Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Friday that Clint Chelf will start at quarterback in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Purdue on New Year's Day.
“He's really earned that,” Gundy said. “The flow of the team right now, Clint's played pretty well. He's been healthy. He's earned the right to start the bowl game.”
Gundy said OSU would retain the short-yardage package for J.W. Walsh that was installed for the Nov. 17 Texas Tech game.
Chelf started the final four games after taking over for Wes Lunt, who suffered a concussion Nov. 3 at Kansas State.
Chelf said practice snaps have been split similarly to the previous four games, when Chelf was starting.
Saturday is a big day for Chelf. The fourth-year junior will graduate.
“I'm going to grad school, so more schooling. I don't know if that was a smart decision or not, but I'll try it,” he said. “When I got the letter, they emailed me the week of the West Virginia game. So I got in on the same week that I was making my first start, so it was a pretty cool week.”
GUNDY SIDESTEPS YOST RUMORS
Gundy declined to talk about his efforts to replace offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who resigned this week to become the head coach at Southern Mississippi.
The Columbia (Mo.) Tribune reported that Gundy offered the job to former Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Yost.
“I can't talk about any job offers,” Gundy said. “It's just not fair.”
Gundy expressed dismay at the trend of so many head coaches and coordinators leaving their teams — or being fired — between the end of the regular season and the bowl game.
But Gundy said he had “no desire” to resume offensive coordinator duties full-time, which he last did in 2008.
GUNDY BUZZ DIDN'T BOTHER PLAYERS
Unlike many fans, OSU players weren't hanging on every word that came out of the media regarding talk of Gundy leaving for Arkansas or Tennessee earlier this month.
Some said they were oblivious to it all. Others said they were aware of it but not greatly concerned by it.
“It's not like Coach Gundy signed a contract with me that he was gonna be my head coach the entire time,” senior Cooper Bassett said. “It's a business. He's got a family — kids and a wife — other people he has to make happy, and he's got to make himself happy.
“I was thrilled to see he's gonna be here, and when I come back as an alum, when I'm an old has-been, I hope he's still the coach because he's done great things here.”
GUNDY PLEASED WITH PRACTICE
The body language of his players pleased Gundy in Friday's practice, considering that the team had its sights set on a bigger bowl than the Heart of Dallas.
Friday's workout was the team's first since completing final exams.
“Their attitude and body language was really good, which is important,” Gundy said. “I think the way they practiced today, they understand the importance of wanting to be in a game and wanting to be in a bowl game to compete.
“The weather was great. It could be just that way on game day down there.”
MONKEN MET WITH QUARTERBACKS
Before leaving to become the head coach at Southern Mississippi, Monken held one last meeting with his quarterbacks to tell them personally of his decision.
“We were glad that he told us up front,” Walsh said. “It's a great deal for him, to be able to further his career and move forward. I think I speak for all of us to say that we're really happy for him and we wish him the best of luck.”
By John Helsley, Berry Tramel and Scott Wright