STILLWATER — Mike Gundy half-joked that his wife, Kristen, might know best.
She's the one who ultimately convinced the Oklahoma State coach to run a play where the quarterback takes the snap from under center.
“I got the most pressure from my wife about being in the shotgun on short-yardage and goal-line and not going under the center,” Gundy said following the Cowboys' win at Iowa State. “She's been on me for three weeks, so I said, ‘We'll take a snap under center if it makes you feel better.'”
We've now seen three goal-line plays run from under center inside the 5-yard line in OSU's last two games — producing a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown — in arguably the most prominent recent wrinkle to the Cowboy offense.
That used to be J.W. Walsh's time when he was not the starter. So does that mean we've seen the end of his specialty package as the Cowboys' change-up quarterback?
Not necessarily, Gundy said.
“(It's) more of another option, just based on what our matchup (is) against the team that we're playing each week,” Gundy said of the reasoning behind the goal-line approach the last two weeks.
Gundy has often said the one major drawback to the Air Raid spread offense is that it can be ineffective in short-yardage and goal-line situations. The Cowboys appeared to have found a solution with the Walsh package late last season, as he produced six total touchdowns in OSU's final four games.
But since Clint Chelf retook the starting quarterback job, he's taken every meaningful snap inside the score zone.
The Cowboys debuted the power, under-center package on their opening drive in Ames, where Desmond Roland first got stood up for no gain before pounding the ball up the gut for a two-yard score two plays later. Then on fourth-and-goal against Texas Tech Saturday night, Chelf rolled to his right and hit Jeremy Seaton for a one-yard score.
The package utilizes both fullbacks in Kye Staley and Seaton, with the option to line them up on either side of the quarterback or to overload one side. Both are valuable as lead blockers, and Seaton has become a sneaky receiving threat.
A tough back in Desmond Roland — especially when running behind a revamped offensive line and Zac Veatch at tight end — also helps make the formation effective. Same with a mobile quarterback in Chelf.
The under-center look hasn't completely turned into OSU's go-to goal-line attack, as the Cowboys still ran plenty of plays out of the shotgun inside the 5-yard line in Ames and Lubbock. And maybe we'll see Walsh reappear in that situation again down the line.
But the Cowboys have clearly found something with this under-center thing. Two touchdowns on three plays is a pretty solid ratio. And it certainly gives opposing defenses something else to think about when they prepare for the Cowboys.
So maybe Wife does know best after all.