Childs May Get More Opportunities This Week

A couple of things struck me during Mike Gundy's weekly news conference on Monday. With the steady tone of negative questioning, primarily from one columnist from Tulsa, I was having a hard time figuring out if this Oklahoma State team is 5-1 or 1-5. The news conference had a general theme that made it seem 1-5, but the reality is the team is 5-1.

There were almost no questions about the OSU defense, which currently stands third in the conference in scoring defense, fourth in total defense, and second in rushing defense.

There were few questions about special teams other than the health of the kickers, which Gundy was not going to comment on. Josh Stewart became the third OSU player to win Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week (actually Stewart is a repeat honoree). Kicker Ben Grogan won it after the Kansas State win.

Most of the questions dealt with offense and why the Cowboys don't look like the explosive, score-amatic offensive unit from the past several seasons. Gundy's answer was simple, "personnel."

He's right, OSU does not have a quarterback with an arm as strong as the Cowboys have had in their arsenal over the past three seasons. They don't have an NFL running back, at least a clear cut one. They also have been filling holes on the offensive line since projected starting left tackle Devin Davis tore his ACL in preseason camp.

The pursuit of cranking up the offense continues, and one development that is getting a lot of positive attention is more and earlier playing time for freshman running back Rennie Childs, who came in against TCU to run for 45 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. He also had a screen pass go for 34 yards.

"I think we'll see him earlier. How much more will depend on how it goes with the running back situation," said Gundy.

"Explosive, confident and very competitive," said offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich in describing what he thought of Childs on Saturday. "It was great to see him out there competing on Saturday."

As for expanded playing time, Yurcich said, "I think what you're dealing with is a true freshman, and any time you have a tailback that is a true freshman you want to bring him along."

That's a nice way of saying Childs needs to show he can improve in pass protection, specifically blitz pick-up responsibilities, and all facets of playing the position. One thing is clear, he runs hard and he is eager to get out there and show that. OSU fans are more than happy to watch it.

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