Oklahoma State football: Cowboys getting Josh Stewart involved any way possible

BY GINA MIZELL Published: November 8, 2013

Josh Stewart hadn't taken a snap at running back since his Little League football days.

But there he was against Texas Tech, motioning from his spot at receiver, stopping in the backfield and then receiving a direct handoff.

Was that just OSU throwing a wrinkle at the Red Raiders that they would never have seen on film? An effort to get the Cowboys' best playmaker the football in a time when his production has dipped? Or a more long-term development for an OSU offense that still continues to evolve the No. 14 Cowboys prepare to face Kansas Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium.

How about all of the above?

“It's easier to give it to a running back,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said. “You can almost secure that (position is) gonna get the ball so many times. So we try to find ways for (Stewart) to touch the football with the system that we use on game day.”

After a largely disjointed and ineffective first half of the season, the Cowboy offense has started to come together over the last three games.

Against TCU, the Cowboys made the quarterback switch from J.W. Walsh to Clint Chelf. Against Iowa State, the running game emerged, with Desmond Roland providing a rugged downhill style behind a retooled offensive line. Against Texas Tech, Chelf gave the Cowboys a downfield passing attack and proved to be a legitimate running threat.

But since the quarterback change, Stewart's impact has dwindled.

With Chelf at quarterback against TCU, Stewart had three catches for 42 yards, with 27 of those coming on a ball thrown by receiver Charlie Moore on a trick play. Against Iowa State, Stewart finished with three catches for 10 yards, though Chelf had trouble finding any Cowboy receiver on a day where he completed just 10-of-26 passes for 78 yards. Against Tech, Stewart had a team-high six catches but just 27 yards.

The Cowboys have always tried to get Stewart the ball in a variety of ways because of his ability to make defenders miss in the open field.

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