Practice Report 18: Gundy Says QB Undecided

The Cowboys went through a one-hour, 30-minute practice in the heat and humidity Sunday night in a session that didn't end until about 8:50 p.m. Practice didn't end until the team ran about 10 gassers, according to players. Head coach Mike Gundy said he didn't know how much the players ran but he wanted to get a good run in before Monday's day off, the first day of classes at Oklahoma State.

"We had a spirited practice tonight," said Gundy. "It got a little dark on us with the cloud cover. We wanted to get out there and make some corrections from the scrimmage and give our players an opportunity to run and open up their lungs and get a good sweat in before we take a day off tomorrow for the first day of classes. I don't know how much they ran, Coach (Rob) Glass does all that, but they ran a lot."

Also, after a flurry of speculation in Sunday's sports pages throughout the state, Gundy said that he and his offensive staff apparently did not see the same thing during Saturday's scrimmage, and it doesn't appear that a starting quarterback will be named for the opener againist Montana State (Sept. 3) until a week from Monday, Aug. 29.

During the early part of practice both Donovan Woods and Bobby Reid were laughing and seemed relaxed, working with the other quarterbacks and centers along with offensive coordinator Larry Fedora. The speculation in print and on television Sunday night that Reid was the guy may have been wrong based on the fact that when the offense started working as a unit in drills it was Donovan Woods that took the first snaps with the first team and Reid started working with the second team. That's always seemed to be a sign in the past on any football team.

"I was talking with the offensive staff and they didn't see it quite like I did," said Gundy referring to his comments to the media after the scrimmage on Saturday. "They don't feel there was that much difference in the scrimmage. We're going to sit down and meet tomorrow. We didn't come in until after two o'clock today because they all go to church. We're going to sit down tomorrow and I'm going to meet with the offense for a couple of hours and the defense for a couple of hours and try to get an idea of what we really want to do against Montana State. They (offensive staff) feel it's a much tighter race after the scrimmage than I thought it was. I don't want to say that (what it is he saw). Whenever we make this decision, and I hope we can make it a week from tomorrow. Whenever we make it we all want to be in agreement."

Sunday night's practice was a compulation of special teams work, correcting mistakes from Saturday's scrimmage and introducing the team to some of Montana State's offensive and defensive schemes.

A big bonus at Sunday's practice was that the squad got a change to hear former Cowboy and Buffalo Bill standout Thurman Thomas speak. Thomas is in Oklahoma to be inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame on Monday night in Oklahoma City. The class also includes former Cowboy great Barry Sanders.

Gundy said he didn't tell Thomas what to say but it was reported that Thomas told the players to listen to the coaches, go to class, and be tough.

I told Thurman that I just want to make sure they know you are here," said Gundy. "When a person of your stature and who you are I want them to make sure they know you are here. He (Thurman) said I'll say a few words to them. He said, 'Listen to your coaches and go to class because it's much diiferent than it's ever been.' And he said the only way you are going to survive at this level is to be tough. That's what our guys need to hear because we have so many young players out there. They are going to have to make that decision quick."

The Cowboys will not practice on Monday, the first day of classes, which is how former head coach Pat Jones did it when Gundy was a standout quarterback in the late 1980s. The Cowboys will resume practice at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. All practices are now closed to the public.

Gundy did say that the Cowboys will probably scrimmage two more times this week. He said one would be a 40-50 play scrimmage and the other would be more like 70-80 plays.

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