Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma State football: Gundy not interested in alternating QBs

by Berry Tramel Published: April 17, 2012

You have to be of a certain age to remember this, but football coaches once didn’t have an aversion to a two-quarterback system. I’m not talking about the Landry Jones/Blake Bell tango in Norman, or the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow dance expected inNew Jersey.

But in the 1950s, with Rams Bob Waterfield and Norm Van Brocklin, and the ‘70s, with Cowboys Roger Staubach and Craig Morton,  coaches would mix and match quarterbacks with situations and times in games.

Nebraskawon a national title in 1970 with Van Brownson and Jerry Tagge alternating.Floridadid the same as recently as 2006, with Chris Leak and Tebow. But the ’06 Gators is the aberration now.

And Mike Gundy doesn’t plan to change it, even though he has three QBs battling for playing time – J.W. Walsh, Clint Chelf and Wes Lunt.

“I don’t want to have two quarterbacks,” Gundy said. “I’ve done that before. I’m not saying we won’t, ‘cause nobody knows what’s going to happen. But I think it’s better to have a starter at quarterback and go into the season saying, ‘He’s our starter and we’re going to stay with him.’ Not that if he doesn’t perform well, we won’t give another a guy a chance.”

In 2001, as offensive coordinator Gundy down the stretch started Aso Pogi, with the plan of inserting Josh Fields. Gundy had some special packages for Zac Robinson to play with Bobby Reid, but not any kind of real platoon system.

“I think it’s healthy to have competition at every position,” Gundy said. “But the quarterback position is different. The team looks at your QB as a leader. I think most teams that have success at any level of football, has a good quarterback, unless their defense can just stop people.”

Gundy’s reluctance to platoon doesn’t preclude the Cowboys from instituting some kind of run-game package with another quarterback (Walsh, if he’s not the starter).

But Gundy seems of no mind to take this competition into the games.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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