UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas — Mike Gundy smiled when asked Friday if Oklahoma State is still going with an offensive-coordinator-by-committee approach for its Heart of Dallas Bowl matchup against Purdue on New Year's Day.
“It's the same,” Gundy said.
It actually — and expectedly — involves a lot more Gundy.
The OSU head coach has essentially replaced former offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who took the head coaching job at Southern Miss earlier this month, as the leader in quarterback meetings. On the practice field, Gundy and quality control coach Brian Hudson, who signals the plays from the sideline, have been working with the quarterbacks.
“It's a lot different to be coached by a different guy,” quarterback Clint Chelf admitted. “Coach Gundy is now in our room, and he's putting his spin on things and how he approaches our offense.
“We're just listening to him now and kind of going by what he says.”
And Gundy acknowledged he's enjoyed revisiting his old responsibilities. He, of course, was a longtime offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach before being elevated to OSU's head coach in 2005. He was even his own offensive coordinator from 2008-09.
“You forget all the work that is involved in preparing to attack a defense and all the film study and adjustments during practice, but it's fun,” Gundy said. “I enjoy being with the quarterbacks and enjoy being out there with the team and getting into the X's and O's by the game.”
Still, Gundy is not the only coach who has helped make up for Monken's absence.
Running backs coach Jemal Singleton called game planning for Purdue a “think tank” featuring all the offensive coaches. Offensive line coach Joe Wickline has always played a major role in constructing the rushing attack for each contest.
The key, Singleton said, is keeping everything as consistent as possible for the players.
“It's just natural there's going to be minor tweaks that happen with different people kind of involved in different things,” he said. “But we're going to be who we are …
“You've got a bunch of guys on this staff that know what (they're) doing. We've been doing it pretty successfully for a while. We're just trying to continue to grow and do what's going to help us to beat Purdue.”
Gundy noted that at this point in the season, the offense practically runs itself. And the Cowboys have the benefit of a veteran in Chelf running a system that relies heavily on the quarterback to make the correct decisions.
Chelf would not divulge any specifics of the spin Gundy has put on the Cowboys' passing attack. But the quarterback did joke Gundy is a bit calmer during meetings and practice than Monken was.
And Chelf has enjoyed getting a chance to work more closely with Gundy, a former OSU quarterback and bright offensive mind in his own right.
“He's a good offensive coach,” Chelf said of Gundy. “Obviously, a really good one to get a head coaching job (after being an) offensive coordinator. For us to learn from a guy like that is really special.
“He played in the Big Eight, so he's been through what we're going through now. It's an invaluable asset to us.”