New Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich hasn’t tweaked much of the Cowboys’ Air Raid spread system.
But he has increased the tempo.
That’s almost difficult to fathom, as the Cowboys were already attacking opposing defenses with their no-huddle, quick pace. But coach Mike Gundy said he isn’t surprised the Cowboys are going even faster this spring.
“When I studied potential coordinator candidates on tape and I watched Shippensburg on video,” Gundy said, “I noticed the majority of the time they got a first down, the ball was snapped before the chains were set. Now, I don’t know what kind of chain gangs they have in that league — not to knock that league — but I know they must have been moving pretty fast for that to happen. I would say the speed of our offense has increased this spring.
“I looked at several potential (offensive coordinator) candidates, and I thought they fit the criteria of what we were looking for, but I didn’t think that they played fast enough. And I’m not sure that’s something that you can teach. I think you just have to call it and feel that way. We wanted to bring a guy in here that understood the speed of our offense.”
OSU ran an average of 78 offensive plays per game last season, which helped the Cowboys rack up 547 total yards per game (fourth in the nation) and 45.69 points per game (third in the nation).
And the Cowboys can speed things up even more when they have experience at virtually every skill position, especially quarterback, where Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt all started at least three games last season and threw for more than 1,000 yards.
As Gundy says, when the quarterback knows the offense and the Cowboys get in a flow, the system “really runs itself.”
“They run the system and they do it all the own,” Gundy said. “We just feed them the information and they go out and execute. The transition (to Yurcich) works pretty smooth.
“When I got into it this year for the bowl game, I had two weeks to pick the system up and learn enough to call plays, and it’s really not that hard. I think the transition will continue to be smooth and get better over the next few years, as long as Mike’s here with us and gets adjusted to the speed of Oklahoma State and who our players are.”