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OSU football notebook: LB Alex Elkins making early impact

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: September 7, 2011
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It didn't take long for linebacker Alex Elkins to channel his rugby skills on the football field at Oklahoma State.

On Elkins' third-quarter fumble recovery against Louisiana-Lafayette, he started at the top of the pile and forced his way down to the bottom to corral the football.


“I told (Elkins) he looked like a rugby player,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “He kind of laughed and said there's actually some rugby involved in that.”

Elkins was a rugby player in high school that only started playing football after attending an open tryout at Blinn Junior College. In his OSU debut, he tallied six tackles while starting at weakside linebacker.

“He made some mistakes, but he made them going 100 miles an hour,” Gundy said. “We mentioned in our team meeting earlier, as long as you play with effort like he does, then you'll get to play a lot of football at Oklahoma State.

“There's times he ran across the field chasing the ball and passed everybody on the field.”

RANDLE STRIVING FOR CONSISTENCY

Joseph Randle proved he can thrive as Oklahoma State's No. 1 running back Saturday against ULL, carrying the ball 22 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

The next task for Randle is to show he can consistently handle the load for an entire season. That, of course, only comes with going through a full 13-game schedule.

“It's a challenge as the season progresses from fatigue, and obviously, the hits,” Gundy said. “He ran the ball well (Saturday) night and he showed some endurance. We were able to keep him fresh with Jeremy (Smith) and Kye (Staley).”

Randle said he is not concerned about the physical aspect of being the featured back.

“(I'll) just do what I've been doing my whole life,” he said. “I've never had to really sit out of any games for injury. Go hard every play, and you probably won't get hurt.”

GUNDY WANTS MORE ON SHORT-YARDAGE, GOAL-LINE PLAYS

OSU continued its success in the red zone Saturday, converting all 10 chances inside the ULL 20-yard line into points after leading the nation in red zone efficiency last season.

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