After a wild night at University of Phoenix Stadium, OSU football coach Mike Gundy watched portions the Cowboys' 41-38 Fiesta Bowl victory on the flight back to Stillwater on Tuesday afternoon.
The word he used to describe the overtime thriller? Unusual.
“It was an unusual game in the fact we could be so flat on offense and then score so quick,” Gundy said. “But I guess the way we're set up, we're kind of built for that.
“The advantage of our offense is you're never out of any game at any time because you have the ability to score so fast.”
Against Stanford, the Cowboys ran just 57 plays — the fewest since OSU ran 52 against Oklahoma in 2009 — did not score a touchdown in the first and fourth quarters and were dominated by more than 23 minutes in time of possession.
But when Quinn Sharp's 22-yard field goal in overtime sailed through the uprights, it gave OSU its first lead and the victory.
QB COMMIT LUNT: MONKEN IS STAYING
One person particularly interested in the pursuit of OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken by other schools was Cowboy quarterback commit Wes Lunt, who was heavily recruited by Monken.
And as far as Lunt knows, Monken will be back in Stillwater next season.
“He's staying, as of right now,” Lunt said following the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix on Tuesday night. “It will be good for him to get his hands on me and work me out a little bit.”
Monken turned down the head-coaching job at Tulane twice and interviewed for the same position at Southern Mississippi. He declined an interview for the head job at Memphis.
Lunt said Monken did a good job of keeping him informed while Monken was exploring options at other schools.
“Coach Monk was very up-front about it,” Lunt said. “He was like, ‘I've been offered jobs. I'm not taking it unless the right one comes.' I really appreciated that.
“That was just kind of how it went. It was crazy, though, because your OC that was there for one year could possibly be leaving.”
TRACY MOORE SITS, COLTON CHELF PLAYS BECAUSE OF PRACTICE HABITS
Tracy Moore, the Cowboys' third-leading receiver coming into the Fiesta Bowl, played only on special teams Monday night, while Colton Chelf got the start and had a career game.
Gundy said Tuesday that Chelf started because he practiced better than Moore during the week of the game. And when Chelf kept producing, the coaches kept him on the field.
“We've always tried to uphold that practices mean a lot to us as a coaching staff,” Gundy said. “If guys are out there and they're working hard and doing things right, then they're going to get a chance to play.
“(Chelf) had competed well and performed better (than Moore) in practice, and so then he gets the start in the game. And when he's playing well and making catches, then he deserves to stay in there.”
Chelf, a former walk-on, finished the game with five catches for 97 yards. He nearly scored the game's winning touchdown in overtime on a 25-yard catch from Brandon Weeden but was tackled at the half-yard line.
COWBOYS SHOULD BE HEALTHY FOR SPRING
Cornerback Devin Hedgepeth (Achilles tendon) and offensive lineman Jonathan Rush (knee) were the main injury casualties for the Cowboys this season, as they were both lost for the season in OSU's victory at Texas A&M in September.
But Gundy expects both of those players, and all the Cowboys, to be ready to go by spring practice.
“Everybody should be up and running for spring football,” he said.
Wide receiver Hubert Anyiam was also lost for the season when he broke his foot against Missouri in October, but he was a senior this season.
Rush was granted a sixth year of eligibility, while Hedgepeth will be a junior in 2012.
GUNDY: DEMAND FOR ASSISTANTS COULD START AGAIN SOON
Gundy's phone has been quiet for the last couple weeks while the Cowboys were making their final preparations for the Fiesta Bowl, but he anticipates the calls will start again soon.
Calls from other schools asking Gundy for permission to talk to his assistant coaches.
Gundy said before the Fiesta Bowl that seven of his nine assistants had interviewed for positions at other schools. The staff remains intact right now, but Gundy expects interest from others to resurface now that the Cowboys have played their final game.
“We go through that first stage, and then the next wave will start this week,” Gundy said. “I haven't had any phone calls or any messages (as of Tuesday afternoon), but that can start at any time this week.”