From The Coordinator: Monken Taking Stock

Like the players, the Oklahoma State coaches also got the most popular question of the day from many members of the media. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken also got to answer the question about whether the Cowboys will be out for revenge when it comes to hosting Iowa State on Saturday. No, the Cowboys won't be out for revenge against the Cyclones.

If the Cowboys had played the Cyclones again last season, then revenge might have been on the mind. This time the offense is of a mind to play better than it did in stormy Lawrence, Kan., this past weekend in the 20-14 win over the Jayhawks (the fewest points the Cowboys have scored since a 21-7 loss in the 2010 Cotton Bowl to Ole Miss).

"We didn't run the way we like to run it, so we have to come up with a different way to get us in space," said Monken of the running game at Kansas. "It handcuffs us a little bit, but it's one of those things where we have to be able to run the ball and be able to run the play action so J.W. Walsh can be successful.

"It didn't help that we didn't have Jeremy Smith or Desmond Roland. I think all players are better when they have someone to spell them a little bit. I think we'll play better at home. We'll find out. We're playing a good defense this week, but we have to find a way to move the ball and score points."

Monken took a lot of blame for his plan and his play calls on Saturday. But truth be known, I can't be critical because I would have called similar plays and would not have risked a vertical passing game in the rain with a quarterback that doesn't count the deep ball as one of his better talents.

Monken is adamant that you have to find some things that will work in those situations.

"No matter who your players are, especially in situations, whether it's goal line or third downs, you say `do we have the right package for who we have?' When you have injuries here or there, you have to refigure out the puzzle," Monken added.

"When your quarterback is that guy, we have to give him the best chance for success. As the game goes on, you get a feel for how he is playing, and the team is playing. There was really never a flow. It was choppy. I do think there's times when you reassess what you're doing weekly as every team does. Not to go away from your core, but what you can do for the players you have that gives you a chance to win and move the ball," added Monken.

The offensive coordinator also has to factor what the opposing defense is doing, what their talents are as far as what they can stop and what they have trouble stopping. Monken remembers well coming home from Ames, Iowa last season wishing he'd called a few plays differently. He will study Iowa State aggressively this week.

"They're a team that's built around juniors and seniors that have played a lot of football, so nothing really fazes them," the Cowboys offensive coordinator said of the Cyclones defense. "They play hard and they tackle well. I think their coaches do a great job. They did a great job against us last year. They do what they do, they keep it simple and they're really good at it."

Now the Cowboys need to make sure that they are better at what they will do Saturday at Homecoming.


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