Coach Mike Gundy revealed the Cowboys are getting reinforcements where they need them most. Jaden Bray, who caught a touchdown against Houston in limited action, is among the receivers returning to practice.
STILLWATER — With 12:27 remaining Saturday and Oklahoma State’s game at Houston paused for a TV timeout, Jaden Bray stood on the field and caught passes to warm up quarterbacks Alan Bowman and Garret Rangel.
He’d catch it, flip it to a quarterback and repeat. Then, as Bowman and the others took the field, Bray returned to the sideline.
That was mostly his day. Bray played just 15 snaps against Houston, but one was pivotal in Oklahoma State’s 43-30 win.
He hauled in OSU’s first touchdown from 23 yards out with a leaping catch on a fade route. It was his only catch that game, but a sign of the reinforcements coming to OSU’s beleaguered wide receivers room.
Coach Mike Gundy said Bray, who has missed three games with an undisclosed injury, is progressing nicely.
“I knew that we wanted to get (Bray) out there, get him going,” Gundy said. “He looked fairly good in practice last week. He didn’t look like himself but that’s a normal progression in my opinion. It worked out.”
Gundy said the plan was to play Bray less than 30 snaps against Houston. Bray should be available to play more Saturday against BYU (2:30 p.m., ABC) at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“(Bray) gives us another dimension,” Gundy said. “He can go up and get the ball. He’s long, has range and can jump. So it was nice to have him back on the team.”
At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Bray is a big-play threat. He has 372 yards receiving and two touchdowns this season.
“I feel good about him being up and running pretty good this week,” Gundy said. “So we have a little depth.”
Gundy said the other benefit to having Bray back is improved practice quality. Receiver De’Zhaun Stribling is out for the season and redshirt freshman receiver Talyn Shettron remains sidelined.
Gundy said receivers Blaine Green and Camron Heard are back practicing as well.
Heard, a true freshman who has been out since August, could play the rest of the year and still maintain a medical redshirt. Green has 13 catches for 102 yards this seasn.
“It was difficult for about three weeks,” Gundy said. “We didn’t have any guys to practice with.”
Gundy thankful for intrigue about new Big 12 teams
Gundy said he has always respected BYU’s football reputation.
“I think that from coast to coast, their logo would trigger in most people’s minds a Power Five school forever,” Gundy said. “I thought they were. I didn’t know what Power Five was or different conferences or levels when I was in junior high, high school or college.”
The teams’ first Big 12 matchup is sold out, as has been every OSU home game this season.
“I think that’s one of the reasons that the crowd, the fans, have been to so many games and sold out the stadium,” Gundy said. “I think they’re excited about seeing the new teams in the conference.”
Gundy not paying attention to Big 12 tiebreakers
If Texas beats Texas Tech on Friday night, OSU’s postseason path is remarkably simple. The Cowboys would clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship with a win.
If the Red Raiders pull off the upset, the scenario becomes remarkably complex. The Cowboys would still be the favorite to reach the title game with a win, but it depends on what Oklahoma and Kansas State do.
“I don’t really care (about the different tiebreaker scenarios),” Gundy said. “The only thing I can control is us getting ready to play in this game. Beyond that point, I don’t have anything to do with it.”