OSU notebook: Defensive questions continue for coach Mike Gundy

BY JOHN HELSLEY AND JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writers, jhelsley@opubco.com; jrohde@opubco.com Published: October 31, 2011

And yet, Randle prefers to run, first.

“I would've been a wide receiver if I liked catching that much,” Randle said. “When they call a run play that I know can be successful, I'm definitely like a bull at that point and I just turn on a different mode.

“It's my turn and we're about to go do what we have to do, so I feel like we can make a big play at any time, anywhere on the field.”

RANKINGS RUMBLINGS

OSU continues to hold the No. 3 spot in the BCS Standings and stands to move up with a win Saturday, with No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama squaring off.

“We have to win first,” cautioned Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden. “If we don't win, we'll drop to whatever. We've got to take care of business; that's our first and foremost goal.

“We've got to keep winning and the rest will take care of itself.”

THREE IN ONE

Cowboys punter/kicker Quinn Sharp already owned two jobs — punter and kickoff specialist — and stepped into one more this season, assuming the field goal chores vacated by Dan Bailey.

Sharp has excelled at all three, ranking third nationally in punt average (47.59), No. 8 in scoring (10.88) and No. 1 in touchbacks (38) on kickoffs for the third straight season.

“He's been tremendous for us,” Gundy said. “Somebody put together some kind of statistic that had his field goals, his kickoffs and his punting and what he's given us. He's been really good.

“He's been three guys, and we've talked about it. We're pleased that he's able to stay healthy and fresh in handling all those duties.”

The Cowboys are monitoring Sharp's daily activity in an effort to keep him going strong.

“(Special teams coordinator) Joe DeForest has done a great job of limiting his reps on certain days,” Gundy said. “On Sundays, he doesn't kick at all. He doesn't kick at all on Monday. He does a little bit of one on Tuesday, a little bit of the other on Wednesday and both on Thursday.

“We're very pleased with his production up to this point.”


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