Oklahoma State football was in a rush on Friday afternoon as the Cowboys went through their first scrimmage of the spring in workout number nine out of the 15 practices that the NCAA allows. The Cowboys saw the scrimmage start off with a bang as inside receiver Jalen McCleskey uncorked a 70-yard explosive play for a touchdown and then the Cowboys got another 99 plays in for 100 total in just one hour and six minutes. Quick work and that is no April Fool's Day joke either.
Head coach Mike Gundy wasn't joking afterward when he said he liked what he saw.
"It was really good. We had 100 plays in an hour and six minutes, so we got a lot of work done," Gundy said sticking to the basics. "The quarterbacks played well. The offense kind of turned it into a track meet there. I thought the running backs played well. The effort was good. The defense made some plays. A few more penalties than I would want, but overall I was pleased with our scrimmage.”
Gundy had said on Wednesday that the goal would be to get the front line players in early against each other and that when they had seen enough to get the back ups and younger players in the scrimmage and give them plenty of opportunity to show development or in the case of the backup quarterbacks a chance to give the coaches an idea of the depth chart.
Sophomore Taylor Cornelius and redshirt freshman John Kolar took turns guiding the second- and later a mixture of second- and third-string players. It was a mix of results with both quarterbacks guiding scoring drives and both dealing with three-and-out possessions.
“Taylor (Cornelius) did really well, so did John (Kolar). I wouldn’t say at this point that anybody has really separated themselves, but I thought all three quarterbacks played well today,” Gundy said without having had the chance to look at video.
Most importantly, on offense Gundy said he thought the offensive line had improved and that he felt better about the run game in the offense.
“It looks like we were able to rush the ball pretty effectively. I know there’s times that our linemen had their count wrong and I don’t think it was blocked correctly, but I felt like 32, (Chris) Carson, ran hard. (Jeff) Carr made some players miss and I thought 23 (Rennie Childs) did a good job. Raymond Taylor always makes plays. We’re improving. We still have a long ways to go,” said Gundy, who then labeled the offensive line as his top improved group on the day.
“I think we’ve improved up front in the offensive line just in the short term. Quarterbacks are coming along, as I had mentioned. I think we’re getting good play out of our safeties and our star linebackers. I’m pleased with where we’re at at this point in the season.”
Gundy said that the team would be back at work next week and that there would be more scrimmage work ahead.
“We will have two more of these, but it wasn’t a full tackle-to-the-ground day. It was full speed, but we’re limited a little bit," said the head coach. "The defense is at a little bit of a disadvantage because they’re not tackling from the side, but we got a lot accomplished today.”