Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been named one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Football Club Collegiate Coach of the Year.
Finalists for the award will be chosen through a voting process that begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 2. The winner will be announced Dec. 17. Voters include Maxwell Football Club Members, head coaches, sports information directors and selected national media.
Gundy, whose Cowboys are currently 9-1 and ranked 10th in the latest BCS standings, was most recently named the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year and the American Football Monthly National Coach of the Year in 2011 after he guided the Cowboys their first Big 12 title and a 12-1 record. He was also the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2010.
The other semifinalists include Alabama's Nick Saban, Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Baylor's Art Briles, Boston College's Steve Addazio, Clemson's Dabo Swinney, Duke's David Cutcliffe, Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Northern Illinois' Rod Carey, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Central Florida's George O'Leary, USC's Ed Orgeron and Wisconsin's Gary Anderson.
LIMITING ‘YAC' YARDS KEY FOR COWBOY DEFENSE
Baylor's offense is perhaps most dangerous because it's balanced and multidimensional, averaging more than 300 yards both rushing and passing this season.
The Bears can pound the ball inside with powerful offensive lineman Cyril Richardson and their multitude of options at running back. Or they can spread it out and use their speed and athleticism in the passing game.
That makes it paramount that the Cowboys limit Baylor's ‘YAC' yards, or yards after catch.
“Every time, you'll see they'll do a little bubble route, and they'll catch it and make one guy miss and go 60 yards,” safety Zack Craig said. “If we can tackle in space and give them no YAC yards, I think it will be great for us.”
BRYCE PETTY VS. COWBOY SECONDARY: SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE
One of the more intriguing matchups to watch Saturday will be between Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty against the OSU secondary.
Petty has thrown just one interception on 233 pass attempts this season to help him lead the nation with a 206.2 passing efficiency. OSU, meanwhile, is tied for the national lead with 19 interceptions, with cornerback Justin Gilbert tied for fourth in the nation with six picks.
But it hasn't just been the defensive backs leading the interception barrage. Eight interceptions have come from linebackers, including four from Caleb Lavey. That total is the highest of any linebacker in the country.
OSU defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer on Baylor's offense: “The kids aren't blind. They turn on the film and see them scoring at will. Our guys know what they want to do. It's going to be fun.”