STILLWATER — Mike Gundy went mum in the spring and said he wouldn't talk about OSU quarterbacking until after the season opener.
Then last week, he started singing like a canary. Told us both Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh would play against Mississippi State.
Genius. That's what Mike Gundy's plan is. Genius.
I'm not talking about playing two quarterbacks. I'm talking about spreading confusion, not so much here in God's country, but down in Dixie.
We have no idea what Gundy will do, and we've spent a fair number of seasons trying to decipher his double talk.
In fact, here's a quote from Gundy in April 2012, when he had a three-man derby in spring practice: “I don't want to have two quarterbacks … I think it's better to have a starter at quarterback and go into the season saying, ‘He's our starter and we're going to stay with him.'”
Now Gundy is talking about being “obligated” to play both quarterbacks, since both have proved to be effective.
So we have no clue what Gundy actually will do. And Mississippi State has to be completely bumfuzzled.
Which is a very good thing for OSU.
Do you game plan for the Air Raid offense of Holgorsen and Weeden and Monken and Lunt and Chelf? Do you game plan for the infantry twist of Walsh, who showed with that 50-yard quarterback draw against Texas that the Cowboys were capable of going off-roading with this offense?
It's quite possible that Chelf will play the whole way against Miss State. Also quite possible that Chelf will QB, and Walsh will play only in short-yardage situations. And it's even possible that Gundy is telling it straight, and both quarterbacks will play.
All of which lands in the lap of Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, who was promoted to the job in January. So he debuts against OSU. Talk about your frying pan.
You're an SEC defensive coordinator, your first game is against one of those Big 12 offenses with such a reputation for prolificacy, the SEC behemoths seem to have a tonic for such offenses, and now the Cowboys won't even cooperate by agreeing to sticking with what's been working.
It's not like Gundy is trumpeting a Wes Lunt/Chelf platoon. The Chelf and Walsh molds are nothing alike.
“Two different players,” Gundy said.
But Gundy said it might not matter to Mississippi State. The Bulldogs last season played mostly man-to-man pass coverage. Overload the line of scrimmage and give the defensive backs responsibility of single coverage.
When that's your defensive philosophy, offensive formations and styles don't matter as much. Just win your individual matchup.
Of course, Mississippi State did that with two cornerbacks, Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay, who each were picked in the second round of the NFL Draft.
Man-to-man works well with seasoned and great players. Not so much with greener and less talented DBs.
So it's a chess game. Does Mississippi State prepare for the offense brought in by Dana Holgorsen and quarterbacked to great heights by Brandon Weeden, an offense so good that it didn't miss a beat last season despite repeated quarterback injuries?
“We've got two good players and we'll play ‘em both,” Gundy said. “Each one brings a little something different to the table.”
And down in Starkville, Geoff Collins' nights just got a little shorter thanks to the coach who said he wouldn't talk but is doing just that.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.