"Robbie is one of the best I've had and he works very hard at it," a proud Mike Gundy bragged on Discher, who he hired away from a full-time position at FCS powerhouse Sam Houston State to break into the FBS level and show off his abilities in the Big 12.
"We were tops in the Big 12 overall in special teams," added Gundy. "We were eighth overall in the country and the really amazing aspect of it is that Robbie did it mainly using freshmen and walk-ons. We really weren't able to use our starters much because of depth issues and how many snaps they were playing, especially the starters on defense."
Of course, many fans will remember the punt return in the Bedlam game by speedster Tyreek Hill. Hill, before being dismissed from the team over a domestic violence situation the week after the 92-yard touchdown return sent the game and eventual win over Oklahoma into overtime, was first in the Big 12 and second in the nation in combined kick returns. Hill had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in addition to the one punt return for a score against OU.
Individually, kicker Ben Grogan was third in the Big 12 in both field goal percentage (79.2) and field goals per game (1.58); Kip Smith was sixth in the Big 12 in punting (42.0 yards per punt); and defensive tackle James Castleman was first in the Big 12 and nationally in the NCAA in blocked kicks with three.
As a team Oklahoma State was fifth in the Big 12 and 72nd in the nation in kickoff returns (20.46 yards per return); fifth in the Big 12 and 36th in punt return average (9.86 yards per return); third in the Big 12 and 22nd in the nation in net punting (39.68 yards per punt); and fifth in the Big 12 and 51st in the nation in kickoff coverage (20.31 yards allowed per return). Grogan and the team were perfect at 100 percent in PAT kicking and as noted above were third in the Big 12 field goal percentage.
It's interesting that the hiring of Discher was one that some Cowboys fans criticized because he was not hired as a full-time assistant, but he came from a strong FCS program that had been to back-to-back national championship games.
Gundy is really proud of the work that Discher has put in and of the younger players and walk-ons that made the Cowboys special teams special and the hiring of Discher rewarded by footballscoop.com.
The Oklahoma State traveling party including the coaches and support staff and Oklahoma-based players leave from Stillwater on Saturday, and all members of the travel party meet in Phoenix, where they will have their first practice. Now they will be carrying with them one of college football's top special teams coordinators from this season.