for this game

Colorado-Oklahoma St. Preview

Nov 17, 2009 - 5:54 AM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

Colorado (3-7) at No. 12 Oklahoma State (8-2), 7:30 p.m. EDT

Zac Robinson had to be helped off the field in Oklahoma State's last game after a colliding with an opposing player. The senior quarterback doesn't have much time to get healthy for the team's next game.

The No. 12 Cowboys hope a shortened week of recovery will be enough to get Robinson back on the field Thursday night to take on Big 12 rival Colorado in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State (8-2, 5-1) is looking to win its third straight since a 41-14 loss to Texas dealt a major blow to its chances of reaching the Big 12 championship game. The Longhorns lead the Cowboys by one game with the tiebreaker going to Texas.

While its chances to reach the title game are slim, Oklahoma State will try to finish the season strong. It takes the field Thursday after a 24-17 win over Texas Tech on Saturday in which the team's quarterback spent the final seconds on the sideline.

Robinson collided with a Texas Tech player in the final two minutes. After quickly sitting up, he laid back down and stayed that way for several minutes before being helped to the bench by the team's trainers.

Coach Mike Gundy believes Robinson will be fine and able to play this week, but the shortened recovery time may end up factoring in his decision. If Robinson is unable to go, junior Alex Cate - who has never started a college game - would replace him.

"We want to do what's best for (Robinson) first," Gundy said. "If he's not ready to play then we're not going to play him. ... We want to do what's best for him and his future. Then we'll do what's best for the team next."

Robinson's importance to the team was obvious last week. Although he was just 9 of 21 for 90 yards, he threw one touchdown and rushed for a team-high 99 yards in the victory.

Robinson fumbled on the play that knocked him out of the game, giving the ball back to Texas Tech with 98 seconds remaining. The defense, however, kept the Red Raiders at midfield.

"We had to make sure we held onto this win for him because (Robinson) had done such a great job the whole second half of getting those first downs and tucking his shoulder and being a tough quarterback like you need," linebacker Andre Sexton said. "We had to make sure we came away with this win for him."

Oklahoma State was outgained 357-333, but it forced three turnovers for the second consecutive game.

While it's been a difficult season at times for Robinson, who threw four interceptions in the loss to Texas, his teammates were certain that he'll play this week.

Robinson is trying to improve his numbers over the final games. He has thrown 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions this year after throwing for 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2007 and 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2008.

"He's one of the toughest players on the team," linebacker Patrick Lavine said. "I think he's going to rally back from it."

Robinson led Oklahoma State to a 30-17 win over Colorado (3-7, 2-4) last season. He threw for 217 yards and one touchdown and also ran for another score against the Buffaloes, who offered Robinson a scholarship coming out of high school. Robinson declined because the program was in turmoil stemming from allegations of sexual assaults by players and recruits.

Colorado's program has continued to struggle since those issues under former coach Gary Barnett. It's lost three of four and is coming off a 17-10 loss at Iowa State last Saturday. The Buffaloes got the ball back at their own 20-yard line with 23 seconds left but were unable to move downfield.

Colorado has lost 11 straight on the road and has been outscored by an average of 14.4 points in the five losses away from home this season. In the last three road games, the Buffaloes have been held to a combined 30 points.

Quarterback Tyler Hansen, who led Colorado to an upset of then 17th-ranked Kansas last month, went 18 of 38 for 258 yards, one touchdown and one interception in last Saturday's loss. He's thrown four interceptions and three touchdowns since taking over as starter in place of Cody Hawkins.

"I think the guys' spirits are good and we always talk to the guys about the finer points of life ... and finishing is always one of them," coach Dan Hawkins said. "For us, we have a really great opportunity here against a great football team on national TV to go play well."

The is Colorado's first visit to Stillwater since a 34-0 win in 2005. Colorado has won just three times in the last 24 road games since.