STILLWATER — Since Oklahoma State adopted a no-huddle spread attack on offense, there’s been no secret to its success. Speed.
It’s a trademark that’s brought a wealth of talent to Stillwater through recruiting. It’s a big reason why the Cowboys led the Big 12 in scoring offense from 2010-2012. But at various points last season, OSU’s offense put on the brakes — despite spring and fall camp chatter that first-year offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was going to accelerate an already high-flying offense.
In two games last year, the Cowboys ran less than 70 plays. Compare that to 2011, when coach Mike Gundy said his goal was to run 95 each time out. He credited that 2013 slow down to an injury bug hitting a number of position groups and a lack of depth at wide receiver.
So when Gundy and OSU players met with the media Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena, the million-dollar question loomed — will the Cowboys play faster in 2014?
Depends on who you ask. Even within the same position group.
“With all the talent and speed that we’ve got, it’s going to be much faster this year,” wide receiver Jhajuan Seales said.
“We’re going to go at the pace we need to go to win games,” wide receiver Ra’Shaad Samples countered.
Based on the expected roles of several groups on offense this season, logic points to a quicker attack in 2014. The wide receivers are touted as one of the deepest corps in recent memory and the addition of speedster Tyreek Hill could open up Yurcich’s playbook in ways he never could last season. Quarterback J.W. Walsh is no stranger to playing high tempo, either.
But Gundy said he’s not buying into that potential just yet. He simply hasn’t seen enough to imply the Cowboys will move any faster or slower in 2014.
“In my opinion, the worst thing a coach can do is to ask players to perform and execute plays that they’re not capable of at this time,” Gundy said. “We just have to cut back and reduce and start from scratch until we develop these players.”
And there are some reasons for concern when it comes to pace of play in 2014.
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