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Oklahoma State football: Why the addition of a Big 12 game official might as well be the 'OSU Rule'

The Big 12 Conference is adding an official to its game crews for the 2013 season — an “alternative referee” — whose primary responsibility is to quickly spot the ball for play. That'll come in handy for the Cowboys, who plan to pick up their already considerable pace this season.
by John Helsley Modified: July 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm •  Published: July 26, 2013
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— There were times last spring when Oklahoma State's offense stood ready, often impatiently, waiting for the football to be spotted, so they could quickly snap it in an ongoing effort to play fast.

Faster.

Fastest.

“If you thought we played fast,” said Cowboys receiver Josh Stewart, raising both eyebrows, “wait until you see us now.”

Actually, the Cowboys prefer no waiting. And the Big 12 is poised to help.

The conference is adding an official to its game crews for the 2013 season — an “alternative referee” — whose primary responsibility is to quickly spot the ball for play.

Eventually, it might even become known as the OSU Rule.

The Cowboys plan to pick up the pace this season; yes, playing even faster than they have under Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken, with new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich employing an upper-tempo pace in the spring.

So as far as OSU is concerned, the faster the ball is set, the better.

“I love that the Big 12 has taken the lead on that and putting it into practice and into games,” said Cowboys running backs coach Jemal Singleton. “I think it does help. If the ball is getting spotted faster, we're going to snap it faster.

“I'm not sure how the defensive coordinators feel about it …”

In its no-huddle, hurry-up offense of recent seasons, OSU has produced record numbers for yards and points, doing so with scoring drives that barely dent the game clock. The Cowboys' consistent success has drawn the envy of Texas coach Mack Brown to the point that he's ditching a one-year emphasis on power football to seek similar fast-paced production with his Longhorns.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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