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Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

OSU Tunes in Mentally in Final Practice

ARLINGTON, Texas – Head Coach Mike Gundy knew that game day was almost here Wednesday by the way his players practiced.

Oklahoma State punctuated a week of practices for the AT&T Cotton Bowl with a session high on concentration at AT&T Stadium. Players worked for about 90 minutes in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts in what equated to a regular-season Thursday practice, the last before the game.

No. 13 OSU (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) squares off against No. 8 Missouri (11-2, 7-2 SEC) on Friday.

“The players are settling in mentally and getting ready for the game,” Gundy said. “They’ve had a great five days here, so they seem to be more focused on the game now than they were yesterday.”

Hip hop tunes boomed out of the stadium’s sound system. Oklahoma State cranks up the music at all practices, whether preparing for a home, road or neutral-site game, Gundy said. Players learn how to operate in the loud conditions they typically face on game day.

Gundy lets the players pick the music.

“Every once in a while I make them throw in some ’70s and ’80s and Motown. That’s my stuff,” said Gundy, who grew up on those genres. “But other than that, I let them listen to what they want to.”

Gundy extended the team’s curfew to 1 a.m. for New Year’s Eve and rang in 2014 with his wife Kristen and their three children at the team hotel.

“It was hard for me to make it till midnight,” Gundy said. “Unfortunately, the last 10 years of my life it’s been hard for me to make it that late.”

Oklahoma State will conduct a walkthrough Thursday at the stadium. The walkthrough will be closed to the public and media.

The 78th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is Friday, Jan. 3 on FOX. Airtime is set for 6:30 p.m. CST with kickoff scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Making their fourth appearances as members of FOX’s broadcast crew, Gus Johnson and Charles Davis will describe all the action and will be joined by Kristina Pink reporting from the sideline. FOX is broadcasting the Classic for the 16th consecutive year.

ESPN Radio returns as the Classic’s national radio partner for a second-straight year. Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” will partner with Ed Cunningham offering color commentary and Ian Fitzsimmons adding analysis from the sideline to provide the call of the 78th Classic to hundreds of affiliate stations around the country as well as subscribers of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio in the United States and Canada.

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