Bryant, Robinson give No. 17 Cowboys dynamic duo - KMOV.com

Bryant, Robinson give No. 17 Cowboys dynamic duo

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- After leading Missouri to the No. 1 ranking and a Big 12 North championship last season, Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin have received all kinds of accolades and national attention for their role in one of college football's top offenses.

But No. 17 Oklahoma State (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) has its own quarterback-receiver tandem that's been putting up impressive stats too.

Zac Robinson ranks third in the nation in passing efficiency (204.6), two spots ahead of Daniel (196.4), and Dez Bryant is fifth in the country with 110 yards receiving per game while Maclin (96 ypg) is 17th.

This week's game at No. 3 Missouri (5-0, 1-0) provides Robinson and Bryant the chance to show off their talents on the same stage as the Tigers' tandem, and maybe even steal some attention if they're successful.

"I know that they're a top 5 team, so they're obviously going to be talked about a lot," Robinson said. "They have a great offense. As long as we keep winning, we know that that recognition will kind of take care of itself."

Coming into the game, Missouri has the second-highest scoring offense (53.4 points per game) while Oklahoma State (52.6) is right behind in third.

Bryant has played as big a role as anyone in that total, scoring 11 touchdowns for a personal 13.2-point average. That's the second-highest total, right behind Missouri running back Derrick Washington (14 ppg). Twice this season, Bryant has had games in which he caught three touchdown passes and also scored on a punt return.

Maclin, meanwhile, has five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return TD.

"They make a difference not only on the offense but in special teams, and they're a threat," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "I'd say that both of them are worthy of the national recommendations that they're getting for all the awards. Those guys are making a lot of plays."

Having Bryant to go against in practice doesn't necessarily prepare the Cowboys to face Maclin, though.

"I feel that they're different kind of receivers. Dez is more of a down the field, go in the air and get the ball. Maclin is more of a screen-type player, make you miss in space," linebacker Patrick Lavine said. "I feel that they're both really good receivers."

Bryant did get some national recognition earlier this season, when he was named the Walter Camp Foundation national player of the week after his 236-yard receiving game against Houston. But it hasn't yet compared to the attention received by Maclin and Daniel, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season.

"He's a little younger than Maclin, but I think his time's going to come," Lavine said. "His time's definitely going to come."

And Gundy said the Cowboys aren't done with finding ways to keep Bryant, who already returns punts and kickoffs, involved.

"We experiment every week with doing things with Dez -- flipping a reverse to him, actually bringing him in the backfield to pitch the ball to him some and doing some other things," Gundy said.

"He's been pretty valuable to us out on the perimeter. We just try to look each week and find different ways to get him to touch the football."

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RUNNING ZAC:@ After Robinson picked up 65 of his season-high 66 yards rushing in the second half of Saturday's game against Texas A&M, Gundy said it was the result of a pregame challenge he'd issued to the quarterback.

"When he runs very aggressive and runs tough, he gives us that added dimension on offense," Gundy said.

Gundy said he thought Robinson "ran the football like he did when he was trying to win the job."

Robinson said this week that there's been something missing that makes his run game work, namely tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The big blocker has been out the past two weeks, but was able to go through pregame warmups on Saturday.

"When we get Brandon back in there, he's a huge part of our running game," Robinson said. "He does so much for me on a lot of stuff, whether it's option or whatever it is. He does a really good job.

"When he gets back in, maybe some more quarterback runs will be in."

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GUEST PLAY-CALLER:@ Gundy may be a former Oklahoma State quarterback, but his passing background hasn't shown since he took over the play-calling duties this season.

On the final scoring drive last game, the Cowboys ran on 12 straight plays. The previous game featured an 11-play, 99-yard scoring drive that also had nothing but running plays.

"Those were drives that were called through a cell phone. Les Miles was actually calling the plays," Gundy quipped, referring to his predecessor's run-first, pass later reputation.

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FAMILIAR FACE:@ Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman sees a lot of similarities between Maclin and Ted Ginn Jr., who was a second-team All-America receiver at Ohio State while Beckman was coaching the secondary there.

They're both speedy playmakers who also were prolific kick returners.

"It's kind of funny. We looked at the picture of him downstairs and he looks like a young Teddy Ginn. His face looks like a young Teddy Ginn," Beckman said. "He runs kind of like him, when I see him run, too."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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