gundy said he has confidence in Isaiah Anderson, Michael Harrison and other backups who'll play a bigger role with Anyiam out - and even more if Blackmon doesn't play.
"They're guys that have been around our program and understand, and now they have to step up and make more plays," Gundy said. "We've been fortunate here for the last few years that whenever we turn it over to them and say, `You're the guy,' that they've stepped up and played pretty well."
The Cowboys rank second in the nation in passing (387 ypg) and scoring (48.6 ppg) and third in total offense (549 ypg). They will be facing another attack that ranks near the top.
Robert Griffin III is the Bowl Subdivision's most efficient passer and he leads the way for a group that ranks just ahead of Oklahoma State in total offense (550 ypg) and sits sixth in scoring (44.3 ppg) and seventh in passing (341 ypg).
For both teams, defense will be at a premium.
"If they stop them, we've got to go score. If they don't stop them, we've got to go score. So it doesn't change our job on offense," Griffin said. "We know we can put up points in a hurry and that's what we're looking to do."
The Bears had extra time to prepare, following their second open week already this season. They'll be trying to bounce back after losing two of their last three games, most recently a 55-28 loss at Texas A&M.
"We had the luxury of having a bye, and having the chance to restart again and create identity again," coach Art Briles said. "That's how we're approaching it from here on out. We're going to create whatever's out there in front of us."
Baylor will be trying to snap a nine-game losing streak in Stillwater, with the last win coming in 1939, and trying to turn around a series that Oklahoma State has controlled with 14 wins in the last 15 meetings.
A win would certainly boost the faltering Heisman Trophy campaign by Griffin, who started the year with an upset of Rose Bowl champion TCU and has continued to put up monster numbers even in the Bears' losses. He set a school record with 430 passing yards in the loss to A&M two weeks ago.
"You're not going to stop him. You've just got to slow him down, and then you've got to make more plays on offense than he does," Gundy said. "He's grown into a terrific quarterback, and he's just different. He's a big-time playmaker.
"So, they're going to make their plays. We just have to make more plays than they do."
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