GUNDY WANTS KICKER AND PUNTER IDENTIFIED IN NEXT 7-10 DAYS
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has accepted the fact that the Cowboys no longer have a valuable kicking triple-threat like Quinn Sharp.
Gundy said at his Oklahoma City Caravan stop at the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on Sunday night that he would like to identify the Cowboys' new kicker and punter in the next 7-10 days. But he does not expect that kicker and punter to be the same guy.
“I don't feel like we'll have a guy that will do both — kick and punt,” said Gundy, adding that the kicking game should be “interesting” this season. “ … In the next 7-10 days or so, I would like to be able to say, ‘This guy's our kicker, this guy's our punter, now go out there and execute and perform,' and build our philosophy around those guys.”
Gundy said the departure of Sharp, the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year the last two seasons, has caused the Cowboys to allot more time in meetings and practice to special teams. The newness at kicker and punter could even impact the coverage teams, based on the style of player who wins each job.
“When Quinn was here, it was like a routine,” Gundy said. “We knew exactly what we needed to do to play to his strengths, and he just kind of took care of it. Now we have to go back and kind of find who we are and what our strengths are in special teams.”
Get ready for lots of cowbell at Reliant Stadium.
According to a recent tweet from Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, Bulldog fans will be allowed to bring their infamous noisemakers into the Houston stadium for the season opener against OSU. The SEC had previously banned all artificial noisemakers for conference games, and the NCAA did not allow the cowbells in Omaha when Mississippi State played in the College World Series in June.
Gundy said the Cowboys will prepare for the artificial noise just like any other road game — by blaring loud music inside Boone Pickens Stadium during practice.
“That's really helped us over the last few years on the road,” Gundy said. “Because when you play on the road, that's how loud it is. Players get used to not hearing sound and (instead) seeing signals … they said (the cowbells are) really loud, but I'm confident that our players are OK with it.”
OSU, of course, can counter with its own crew of noisemakers in the Paddle People. Similar to the SEC's policy, last season the Big 12 prohibited the use of artificial noisemakers once either offense became set at the line of scrimmage during conference games.
A representative from the OSU marketing department said approximately 36,600 public season tickets have been sold, which is about 1,100 away from a school record. Those figures do not include the approximately 5,000 student season tickets that have been sold. … Gundy said a select group of three offensive players, three defensive players and one specialist will pick the Cowboys' 2013 uniform combinations in about two weeks. … OSU held its first practice in pads Sunday morning.