Spring Practice: Reid, Offense Have Good Day

It was an "offensive" day for the Cowboys on Wednesday as they crossed the midway mark of spring practice by completing their eighth workout on the grass practice field. It was "offensive' as in the offense had the upper hand in a practice that included a longer than normal 35-play team period in the middle of practice and a shorter team period at the end. The 80-degree day made it perfect weather for spring practice and the wind didn't seem to bother the offense, even the gusting winds.

"It was a good day today for the offense," said head coach Mike Gundy after the two-hour, 45-minute practice. "They made some plays and caught it. The protection held up against the blitz, (but the) defense gave up too many big plays. They have to rally together. If you give up a big play, you have to forget about it and come back the next play and take advantage of an opportunity. It was really a considerably better day for the offense. I look for the defense to rally and come back and get after them Friday in the scrimmage."

The team period in the middle of practice was revealing when it came to the announced change in quarterback reps with Bobby Reid earning the bulk of the reps off his 9-of-10 passing day in last Friday's scrimmage and his overall play in the first six practices. Reid was at quarterback for 18 of the 35 plays and the offense delivered. Reid was 7 of 10 passing for about 142 yards and two touchdown passes. The first scoring toss was a perfect strike across the middle to tight end Brandon Pettigrew who turned it up field and sprinted to the end zone. The second was a wide receiver screen to Adarius Bowman where the North Carolina transfer used all of his blocks to find clear sailing down the sideline and avoided getting tripped up on his way to the end zone.

"It seemed like he practiced pretty good today," Gundy said of Reid. "You know you have to watch tape, but if he learns to play with confidence then you'll see a different player. He's starting to feel a little better about himself."

Reid also found D'Juan Woods on a pair of sharp completions. The only negative plays with Reid running the offense were a dropped snap that he recovered to get a first down on a third-and-one situation. Reid was also sacked twice on tags by defensive ends Nathan Peterson and Marque Fountain.

The other quarterbacks performed well too. Zac Robinson had the second most reps - eight. Robinson was 7 of 7 for 89 yards, including a completion to backup fullback Jeremiah Burton for 18 yards and a crisp pass over the middle for 15 yards to sophomore wide receiver Jeremy Broadway. Al Pena had six snaps in the team period and was a perfect 3-of-3 passing for 76 yards and a touchdown. The scoring toss was on a post route to Broadway, who jetted into the clear to cover the distance. Freshman Alex Cate had three snaps and completed one of his three pass attempts, a 13-yard pass over the middle to Bowman.

Mike Hamilton and Julius Crosslin both had success running the football with Hamilton breaking off a seven-yard run before the coaches blew the whistle to keep defenders from tackling him. Crosslin had the big run of the day, breaking a 16-yard carry on a trap play that featured a good block by left guard Steven Denning.

The second team period saw the offense continue to have success including a final play touchdown scamper by quarterback Zac Robinson for a 19-yard score. Obviously, with the offense having so much success the offensive line is playing well. The first team has two inexperienced players at guard with Steven Denning and Andrew Lawrence. Today true freshman Jacob Secrest of Stillwater also saw some time at right guard with the first unit. Senior three-year starter Corey Hilliard said the line is getting better and he is confident it will develop into a strong asset for the offense.

"I feel good because I think some of those guys like Steven Denning, Jacob Secrest and Andrew Lawrence are stepping up," said Hilliard. "They are stepping in and making some plays for us now. I know exactly what they are going through. I just talk to them to let them know it's going to be OK. There are going to be tough times and days where everything doesn't click, but don't get frustrated and don't get down. Just keep working at it."

Hilliard and his offensive teammates will no doubt see a determined defense on Friday when the Cowboys hold their second major scrimmage of the spring. The scrimmage begins shortly after 3 p.m. in Boone Pickens Stadium. The Oklahoma State Athletic Deptartment is encouraging a large crowd and fans to wear orange as they will be shooting promotional spots for the new, "How Orange Are You?" marketing campaign.

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