Sunday Rewind: A Look Back At The Scrimmage

The computers were going non-stop Sunday in the Oklahoma State football offices as the coaching staff is analyzing every move from Saturday's scrimmage. The players were scheduled to be back for dinner and a little team bonding this evening and then back to the meeting rooms for the review of the scrimmage.

While we know coaches are never, and can't afford to be, satisfied especially this time of year, there will be some grins during the meetings.

The offense had its moments as they ran the ball decent and threw it well at times, and did all that without starting quarterback Zac Robinson or tremendous tight end Brandon Pettigrew stepping foot on the field for a single play. Head coach Mike Gundy and co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer will be closely examining the video to progress toward deciding whether Alex Cate or Brandon Weeden will be backing up Robinson.

Playmakers like Dez Bryant, Bo Bolwing, Hubert Anyiam, Kendall Hunter, Beau Johnson, and Kye Staley all made plays. Travis Miller had a more difficult time but we know from camp he can make plays too.

On defense the Cowboys made breaks for themselves with an early safety by defensive tackle Jeray Chatham, which was a great sight to see. Jacob Lacey had the interception and returned it 39 yards for the touchdown. Ricky Price had a big hit, and on a slant route linebacker Donald Booker blew up wide receiver William Cole.

"I was excited on that play because Booker made a big hit and Will Cole got hit and popped right up," said Gundy after the scrimmage. "That is kind of the direction we want to go as a football team. If you're a wide receiver and you get hit, we want you to pop right up and not act like you're not hurt and get to the huddle. Obviously with Booker that is what we want and that is as big a hit as we've seen out here in awhile."

It is always difficult to decide how you feel after an intrasquad scrimmage. If one side dominates then there is concern for the side that was pushed around for two hours. That wasn't the case at Boone Pickens Stadium as Saturday brought some give and take, and the biggest complaint the head coach had was one that has been consistent throughout camp. Play faster!

"I would have liked for us to be faster on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, so we had to work through some things," said Gundy. "Overall, I thought it was a good scrimmage, We got in 115 to 120 plays and we got some good work in."

As for all the scrimmage review by the staff, we'll have to wait until Monday to find out what it showed as Gundy and the coaches are hibernating from the press after 10 consecutive days of camp access.

Hooray for leftovers because we have a few more from last night and a few opinions too. The first two offensive lines played well. We thought both quarterbacks did some good things, and like Gundy said they also made some mistakes. We give Weeden the edge based on total yards the offense moved and points they scored when he was at quarterback.

The backs are excellent and the wide receivers are good and getting better. Pettigrew is badly needed at tight end, but Wilson Youman was making a lot of plays and you had better keep an eye on Jamal Mosley and Cooper Bassett, the two freshmen tight ends.

Defensively, that may have been as good a scrimmage as they've had in awhile. We counted 26 players with being involved on tackles. Linebackers Orie Lemon, Donald Booker, Justin Gent, Patrick Lavine and Seb Clements showed up a bunch.

Chatham, Derek Burton, Jamie Blatnick, Jeremiah Price, Ugo Chonasa, Richetti Jones and Tonga Tea Jr., all showed up a lot on the defensive line. In the secondary, Terrance Anderson, Price, Lacey, James Thomas, T.J. Bell, Lucien Antoine, Maurice Gray, and fellow freshmen Victor Johnson and Johnny Thomas all were in on tackles.

"I'm certainly rooting for the defense," continued Gundy. "I thought there were more collisions in the first 20 plays than we've out here in a long time. I think Ricky Price had a big tackle, (Donald) Booker had one, and I think Jeray (Chatham) maybe had the other (on the safety). I was pleased with the tackling and I thought we brought something with us when we came up and made those hits. I was pleased with that."

"It was okay," said senior cornerback Jacob Lacey of the defense overall. "We had some spells where we were running around and doing some good things, but we also had one long drive. I would say it decent. It wasn't great but it was decent."

By no means is it the finished product, but the defense is better and it used a bunch of packages that were executed and worked well. I asked defensive coordinator Tim Beckman about his multiplicity on defense.

"That is a huge word," said Beckman. "I can't spell it. We are trying and this game in college football today is you have to be multiple and you have to effect the quarterback. You have to take the game out of the offensive coordinator's hand. That's what the Big 12 does. They have great offensive coordinators that are calling plays from the press box and giving it to the quarterback and you have to take that away from them and if you don't have multiplicity then you are going to have a problem with it."

Between you and me, both sides of the ball will need to get better before the Aug. 30 opener and certainly as they progress through what is a very difficult schedule.

One aspect that might have been overlooked a little Saturday that I really liked, and I'm sure will need much improvement, even with new clock rules that were in effect for the scrimmage on Saturday, was the factthat there were very few penalties. One illegal procedure came on a field goal and that was caused because the team didn't have enough men on the line of scrimmage. Another call was a late hit on Lucien Antoine. That should be corrected and this may be a good time to correct that with Big Lucien as he is aggressive.

"He caught him right on the sideline at the end," said Lacey of the play. "I thought it was questionable."

"We're not going to comment on calls," said Beckman. "I like his physicality, but we have to be smart. He has to be a smarter football player and know where he is on the field."

So, a good offense minus Robinson and Pettigrew, good defense with two defensive scoring plays to start the scrimmage and some big hits, Dan Bailey perfect on field goal and extra points, and Quinn Sharp close to perfect, and few penalties. For a first scrimmage, that's a good starting point.

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