And for all of them, playing time is the payoff for all the work spent preparing spring, summer, winter and fall.
“A lot of young men that give a lot to our football team had a chance to get out there and play in front of their moms and dads,” Gundy said. “That's really a neat day.”
Sims, a heralded recruit who has been banged up publicly bummed out, made his debut, running seven times for 22 yards and a touchdown.
“He got healthy,” Monken said. “And I think he realized a little bit that if you really want to play, you have to compete.”
Roland ran for 27 yards on seven carries, while Stewart caught five passes for 64 yards.
None of the backups disappointed, most notably Chelf.
And Monken admitted he was most on the spot.
Monken's message to the backup: “‘OK, Clint, go in there and run it. Forget just your throws, how was your body language, your mannerisms? Did the guys respect you? When they look at you, do they see you as that guy? That's the most important thing. Do the guys believe in you as that guy?'”
Chelf wants to be that guy; envisions himself as that guy.
“Going in for the first half of a Big 12 game, it's against their starters still,” Chelf said. “It's good experience and to know that, hey, you can compete with those guys.
“The guys around me did just a great job. The O-line, I didn't get touched. And the receivers made great catches. It was good for everybody. They're guys I'm going to be playing with in the future, so it's valuable experience.”