Oct. 13--STILLWATER -- Amid the chaos, Mike Gundy is sticking to the routine.
Gundy’s seventh-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys were dealt an unexpected week off for the second time this season because of an opponent’s COVID-19 issues.
First, it was Tulsa in the season opener a month ago. This time, it’s Baylor dealing with too many COVID-19 cases to be able to host the Cowboys on Saturday.
The game was rescheduled by the Big 12 for Dec. 12 -- the original date of the conference championship game, which will now be played either on Dec. 12 or 19, depending on whether OSU or Baylor is a potential participant in the title game.
Now, the Cowboys turn their attention to No. 20 Iowa State, which will come to Boone Pickens Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. matchup on Oct. 24, televised by Fox.
As for this week, Gundy will treat it like a typical open week for the Cowboys, rather than pushing the players with extra practices.
“We’re gonna stick to our routine,” Gundy said.
“We have another open week. We’ve been fairly comfortable over the years with what we do -- try to get our work done and also try to give them a little bit of a break. And that’s what we’ll do. We’ll try to keep the guys focused. They like to play games. That’s what they do, but we can’t play one this week.
“They’re mature enough to know if we don’t have three good practices this week, that you take a chance on not playing as good, even though I know the game’s not till next Saturday.”
After Baylor announced late last week that it had paused football activities because of COVID-19 issues, the postponement announcement on Sunday night wasn’t a shock.
“Nothing surprises us anymore this year,” Gundy said. “You just roll with the punches. When we started this, we felt like we would run into a game or two where there could be COVID issues on our team or another team.
“We’ve been working on Baylor for a week. You take that and put it in the filing cabinet and you open up Iowa State.”
Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a radio interview on Monday afternoon that the outbreak likely stemmed from a false negative test prior to Baylor’s trip to West Virginia for a game on Oct. 3.
“We feel pretty confident that we had a false negative. Somebody that was on the plane that was really infectious carrying the disease,” Rhoades said on SicEm365 Radio. “We think that’s the likelihood of how this started.”
Rhoades said that 12 players and three staff members tested positive last Wednesday, and when the team learned those test results on Thursday, the program immediately shut down activities.
As of Monday, Baylor had 28 football players and 14 staffers who had tested positive, plus another 17 close-contact cases among football players who were in quarantine.
Last week, Gundy gave his players a couple of days off, and expected several of them to go home to visit family during the break. The team returned to the practice facility for a Sunday afternoon workout, which was preceded by COVID-19 testing. But Gundy didn’t yet know the results of those tests when he spoke to the media on Monday morning.
“We seem to be in really good shape,” he said. “Our testing on Sunday and Wednesday, we get those results in, like, 48 hours. Friday’s tests are a 15-minute turnaround. So we haven’t gotten any of Sunday’s tests yet, but we seem to be in good shape.”