Oklahoma State football: Cowboys' tempo might not be quite the same in Heart of Dallas Bowl

The OSU offense looks like it's on autopilot, but it's not. In fact, according to Todd Monken, play calling isn't easy with the Cowboys' offense. With Mike Gundy or a committee calling plays, the Cowboys might be a bit slower against Purdue.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: December 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm •  Published: December 25, 2012
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photo - REACTION: OSU coach Mike Gundy reacts during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Texas Tech University (TTU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.  Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
REACTION: OSU coach Mike Gundy reacts during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Texas Tech University (TTU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Then, the offense's speed wears on defenses late in games. That's what happened in the Cowboys' other two victories, as they wore down good defenses from Iowa State and TCU. Both teams hung with them early but ultimately lost by three touchdowns.

Granted, there have been games where the tempo of offense hurt; it lengthened the game and left the defense on the field for too many plays. But many, many more times than not, the speed of the offense is one of the Cowboys' biggest assets.

That tempo is almost sure to suffer in the bowl.

Gundy, at the very least, is a rusty playcaller. It will have been almost three years to the day since he directed an offense in a game. When last he did, the Cowboys scored just one touchdown and lost to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl.

Seems like eons ago, doesn't it?

Adding to that, the coaches have floated the possibility of calling plays by committee. The idea is that Gundy would collaborate with offensive line coach Joe Wickline, running backs coach Jemal Singleton, and receivers coaches Kasey Dunn and Doug Meachem, or some combination thereof, before deciding on a play.

There's nothing wrong with that — so long as you don't want to play fast.

Against the Boilermakers, that may not be a big issue. Heck, the Cowboys could probably huddle before every play and still win by a couple touchdowns.

But if Monken, the man at the middle of the mayhem for the past two years, was telling the truth, play calling on game day is many things. Easy isn't one of them.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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