Wondering About Tempo; Wonder No More

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma State fans were asking about the offense following the season-opening win over Mississippi State. The questions ranged from whether new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was needing time to adjust to Division I to whether OSU would be able to throw the ball like in the past. However, the most asked question was where is the ultra fast tempo that we had been hearing about?.

The Cowboys did not show it in the spring game, going somewhat pedestrian by Yurcich standards at Shippensburg University in his last job coordinating an offense.

On Saturday in San Antonio, the defense may not have been as impressive as it was a week ago, although the score was 42-7 going into the fourth quarter. However, on offense all the questions were answered. Yurcich is fine and really doesn't need a transition period into Division I.

As for the passing, the Cowboys threw for 518 yards and J.W. Walsh set a school record for passing percentage with more than 20 throws. Walsh connected on 89 percent of his passes completing 24 of 27 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Clint Chelf came in later and completed 11 of 16 for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

"Whenever you have guys getting open like they did today that makes our job easier," said Walsh giving credit to the receivers. "Running hard and getting open for us, that makes it really easy for us."

"That all gives us a lot of confidence as an offense," said Chelf. "We have a lot of confidence in our receivers, running backs, and o-line."

Chelf also commented on his week and support he has received.

"I've been through a lot of stuff and I knew that I needed to stay focused for the team and I'm grateful for the opportunity I had today," said Chelf. "I've had a lot of support over Twitter and phone calls. I am thankful for all those fans that have reached out to me and it really makes a difference."

OSU head coach Mike Gundy acknowledged at halftime that his offense was going fast, But he also said he didn't think it was fast enough. Well, it was lightning fast. Fast enough that radio play-by-play voice Dave Hunziker was out of breath and felt like an auctioneer.

We timed the Cowboys first scoring drive in the second quarter because we felt it was the fastest of the day. Here is what we came up with. The times are from when the previous play was whistled dead to the snap on the next play.

Play 1 - Roland 15-yard run (7.56 seconds)
Play 2 - Walsh to Seales pass for 9 yards (12.78 seconds)
Play 3 - Walsh to Seales pass for 5 yards (12.56 seconds)
Play 4 - Walsh to Seales pass for 4 yards (19.0 seconds)
Play 5 - Walsh to Stewart pass for 11 yards (13.65 seconds)
Play 6 - Walsh to Ateman pass for 9 yards (9.33 seconds) Play 7 - Walsh to Stewart 10-yard touchdown pass
Total Drive: 7 plays, 63 yards, 1:40

By the way, three times on that drive the chain crew could not keep up with the pace and tempo of the Oklahoma State offense. The final time the officials held up the Cowboys offense ever so slightly to let the chain gang get in place.

"I thought we had good continuity on offense," said Gundy. "We went fast, really fast. I think we can go faster and the faster we go I think the better we can be."

"Oh my gosh it was fast," said receiver Brandon Sheperd. "We can go fast and I think that was as fast as I can remember us going."

Wow! You want tempo, the Cowboys can deliver tempo, and you saw it in San Antonio. The truth is that Gundy is right, it can get faster and it will.

"That is kind of how we were practicing this week," said Walsh. "We were going fast on Tuesday and then faster on Wednesday and by Thursday we were flying. I think that really showed today. We did a really good job of that."

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