STILLWATER — Whenever Todd Monken has moved jobs along the coaching trail, he usually leaves each stop believing in that particular offensive system.
At LSU, it was running the ball and play action. At Louisiana Tech, it was running the no-huddle.
But when Monken was hired to be Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator following the 2010 season, he wasn't bringing his own offense to Stillwater. Or the one run by his last employer, the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was going to continue on with the high-powered spread system that Dana Holgorsen had installed the previous season.
Sure, Monken has implemented his own tweaks in his two seasons at OSU. But the base philosophy is still the same as the Cowboys prepare to face Holgorsen's new team, West Virginia, Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Which means Holgorsen's next challenge as a head coach is to stop the offense he built to be unstoppable. And this season in particular has shown just how resilient the system can be.
The Cowboys lost two first-round draft picks in quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon. They've had three quarterbacks take meaningful snaps because of injury, and playmakers at wide receiver have also been dinged up.
And yet, OSU has still rolled on that side of the ball, ranking second in the nation in total offense (575.88 yards per game) and eighth in scoring offense (42.5 points per game).
What worked with Weeden and Blackmon is working with Wes Lunt and Tracy Moore. Or J.W. Walsh and Josh Stewart. Or Clint Chelf and Charlie Moore.
Monken said he has always been intrigued by the Air Raid, throw-it-around system. But he was impressed that Holgorsen's version featured more of a running game, more play action, more motion before the snap and more diversity overall.
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