Who Will Start At Quarterback?

"It's a mystery! It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma!" Remember the line from the character of David Ferrie in the movie "JFK". Well, that was what the media was thinking Monday after head coach Mike Gundy was very vague when talking at his weekly news conference Monday about whether it woud be Bobby Reid or Zac Robinson taking the first snap Friday night against Troy.

Then with practice closed, the media jumped at every rumor from any source they felt might have an in to what the coaches were thinking. Conspiracy theories abound in Stillwater.

Will it be Reid that again takes the first snap in Friday's game at Troy? Or will Robinson get his first start as a Cowboy quarterback?

"He had beaten him out in the spring," said Gundy when asked to recap how Reid had earned the starting job. "Ya'll watched the spring practices. It wasn't close. And then in fall camp he (Reid) played well."

Of course that comment came right on the heels of this assessment of Robinson's play in the two games where he has taken most of the snaps.

"He's done fairly well in games," said Gundy. "He's played in the A&M game (last season) and this game (against Florida Atlantic this past Saturday) when it mattered. He's played well. Zac is a good player and I'm glad we've got him."

We all know the story of last Saturday night. After struggling early, other than gaining 32 yards rushing on four carries, Reid left the field with what looked like a slight injury. Robinson took over and by the time Reid might have been available to come back in the game Robinson had the OSU offense clicking as he completed 14-of-20 passing for 250 yards and three touchdowns. He led the offense on drives of 77, 78, 77, and 67 yards for touchdowns.

The fans, who lightly booed Reid early in the game, seem to favor Robinson. The media simply wants to know who is going to start Friday at Troy?

"You're always going to do what's best for the football team and that is the bottom line," said offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, without saying what that is in regard to who will start at quarterback.

"There's a lot of thought that goes into it (deciding the starter), and believe it or not there is a lot of thought that goes into it at every position," added Fedora. "Just because it's a guard doesn't mean we just say, 'OK, let's do it.' We don't treat any differently, everybody else."

But isn't Fedora sympathetic? There is rumbling in Cowboy country. Rumbling about who will play on Saturday. Gundy gave no clues, only leading the media in a wide circle during his weekly news conference. Surely, Fedora wants to stop the rumbling.

"Who is rumbling?" asked Fedora. "You all are the ones rumbling. I didn't say anything other than Bobby is not 100 percent, and you know we're not going to comment anything about an injury. We'll just have to wait and see. You can write, wait and see."

How serious is it? During the post-practice question and answer session the media needed to know who has outplayed who for the past year. Did Reid start last season and in the first two games this season because he had beaten Robinson out?

"That is why we made Bobby the starter," answered Fedora. "We didn't say this guy (Robinson) is better, so we'll make Bobby the starter. There is a lot riding on that (decision)."

A decision that will be made by Gundy and Fedora. A decision that certainly wasn't announced Monday night, and may not be answered until 7:05 p.m. Friday in Movie Gallery Stadium in Troy, Ala.

Oh yes, Troy, the team Oklahoma State has to face no matter who it is that lines up behind center on Friday. The trip to play the Trojans can be a trap. A couple of years ago, with a national ranking and a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Brad Smith, the Missouri Tigers were swallowed whole in a Thursday night nationally televised game. So, does Gundy have any reservations about playing a team like Troy at their place? in a move that came about as part of the extra game added to the schedule before last season?

"I voted for nine games in league (play), no north and south (divisions), and the two teams with the best records play in the championship, and you rotate the schedule every year," said Gundy when asked about eliminating games like this one at Sun Belt Conference member Troy. "Nobody wanted to do it. By myself, I bought it up and everybody laughed at me. I wanted to play nine in-league games because everybody is trying to cut back on travel. It would be good for the fans, good competition, and you rotate more, and, in my opinion, the two teams with the best record in this league should play for the championship. I don't care who they are.

"In the situation we're in right now it is not hard for us to prepare for this game because we're very aware of the speed they have on defense and their quarterback play," continued Gundy of Troy and their quarterback Omar Haugabook. "Our players will stay focused on Troy, where if (we) were ranked really high in the country you could lose a little more focus. We won't have any problem going down there and staying focused because we're well aware of what this team is capable of."

Even better than Gundy, Fedora knows what Troy has having played in the same league with the Trojans. Fedora was coaching at Middle Tennessee State and went up against current Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware.

"There are some good players over there now," said Fedora from experience. "Those guys can run. You know the history of Troy. Larry (Blakeney) has done a great job of getting players over there. One thing I think about them, because when I was at Middle (Tennessee State) they always had great defensive linemen that could run and were tough and they still do. They have linebackers that can run. They are all about six-foot, 220 to 230 pounds and they can run and they will hit you.

"These guys can play. They won that conference last year and won a bowl game."

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