STILLWATER — Zac Robinson’s running both thrills and chills Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. Robinson, not Gundy.
Therein lies the crux of a high-stakes season for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys’ quarterback likes to run — and OSU needs him to run — but does Robinson have to be so reckless? "If the defense allows us the opportunity for the quarterback to run, we’ll run him,” Gundy said. "I would like for him to protect himself some after he runs, or in a scrambling situation. His demeanor and his mentality have been to run through tacklers. "And that doesn’t really fire me up right now.” Robinson, however, knows no other way. He’s a football player after all, not some base stealer on the ball diamond. "I still don’t know how to slide,” said Robinson, who returned to practice Tuesday after missing a week with a slight leg muscle pull. "Still haven’t figured that out.” Robinson, the Cowboys and their foes have all figured one thing out. Robinson revs up the OSU running game. Kendall Hunter may be the feature back and an All-America candidate, yet Robinson’s running may concern defenders most. It adds an X-factor to an arsenal that already features Hunter and elite wide receiver Dez Bryant and more to an offense that produced 6,340 yards in ’08 – 3,191 on the ground and 3,149 through the air. "We do so much offensively, it’s tough to prepare for,” Robinson said. "We know we can run it and pass it. It’s something that we always pride ourselves in. And we’ll try to do it again this season. "Whether we’re in the shotgun, under center, we can mix it up so many ways. Play action. We have a little bit of option. We are definitely keeping defenses on their toes.” Robinson keeps defenses dancing. Since he took over at quarterback, the Cowboys’ rushing averages per game were 243.3 in 2007 and 245.5 in 2008, the best numbers at OSU since Barry Sanders’ 1988 Heisman year. Robinson ran for 847 yards in ’07, 562 a year ago.