Quiet Day Around Football Offices

STILLWATER -- The first day of classes on the Oklahoma State campus is a traditional day off for the Cowboys football squad. It was that way when a young Mike Gundy showed up as a freshman quarterback playing for Pat Jones in 1986 and Gundy suggested it to Les Miles as Miles' offensive coordinator and assistant head coach and kept the schedule when he took over seven years ago.

So, while everybody is revved up and the team is coming off a huge scrimmage on Saturday what is the mood like at the Oklahoma State football office on the first day of classes?

There is plenty of work as every assistant coach was in his office continuing to review the tape of Saturday's scrimmage in between watching tape of Mississippi State or Southern Miss on offense. Then again, the offense was busy watching Jacksonville State video including the upset win over Ole Miss. from last season.

Ready for an explanation? For the defensive coaches the biggest mystery is what offense will ULL run in the opening game? The new head coach, Mark Hudspeth, just narrowed out Cowboys associate head coach Joe DeForest for the Cajuns' job. Hudspeth came from Mississippi State where he was the passing game coordinator for the Bulldogs specializing in the Florida offense that he helped Dan Mullen coach. Hudspeth hired his offensive coordinator away from Central Michigan where Jay Johnson was coaching quarterbacks, but he is better known as the offensive coordinator for three seasons at Southern Miss and former Golden Eagles coach Jeff Bower. That explains all the recent Mississippi State and all of the 2005-2007 Southern Miss tape being viewed.

Now for the offensive coaches the viewing is Jacksonville State because new ULL defensive coordinator Greg Stewart came from there where his 3-4 defense was the talk of the Ohio Valley Conference. Besides Jacksonville State, it might be helpful to view last year's Cowboys win over Texas A&M. I would bet that Stewart might lean on that game for some hints on how to defend the Cowboys. Their 3-4 defensive schemes have a lot in common and DeRuyter has a reputation of being the defensive coach that can stop the spread, at least the Mumme/Leach/Holgorsen spread.

The mood on Monday was happy. Why not? Saturday's scrimmage, which after the review was really good on both sides of the ball, was the conclusion to one of the best August camps in OSU football history. The team is healthy, there have been virtually no off the field issues, and the confidence is high. Attitudes are flowing right through the program from the head coach to the staff to the older players and down to the freshmen.

The work resumes tomorrow and for the first time the Cowboys will be looking almost exclusively at scout teams. The only question is what should those scout teams run?

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