Following Oklahoma State's narrow win over Kansas State, where the Cowboy offense did not pick up a first down in the second half before rallying late with a game-winning touchdown drive, coach Mike Gundy said this:
“All five or six of us that are in communication came up with some plays, and the choice was poor. We have to keep the football, and we'll get that cleaned up as an offensive staff — that's me included.”
Read into that what you wish. One of the things Gundy prides himself on as a head coach — and something his assistants say they like about their boss — is that he doesn't hover or micromanage.
But as a former offensive coordinator, Gundy is obviously a valuable resource for new OC Mike Yurcich.
And Yurcich welcomes the input.
“It's very helpful,” Yurcich said. “We communicate real well. There's clear communication in our room and (Gundy) has things that he wants in (the game plan) and those sorts of things. As the new guy coming in, it's been a great experience. All the guys give input. We're all in this together.”
Yurcich classifies the recent offensive staff meetings as “productive,” as the Cowboys attempt to make corrections and prepare for a vaunted TCU defense.
“We strip it down and Sunday becomes ‘OK, let's start over again,'” Yurcich said “ … You talk about the certain situations throughout the week that you're gonna face, whether it's score zone, red zone, coming out of your end zone, what's your four-minute plan, what's your two-minute plan, all those sorts of things.
“We know who we are. We know this offense very well.”
DEFENSIVE BACKS FOCUSED ON RECEIVERS, NOT TCU QB BOYKIN
A mobile quarterback like TCU's Trevone Boykin means members of the OSU front seven — a defensive end or linebacker, usually — will be responsible to “contain” Boykin, or keep him from breaking a big run to the outside.
What about the defensive backs? Their job, especially when playing man coverage, doesn't change: Stay with the receiver.
“When I see a defensive back break out of coverage to tackle the quarterback, I always wonder how he was able to see the quarterback break contain while paying attention to his man,” cornerbacks coach Van Malone said. “We always have someone responsible for the quarterback.
“When the defensive back is sure the quarterback is crossing the line of scrimmage, then go get him.”
OPPONENT WATCH: DON'T EXPECT A QB SWITCH
When an offense struggles like TCU's has, outsiders often clamor for a change at quarterback.
But Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson is not about to pull the plug on Boykin and switch to redshirt freshman Tyler Matthews.
“You don't put people in situations they're not ready for,” Patterson said. “Everybody has answers. The key is when he goes in he needs to play well because if not, you can break a kid's confidence when they're a freshman and you never get it back.
“You've got to understand there's a maturity factor, and there's a lot more at risk any time you put a freshman or redshirt freshman in a ballgame. If bad things happen to him you can ruin them for four years.”
TCU's starter, Casey Pachall, is still nursing a broken arm.