Cowboy Spring Football - Day 13

STILLWATER - A seldom mentioned accomplishment this spring for the Oklahoma State football team is a major product of what Cowboy fans will see Saturday for the annual Orange-White Game. Mike Gundy used talking about that accomplishment Monday in leading toward his surprise of what the format will be for what he hopes will be a sea of 30,000 orange-clad fans at the spring game.

"I am excited about how healthy we've stayed this spring. Noah Franklin has an ankle sprain, but other than that we've been real fortunate and it has allowed everybody to get work," Gundy said of the lack of injuries and in introducing his spring game format. "What it has allowed us to do is split these teams up for this Orange-White Game, go ahead and just split 'em up and give us a chance to play a real Orange-White Game.

You can read more about the spring game format and how Gundy plans to divide the teams in the practice notes story, but there was a practice on Monday and it was a strong one for the Cowboys on defense.

The practice ended with extensive work on the four-minute offense, challenging the offense to eat up the rest of the clock with a lead. Then there was work on the two-minute offense, challenging them to come back and score to tie the game.

In both cases the defense answered the challenge just a little better. Defensive end Marque Fountain and safety Ricky Price both got loose in the backfield for sacks to disrupt the offense. Cornerbacks Jacob Lacey and Martel Van Zant made big plays during the drill as well.

"It was good today," Gundy said after the two-hour, 45-minute practice. "The defense performed very well today. We worked on a four-minute and two-minute offense and the offense couldn't get a first down. The offense didn't perform very well. The defense did a nice job today. These were situations we were in a lot last year and it gave us an opportunity to teach those situations and study them on tape and then we'll hit them again on Wednesday."

"It's a challenge between both of us to go against each other," said linebacker Jeremy Nethon. "To go out there and defend against four-minute and two-minute offense it is a mental challenge, and I think we are coming around to being a pretty good defense being able to go down to the end and finish."

Prior to the last team period there were a few offensive highlights as second team quarterback Zac Robinson hit Jeremy Broadway on a 65-yard touchdown pass down the sideline. Bobby Reid had several nice runs -- continuing a trend we've seen for several weeks -- and running back Keith Toston broke off a run that would have gone for a 60-yard score. While the defense had the day today, Reid feels the offense is having a productive spring and hopes to continue that through Saturday.

"In my opinion we are," said Reid. "I feel pretty good about the offense overall. I pictured us being able to execute the plays the way we have. We still need a lot more work and that will come in the summer and in fall camp, and when we kick it off in Athens we'll be ready to roll."

A real welcomed site has been Reid's tendency to take off and create big plays when there aren't any open receivers. That has always been something that both Gundy and offensive coordinator Larry Fedora have encouraged.

"Coach has talked to me about killing defenses with my legs and I think after three years I finally understand what he is talking about," said Reid. "I'm just trying to help the team any way that I can and the offensive line is giving me openings to run through. Sometimes when I keep it the opening may not be there, but I have to remember the job those big guys do and that there will be chances to run a long way with it."

Reid added that the increased performance by the defense and the different looks they are giving him and the other quarterbacks may put the brakes on them now in practice but in the long run it's a good thing.

"It is really good for me because the defense he (Beckman) has put in this spring we haven't seen much of and if Georgia runs anything close to it then I'll be ready for it."

Even on a day, like Monday, when the defense gets the best of Reid and the offense the process of improving and getting better is still very much progressing.

GoPokes Top Stories