Oklahoma State linebackers coach Glenn Spencer was promoted to co-defensive coordinator last season.
Last week, Spencer temporarily had the “co-” taken off that title, as he handled all the duties of defensive coordinator Bill Young, who missed the Savannah State game following an undisclosed medical procedure. And he'll remain in the role Saturday at Arizona, with Young not scheduled to return to the team until next week.
In a way, it's an opportunity for Spencer to show he's ready for a full role as defensive coordinator.
Except he doesn't think of it that way.
“There might be a day for that down the road,” Spencer said. “I love that responsibility, but I love what I'm doing now and I love working with Bill. The biggest thing is just being around for him for years — a guy with that much experience and just learning from him. Not only his knowledge of the game, but how he handles people.
“So much of being that role is not only how you handle the players, but how you handle your staff. He's taught me so much there. That's another day and time.
“I really don't want to entertain that now, because I'm just looking forward to him getting back next week.”
RBS READY AND WILLING
The Cowboys like to say their offense is predicated on whatever the defense gives them.
For the running backs, that requires a mindset of versatility.
“I feel like we can do whatever the coaches ask us to do,” said Joseph Randle. “If they ask us to run it, we'll do it. If they ask us to pass block, we'll do it.
“We feel like we're ready for whatever.”
RICH ROD NO DR. PHIL
Arizona survived in overtime against Toledo, winning 24-17 in its home and season opener Saturday.
Some drama might have been avoided, however, had Wildcats kicker John Bonano not missed short field goal tries from 24 and 25 yards in the second half. Bonano, a senior, finished the night 1-for-3 on field goals, making a 26-yarder.
How will Bonano bounce back? Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez prefers practice over psychology.
“I've never been one to sit down and have a Dr. Phil moment with any of the players, kickers or otherwise,” Rodriguez said. “If there's something not right and you're not doing something as well as you can, then go practice it more.
“If you're not making your free throws, go shoot free throws. If you're not making kicks, go kick. John and the rest of our guys go out and do that.”
GUNDY PREFERS PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE
Nonconference scheduling has been a hot topic over the past week, notably weak nonconference scheduling.
Exhibit A: Oklahoma State's 84-0 thrashing of Savannah Sate.
While admitting that Savannah State was an unavoidable mistake, Cowboy coach Mike Gundy sticks by the theory of a softened schedule. In fact, he embraces it.
“Kind of the best way to look at it, if you just imagine a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that being the BCS championship and Big 12 championship,” Gundy said. “You have a certain part of that road that never changes, and that's called your conference. But before that, if your goal was to get there, you'd like to have a straight path.
“And anything you put in your way that could make it more difficult, just makes it more difficult. So you have a nice smooth highway all the way there, then you have to make a left or right turn based on where you have to go to follow your conference.
“Or you can go over hills and valleys and potholes and things like that and have issues getting there. I'd be for the easiest way to get to that one point before having to play conference play, within reason.”
Anthony Slater contributed to this report.