Power Lunch Leftovers
I’ve had two live chats in less than a week, and a lot of great questions that I could not get to in the 30 minutes allotted. It also didn’t help that the site we use for live chats went down in the middle of my chat yesterday.
Here are some leftover questions that I thought I’d answer.
Has anything the Cowboys accomplished this season been unexpected?
It’s funny, because I asked Mike Gundy a very similar question after the Texas A&M game—more specifically, if anything had surprised him so far this season. His answer was no. My answer is not much, but yes. In my last edition of the Power Lunch Leftovers, which I did the night before the A&M game, I said that getting off to a fast start would be a huge key against the Aggies and that the Cowboys probably wouldn’t be able to climb out of a big hole in College Station. And then when it happened, I did not expect OSU to win at halftime. Well, I was obviously wrong about that. I also didn’t expect Daytawion Lowe to have the impact he’s had this season—mostly because I, like everyone, thought Johnny Thomas would be the Cowboys’ starting free safety.
Will Justin Gilbert break OSU’s record for kick return touchdowns?
A quick perusal of the media guide tells me that the record for kickoff return touchdowns in a career is four, set by Perrish Cox from 2006-09. Right now, Gilbert has three scores in his career with eight games still to go this season, and the full 2012 season (and possibly 2013 if he’s not NFL-bound after his junior year). I’d say it’s a very strong possibility that he’ll break that record. He should already be tied for it if not for that holding penalty that called back that touchdown return against A&M.
Who have been the offensive and defensive MVPs so far?
Offense: Is it anybody but Weeden? He’s at or near the top of the NCAA rankings in almost every passing category and has done a great job distributing the ball to OSU’s wide array of weapons. And he’s the unquestioned leader of this team.
Defense: This one I had to think about a little bit. You could honestly make an argument for any of the four starters in the secondary. Lowe leads the team in tackles (30) and has two forced fumbles and three pass break-ups. Gilbert and Brodrick Brown both have two interceptions apiece and are developing into lockdown corners. But I’m going to go with Markelle Martin because of his leadership quality back there to go along with his 27 tackles, five pass break-ups and one forced fumble. He’s the most valuable. Most outstanding so far? I’m not so sure.
Will we see the freshmen running backs get some snaps?
I’d imagine we will this Saturday if the game turns into the blowout that many expect it to. I’ve been asked a lot about Herschel Sims, and right now he’s still behind Desmond Roland on the depth chart. He was hampered at the start of the season by injury, then was climbing stairs as punishment for his Twitter outburst after the Louisiana-Lafayette game, and that caused him to get behind. If we don’t see him this week, it’s safe to assume he’ll redshirt. It might already be safe to assume he’ll redshirt. That said, I’d expect Roland to get some snaps in the second half Saturday unless this game is unexpectedly close.
What does Justin Blackmon need to do to for the national media to forget about his fumble out of the end zone?
Keep performing at a high level. Unfortunately for Blackmon, he’s picked some big stages to make his two most boneheaded plays on—the Alamo Bowl and a nationally televised game between two top-10 teams. Trust me, Blackmon isn’t a bad dude. And if he keeps putting up big numbers, then people will forget about the fumble. But I’ve said this numerous times before—he’s just lucky the Cowboys won that ballgame.
Do you think the future of OSU’s offense is with a Weeden-type quarterback like Wes Lunt, or a Zac-type quarterback like Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh?
The best quarterback is going to play next season. Would it be “easier” to keep with the Weeden-type offense? Sure. But obviously the spread can work, and work wonderfully, with a quarterback that can run. It will certainly be something interesting to watch in spring ball and fall camp.
Any chance of J.W. Walsh getting reps if it gets really out of hand Saturday?
I wouldn’t think so. Clint Chelf was firmly established himself as the backup quarterback and needs to get as much game experience as possible.
Do you think we will see the Diamond formation more this week? Seems like they went away from it against Texas A&M.
Good observation. Overall, that has been a successful formation for the Cowboys this year and one that can be utilized for a variety of different run plays and some play action. Look for the Cowboys to run the ball more than usual against Kansas. With how bad the Jayhawks’ run defense has been so far this season, it would be silly not to. And that will open up the play action pass. Presto!
I feel like (Todd) Monken has a better feel for the game as a whole than Dana (Holgorsen) did while at OSU. Is this assumption true to any extent?
That’s a hard question for me to answer since I was not here during Holgorsen’s tenure at OSU. I honestly think it’s about time to stop comparing the two, though. My partner in crime, John Helsley, wrote about that in his Monday Insider. Both Monken and Holgorsen are very sharp offensive minds and know how to put a talented group of players in the right positions to succeed. With that said, I think the added tight end sets for short-yardage and goal-line situations that Monken has implemented have added a nice wrinkle to what was already there.
If OSU ever needs a quick score they should try a Jet sweep reverse from Blackmon to Gilbert! Right!?
I like that thinking! Gilbert is certainly quick enough to get out to the edge and make something happen. Sometimes you wonder what Gilbert would look like as an offensive player.
Given your short amount of time in Stillwater, what are your top 3 restaurants?
I always love the food questions! Keep in mind that I have not been to every restaurant in Stillwater yet, but here’s my top 3 right now.
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