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Oklahoma State football: Cowboy coaches will not second-guess decisions

Mike Gundy and assistants will search for answers to what went wrong against Texas
by John Helsley Published: September 30, 2012


The setup: In the closing moments of the third quarter, Walsh hit John Goodlett on a 20-yard touchdown pass that had to go to review to be confirmed. That pulled the Cowboys within two, 28-26, and Gundy called for a 2-point conversion to tie.

The question: It's not, ‘Why go for two so soon?' The question is why have Walsh, not necessarily known for his pinpoint passing, try a fade route for Tracy Moore? Walsh's strength is the run-pass aspect of his game, so why not roll out — run or pass — or take your chances with an option, rather than a low-percentage fade, which sailed five yards out of bounds?

The back story: Former Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden had the option to switch to a fade route involving Justin Blackmon, whenever one-on-one coverage was obvious. That freedom remains with the new quarterbacks, and is an integral part of their job in this version of the up-tempo spread, to read and react to defenses.


The setup: The Cowboys struck a blow when Walsh hit Josh Stewart with a pass that became a 44-yard TD when Stewart broke a tackle and romped to the end zone. The play came just 36 seconds after Texas had gone ahead 14-7, knotting the score at 14-14 and seizing momentum. It was short lived, as Texas' D.J. Monroe ran through an attempted tackle by Ashton Lampkin and was off to the races.

The question: What went wrong?

The back story: Sharp, already the nation's best at recording touchbacks, had talked just last week about OSU's shift to a strategy aimed at kicking the ball higher and shorter — a move aimed at tempting return men into bringing the ball out at the risk of getting trapped deep in their own end. Was it in play on the fateful return? Sharp's subsequent six kickoffs all were lower drives that either sailed through the end zone or were not returned.

Questions always arise following losses, particularly a game with so many highs and lows on both sides.

Inside the program, however, Gundy said the focus is strictly on finding answers.

“There could be a lot of second guessing on coaching calls on both sides of the ball,” Gundy said, “and there won't be any inside our organization.

“We put it all to rest.”