From The Coordinator: Yurcich Talks Tech

STILLWATER - After a weekend of coaches on the road recruiting, evaluating talent and watching some of the prospects that the Cowboys already have pledged in the 2015 recruiting class and the current Cowboys players getting the day off on Saturday, Oklahoma State returned to the practice field Sunday in preparation for Thursday night's Big 12 opener against Texas Tech.

That meant Sunday was like a Tuesday and the heaviest practice day of the week. It is bonus time as the Cowboys were in full pads for close to two and a half hours Sunday afternoon until 5:30 p.m.

The game plan has been in since last week, according to head coach Mike Gundy. Mike Yurcich said the Texas Tech defense, complete with new defensive coordinator Mike Smith taking over for the resigned or fired Matt Wallerstedt, is better than their effort against Arkansas would make you think.

"They run very well," Yurcich said of the juco-dominated rebuilding job on the Tech defense. "They have some big guys on the interior. They have some inexperience, but it does seem like they are a physical bunch that like to run around and pursue the football."

"Our game plan is complete, but we don’t really have the luxury of opening up the playbook," Gundy said last Thursday in his news conference. "Our quarterback has only played two games in his career, and we have three young offensive linemen. The teams that we compete against know that. They watch tape, and they see the inability and deficiencies we have in certain positions. There’s not really any reason to hide that, and we’re going to try and accomplish a few new things each week."

Now that might be a little overstated as Garman has shown the ability to process well, having not turned the ball over at all. He has shifted gears with the offense showing several different points of emphasis.

With Tech being run over for more than 400 rushing yards by the Razorbacks you would think that Garman could specialize in handing off on Thursday to the three Cowboy running backs, including the returned and resurgent veteran Desmond Roland.

"We need Desmond in there for two reasons," Gundy explained. "One, he’s experienced, and two, he pushes the pile and moves downhill, which he did some for us last year, as well. We just aren't able to get him in space like we did last year because we don’t block well enough right now. Hopefully we’ll be able to block for him and get in front of some guys by midseason. If we can do that, he’ll be able to find more space and make some cuts."

"He brings some toughness to us. He brings a lot of muscle and dependability to our offense," Yurcich added. "He's a versatile guy. He's great at pass protection and running the football. He's hard to tackle. Desmond is an emerging leader on our offensive unit, which is great to have. It's good to see him back in the mix."

Oklahoma State fans saw and many were not necessarily excited about an emphasis on the run game in the UTSA win, especially in the second half. Let's hope that practice helped the Cowboys improve the running attack. It seems to be a poison for Texas Tech and it has certainly been that way for OSU in the past with the Red Raiders. Last year the Cowboys ran for 281 yards against Tech, with Roland going for 96 yards and three touchdowns against the Red Raiders.



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