ARLINGTON, TX--Football coaches are creatures of habit. Every minute of every week is scheduled down to the most minute detail. And every week, more or less, is very similar.
Except for this week.
"It's entirely different preparation than a normal week during the season," Gary Pinkel said of preparing for a bowl game.
"We've had a lot of fun," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said.
Specifically, Gundy referenced the chance to go to the Cowboys-Eagles game on Sunday night when the team arrived in Dallas.
"It was actually the first NFL game I've ever been to," Gundy said.
Fun is certainly near the top of the list for the week. But when Pinkel and Gundy walked out of Thursday morning's final press conference, it was time to focus on the only thing that is more important: Winning the game.
"You can do both," Pinkel said of balancing fun and football.
For the next 34 hours, both teams will leave the charity visits, the NFL games and all the bowl game festivities in the past. They will now focus on Friday night's 7 p.m. kickoff. Oklahoma State will have a Thursday afternoon walk-through. Missouri, as it has all season, will forego that opportunity.
"We do our own walk throughs. We've been in the stadium, we've practiced in the stadium every day," Pinkel said. "This will be Friday for us. We've just got to lock in and go. Everything's exactly the same and we lock right in just as we do in a normal game."
"You want the players to go out and play hard," Gundy said. "You want them to have fun and enjoy the game."
That's a lot easier to do for the team that wins.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Central on Friday night. PowerMizzou.com will provide complete coverage leading up to, during and after the Cotton Bowl.
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