In a little more than one year, Oklahoma State starting quarterback Wes Lunt has missed game time because of three (four, really) separate injuries.
Lunt's senior year of high school, he missed the first four games of the season after breaking his foot during summer workouts. He missed almost four games this season with a knee/ankle injury. Then he missed most of the second half of the Kansas State game with an apparent head injury, and his status to start Saturday against West Virginia is questionable.
No doubt, it's been frustrating for Cowboy offensive coordinator Todd Monken. But he won't label Lunt injury-prone.
“You don't know sample size yet,” Monken said. “Is it concerning? Yes, because we haven't had him healthy for an extended period of time. The moment you think, ‘Well, he's injury-prone,' then you think, ‘Well, he took some real shots at Arizona and TCU.'
“So you don't want to overreact. And yet … we've got to either find a way to keep him healthy, or maybe it is an issue. We don't know. That's with everything. You don't know yet. You just know that when he is healthy, he can really throw it and he is a good football player.”
GUNDY STILL PLEASED WITH SPECIAL TEAMS ORGANIZATION
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy was not shy about his assessment of the Cowboys' special teams play against Kansas State.
“Last week was terrible,” Gundy said.
OSU particularly struggled on the coverage teams, allowing 239 return yards, including a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Tyler Lockett.
Gundy emphasized, though, that the execution was terrible, not the organization. That was a topic worth discussing this week with the return of Joe DeForest, who was OSU's stellar special teams coordinator before taking the defensive coordinator job at West Virginia this past offseason.
With DeForest gone, the special teams duties have been more divided among the assistant coaches this season, with graduate assistant Ty Linder taking the lead. Linder hasn't had quite the amount of responsibilities DeForest did, though, and Gundy has played a bigger role on special teams, as well.
“We have a young guy doing it that I think is an up-and-rising special teams coordinator at some point in his career,” Gundy said. “But we can't take a 27-year-old and all of a sudden make him as effective as Joe is at whatever (age) he is. He has to learn on the run.”
OSU's coverage units will get another test this week with arguably the best returner in the Big 12 coming to town in West Virginia's Tavon Austin. On the season, he's averaging 32.9 yards per kick return, which ranks fifth in the nation, and 9.2 yards per punt return.
He's scored a touchdown on each type of return this season.
FORMER OSU CB ANDREW MCGEE RETURNING AS WVU GRAD ASSISTANT
Much has been made this week about the members of the West Virginia coaching staff who once roamed the sideline at Boone Pickens Stadium.
DeForest. Dana Holgorsen. Robert Gillespie. Jake Spavital.
But none of them actually played on the Boone Pickens Stadium field.
Andew McGee did. And this weekend, he's coming back to his alma mater in the opposite colors.
McGee is now a graduate assistant at WVU, specializing in working with the Mountaineer secondary.
McGee had an improbable journey at OSU, recovering from a broken neck in 2009 to become an All-Big 12 cornerback a season later. After his playing career ended, he stayed around the Cowboy program as a volunteer coach while finishing his degree.
And when DeForest left for WVU, he offered McGee a chance to join him as a GA.
“You've got to jump on their coattail and roll out of here,” Gundy said. “If you don't, it's hard to make it. Graduate assistants, young coaches, when a staff splits based on other guys getting opportunities, that's your chance. And that's what he's doing.”