"Jarid King is a defensive lineman, a guy that takes a pounding in practice and that's not easy," described Gundy of some of the players he was really excited about seeing on the field. "He got in 15 to 20 snaps and that is great to see.
"(Christian) Schroeder is a receiver that has done a lot for us. Taylor May got out there and was able to run around and make some plays (two tackles). When guys like that get to play that certainly helps the overall morale and it helps our walk-on program."
The number one new player Saturday night only got 20 plays in the game, but Wes Lunt passed his first test with flying colors. Four drives for four touchdowns, 11-of-11 passing for 129 yards and all really on target.
Lunt lined the team up right, made the right calls and decisions, and ran the offense at a rapid tempo. The only negative was he didn't get to play enough. In the postgame news conference, offensive coordinator Todd Monken said he had a good feeling because he was told by the head coach that Lunt ate a hearty pregame meal.
"I hardly eat anything at all as a player and now as a coach," said Gundy of his pregame eating habits. "I must have more of a nervous stomach than most. I was walking through the guys sitting there eating and I saw that Lunt had enough food on his place for a horse. I guess he wasn't nervous at all."
The Cowboys head coach really pushes attitude and body language of his players and his quarterback was strong on that after he came out of the game. Lunt stood up the whole game and was always over among the offense cheerleading or congratulating players when they came off the field.
"I didn't see him much, but he was hanging out with his teammates and having a good time and being positive," said Gundy. "He is very likeable to his team and that will be a real positive in the future."
There were some other true freshmen and other newcomers that played too, and some of those scholarship guys also got the head coach's attention. Gundy pointed to plays made by defensive tackle Calvin Barnett, running back and punt returner Caleb Muncrief, and wide receiver Austin Hays.
Now it is time to take a jump up in competition but one the Cowboys would seemingly be well prepared to handle.
The last two years they have posted wins over Arizona. Mike Stoops is gone and now Rich Rodriguez in in, but even after an offensive explosion with too many mistakes to get the points on the board Saturday night led to a 24-17 overtime win over Toledo, the Cowboys would seem to be a solid favorite next Saturday in the desert.