STILLWATER — When Mike Gundy hired Todd Monken to run Oklahoma State's offense in 2011, one question jumped into the minds of Cowboy fans immediately.
Will the offense change?
The answer is yes.
That answer sparks fear into the hearts of those who watched the OSU offense help the Pokes to an 11-win season in 2011.
Yet it shouldn't, because every successful offense is organic.
The Dana Holgorsen-led attack which opened the 2010 season with 65 points and 544 total yards in the Pokes season-opening win against Washington State was not the same as the offense which scored 36 points and gained 312 yards in the Alamo Bowl win over Arizona.
“What they started off as and what they ended up as was not the same offense,” Monken said. “All we're doing is taking it from there.”
For example, receiver Justin Blackmon opened the 2010 season as a potential playmaker who had shown signs he could be a difference-maker in the spring but hadn't proven it in a game, therefore Blackmon was far from the focal point of the offense. When he caught two touchdown passes in the Alamo Bowl a few months later, the Ardmore native was the 2010 Biletnikoff Award winner and a player who the Cowboy offense was built around.
Make no doubt the OSU offense will be different in 2011.
And that's a good thing.
The core concepts will remain the same, Gundy said the Cowboy offense “looks the same as last year” after OSU's first practice of the spring on Monday.
The biggest change from 2010 should be a step towards making the offense more versatile, particularly in key moments.
“There were times last year when we got stopped on third-and-one or third-and-two,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said. “(Times) when we should execute that and get a first down.”