Spring Football: Mike Gundy Q&A

The Oklahoma State Cowboys will wrap up spring practice Saturday with the annual Orange-White Game. For the first time in 10 years it will truly be a game as head coach Mike Gundy has opted to split the coaching staff, split the team and operate the game just like a contest in the fall.

The opening kickoff and the kickoff to start the second half will be live. Other than that they will start drives after scores on the 30-yard line. Punts will be live with returns, but there will be no block calls and the same on PATs and field goals because the normal kicking units are split up.

As you read in the report on Wednesday's practice (Cowboy Spring Football-Day 14), the teams for Saturday's game will be announced on Thursday, but we do know that Bobby Reid will have Adarius Bowman with him. Don't feel sorry for Zac Robinson as he will have Dantrell Savage, spring sensation at receiver Artrell Woods, and talented tight end Brandon Pettigrew. That's a sneak preview and we don't even know which jersey color each of those groups will be wearing.

Some of the other questions Cowboy fans had about Saturday are answered by Gundy:

Question: Who will coach each team?
Gundy: We've divided up the coaches and the two coordinators will not call plays. They are just going to watch. We've split both staffs, offense and defense, and obviously each group will have a team orange or white and the play calling will come from the other assistant coaches. The coordinators can't call on both sides, so we just took them out of the mix.

Question: What is the itinerary for Saturday?
Gundy: We are going to come out and stretch at five and then kick it off right around 5:30. It's not going to be a situation where people show up at 5:30 and we kick it off at six or 6:15. We are going to kick it off close to 5:30 and we expect to be out there until seven or 7:30, depending on how long the halftime ceremony goes. Obviously, we've got the ex-players that will be here and depending on how long that goes as we have them involved in the halftime ceremony. We have a couple of other things we have to do. We have a former player (Thurman Thomas) that is being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame so we are going to take some time for him and we're looking forward to it. It should be a great day.

Question: This is obviously for fun . So how much are you going to use this video for evaluation?
Gundy: We'll use effort, technique, and assignments. It is different when you have linemen that are playing on both sides of the ball that are not used to playing with each other. But your skill positions, it's just like a game for those guys. We have opened it up and have decided what we can and can't do on both sides of the ball. It shouldn't be very vanilla. You know the defense is going to be able to blitz and we are not going to play base. It should be like a game. The offense is going to have eight or 10 dropbacks (passes) and six or eight play-actions (passes) and all the stuff we do so it shouldn't be vanilla.

Question: How much will you protect the quarterbacks?
Gundy: They are going to be in green jerseys but they are going to get hit. The only time they won't get hit is from behind when they are in the pocket. Like every other scrimmage out here they will get hit because we run so much option. We can't pull the defense off. They have been hit all spring, so we'll let them go in this scrimmage. I'll be the only one to blow them off. The officials are not going to pull them off the quarterback. (But) I will if there is a blindside shot, otherwise they know to play.

Question: Who did the selections?
Gundy: They (offensive and defensive staffs) divided it among themselves. The left tackle is on the orange, right tackle is on the white, right guard is on the white, left guard is on the orange. Paschal (Smith) is on one, Pettigrew is on the other. Bowman is on one, and 83 (Artrell Woods) is on the other. To be honest with you, I don't even know who is on what team. I haven't even looked at it yet.

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