After a bye week and two weeks of preparation for the Big XII opener against Texas A&M in College Station, Oklahoma State senior quarterback Zac Robinson will be looking for a different set of numbers than he's used to.
Entering the most difficult environment in the Big XII at Kyle Stadium, Robinson and the prolific Cowboy offense will lack one instrumental piece in its search for the Big XII Championship in All-American wide receiver Dez Bryant.
Bryant was ruled ineligible by both Oklahoma State and the NCAA after failing to speak truly to NCAA officials earlier this season. Bryant violated NCAA bylaw 10.1, which involves unethical contact.
An Oklahoma State press release detailed that Bryant failed to disclose full details about a conversation with a former NFL player.
Bryant has already apologized to his teammates, coaches, fans and the NCAA, so it is safe to say he understands the consequences for his actions.
Now, head coach Mike Gundy has little time to prepare his young corps of receivers for the challenge that awaits them. Replacing Bryant is a seemingly impossible endeavor.
Sophomores Josh Cooper and Dameron Fooks look to become the main targets for Robinson against the Texas A&M Aggies. Also, little-used freshmen like Isiah Anderson and Tracy Moore will be called upon for more production.
All eyes now fall onto Robison and the Cowboys running game. Seniors Keith Toston and Beau Johnson will need to carry more of the offensive load, barring an explosive return from All-American Kendall Hunter.
Also, the Cowboy defense will be relied on more heavily, due to the returns of All-American Perrish Cox and defensive lineman Jermiah Price.
The Cowboy faithful now must wait patiently while the NCAA and Oklahoma State officials converse on the possibility of Bryant's reinstatement.
As of right now, the Cowboys most stay resilient and keep their focus on the Aggies and the goal that they've aimed for since the very beginning. The Big XII Championship.
Champions are made through adversity, and this could make or break the Cowboys.