Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists the Cowboys' spread offensive system isn't very complicated. It's a similar scheme to what new quarterback Wes Lunt ran in high school — a key reason why the true freshman won the starting job.
Still, Lunt's first season will be full of lessons and adjustments, especially early. Even so, coach Mike Gundy said the coaches have not felt the need to simplify the playbook for Lunt.
“Those discussions took place after spring ball and throughout the summer in preparation for fall camp, and there wasn't any scaling back the offense,” Gundy said. “He's shown signs of being intelligent enough and smart enough to be able to handle it.
“We feel like it is better for Oklahoma State football that we give it all to him and see how much he can handle in the early part of the season.”
OSU CONSIDERING OPENING 2013 SEASON AGAINST MISSISSIPPI STATE IN HOUSTON
Savannah State, the Cowboys' Sept. 1 opponent, might represent the most mismatched opener in the football program's history.
Next season's opener could be much testier.
OSU is considering a possible game with Mississippi State, to be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston in the 2013 season opener, a source with knowledge of the potential matchup told The Oklahoman Thursday.
The Cowboys are weighing the pros and cons of playing a second nonconference game outside of Boone Pickens Stadium. Currently, OSU is set to play at Texas-San Antonio and home against Lamar.
The Mississippi State game offers a national television game and big payday against an SEC foe, to be played in an area that is both a recruiting target of the Cowboys and a home to many alums and fans and current players.
But it would also result in just one nonconference home game, which OSU officials — as well as local fans and merchants — might not prefer.
Other options for a home opener are also being considered.
JEREMY SMITH EXPANDING RUNNING STYLE
Slimmed down to 198 pounds, Jeremy Smith is trying to become a more complete running back.
He's always been known as a bruiser, punishing linebackers near the goal line and a terror to bring down in the open field. But as Smith moves forward, with the NFL in his sights, he wants to be more than that.
“I believe I've changed a little bit,” Smith said. “Especially with the cuts I'm making. That's just one thing I was focusing on in the summer … You should (see some different kind of running).”
In theory, it seems like a positive for OSU. But Monken, unfiltered as always, doesn't necessarily see it that way.
“Too many moves,” Monken said of Smith. “He just needs to run and go downhill. That is true, Jeremy is working all these moves and he's not a move guy. He's a downhill, one cut guy. He needs to just go.”
But Smith has shown growth in another area — pass-catching — that Monken is happy about.
COWBOYS' UNIFORM PICKERS REVEALED
A key byproduct of having 48 different uniform combinations is selecting the group of players who will pick what the Cowboys wear each week.
Gundy said that four seniors — Brodrick Brown, Isaiah Anderson, Lane Taylor and Cooper Bassett — were selected for that job.
Was fashion sense a requirement? Not exactly, Gundy said.
“Just somebody that's got enough sense to make a decision and go on down the road,” Gundy said.
Last season, most of that responsibility fell on former quarterback Brandon Weeden, with a small group of seniors also giving input.
Each uniform the Cowboys will wear this season has already been selected.
LUNT EARNS POPULAR NICKNAME
Looks like Cowboy offensive lineman Jonathan Rush and the Rochester (Ill.) High School community have something in common.
They came up with the same nickname for Lunt.
“I just called him ‘Slim Jim' (while) messing around, because he's all gangly,” Rush said. “And then he was all, ‘You know, that's funny, because that's what everybody called me in high school.'
“And I was like, ‘OK, well it stuck.' I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who calls him that.”
By Gina Mizell, John Helsley and Anthony Slater