Scrimmage Report: Did They Find Backup QB?

STIILWATER - Fall camp is over. Oklahoma State's preseason camp officially ended Saturday with the 115-play scrimmage that head coach Mike Gundy and his staff put the team through complete with Big 12 officials. However, the 11th-ranked Cowboys will still spend another week focused inward and almost completely on themselves before turning their attention to the opening game with No. 13 Georgia.

Saturday's scrimmage was, as promised by Gundy, physical and intense. It featured a lot of work on running the football and what will hopefully, after video study, be revealing reps to determine if redshirt junior Alex Cate or former pro baseball player and walk-on sophomore Brandon Weeden stepped up in Zac Robinson's week-long absence from practice to be named the backup quarterback. As expected Robinson suited up, but was a spectator.

Gundy started off addressing the scrimmage in general. "We had a very physical 115-play or so scrimmage, maybe more than that," opened the head coach. "The players really competed well. The defense had a good day and came out and started fast. The offense was somewhat sluggish, but overall we were able to compete.

"I would say it was probably defense played better early and offense made some plays late and it was pretty even. It was hot and what we wanted, so they got pushed. We left them out there for an extended period of time. They needed to be out there to get adjusted to the climate and the turf and what it will be like in the first game.

"We had officials here and they were able to identify penalties and we haven't had that," continued Gundy. "In your first scrimmage that is always kind of a shock to see yellow flags flying around, and really we didn't have as many as I thought we would. Overall, it was a good day. We got in a lot of work and look forward to grading the tape and visiting with the players about it tomorrow night."

Linebacker Patrick Lavine had this comment on the defensive effort. "I felt great," said Lavine. "I can't wait until Sept. 5th and to be out there at the game. I feel confident."

One of the reported highlights of the scrimmage was a long scoring run by backup running back Keith Toston. Toston and starter Kendall Hunter didn't get a lot of carries, according to Gundy.

The head coach also said wide receiver Dez Bryant was limited in number of plays, but "was very good when he was out there."

Gundy and Toston both talked about the Toston touchdown run. "I did not see what happened on that play but I thought he ran very hard today." said Gundy of Toston. "I'm not sure if he broke a tackle or it opened up. I didn't see the start of it, but I saw the end of the run and he made a nice play."

Toston said, "The linemen did a great job on one of our running plays and I just made the most of what I had and got to the end zone from about 50 yards out."

As for the backup quarterback competition, Gundy wasn't doing any coronation right after the scrimmage.

"They played well, about like they have," said Gundy of Cate and Weeden. "They made some plays and they made some mistakes, but I was pleased with the way both of them played. It will be a while (before naming a backup) because we have time and don't have to do it now. I thought both of them played well."

Over the last several days Gundy has reported that Robinson has done more and more on his own, and probably could have participated in practice but did not. Gundy felt it wasn't necessary and he seemed to be enjoying the closer look at Cate and Weeden along with extra reps for freshman Clint Chelf of Enid, Okla., who will someday be a player in the battle for starting quarterback.

Sources say Robinson is rapidly recovering, will be fine, and there is no concern. He is expected to be back at practice this nexst week after the Cowboys' back-to-back days off Sunday and Monday, the first day of classes on campus.

"He will be back out with us Tuesday, but we are going to wait until he is 100 percent before we do anything with him," said Gundy when asked about Robinson after the scrimmage."

Speaking of classes, Gundy expressed his concern with the shortened camp this August but said the silver lining to that is that instead of one week of school before jumping into game week, the players will have two weeks to get into the school routine before the third week which leads into the opener against Georgia.

The Cowboys won't practice the next two days but they will meet. As Gundy mentioned they will meet Sunday night and review the scrimmage as well as hold Camp Cowboy activities where they will learn Oklahoma State traditions. They will also meet later in the day Monday, after the first day of classes, before the next practice on Tuesday.

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