STILLWATER — In the span of one week, Oklahoma State’s offense has gone from having head coach Mike Gundy calling the plays to striving to have the Cowboys’ starting quarterback calling them.
New offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen — who was hired one week ago today — is poised to install his explosive, pass-heavy offense, and he’s bringing along former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell to help tutor the Cowboy quarterbacks.
Harrell and former Red Raider offensive lineman Brandon Jones will join the Cowboys’ coaching staff in quality control positions.
Adding Harrell to the coaching staff could end up being a critical addition, as his understanding of Holgorsen’s offense will allow him to focus on mentoring the Cowboy quarterbacks as they compete to replace Zac Robinson as OSU’s starting signal caller.
Holgorsen said that while head coach Mike Gundy maintains the right to make the final decision — just like with anything else in the Pokes’ program — he expects to call plays.
"That’s pretty obvious I thought,” Holgorsen said. "I left Texas Tech for one reason: To go call the plays. I’ve done that for two years, I doubt I’d be real excited about giving that up.”
But ideally it won’t be Holgorsen or Gundy calling plays: It will be the quarterback.
When Holgorsen’s offense is running at its peak — with a veteran, experienced quarterback — the signal-caller has the freedom to call and change plays at the line of scrimmage. In Harrell’s final year at Texas Tech, Holgorsen estimated that Harrell called 75 percent of the plays. And last year in Houston, standout quarterback Case Keenum called around 50 percent of the plays.