Spring Football: Offense Pleases Gundy

STILLWATER - Oklahoma State fans really wish they could sneak in for at least one spring practice. You get the feeling fans are dying to catch a glimpse of the new offense that offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is installing. It's easy to say it looks like Houston or it looks like Texas Tech but until you see it with your players wearing your colors it is hard to grasp.

Head coach Mike Gundy has seen it and seems to like how it is progressing.

"It's been a lot of fun to watch the offense," said Gundy. "We're a little further along on offense than I thought we'd be. We're showing some continuity and I was concerned with just how long it would take for us to get into rhythm. I think the players have bought in and are moving along well."

A real key in this offense is the wide receiver position, and getting more players involved. That is a must. In practice every pass is charted and score is kept on drops. Most days have been good.

"They caught the ball well the last two days (Wednesday and Friday)," said Gundy of last week's practices. "On Tuesday they didn't practice very well.

"I mentioned Isaiah (Anderson), (Justin) Horton, and Hubert (Anyiam) is catching the ball. Obviously, (Josh) Cooper has been reliable for us and made some catches. Those guys are going to have to makes plays for us and some freshmen are going to have to step in because in this style of offense they'll be a lot of guys run on and off the field and get a lot of plays. It's not where we'll play four or five guys, but we'll play six or eight receivers."

"The wide outs are really stepping up and playing well. They are making plays and doing what they need to," said quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Weeden has taken to the offense like a fish to water, and the battle will be who will back him up between redshirt freshman Clint Chelf, freshman enrollee Johnny Deaton, and incoming freshman Nate Sorenson. Weeden says he is feeling better and better about the offense.

"I feel a lot better about it today than I did three practices ago," said the 26-year-old quarterback. "Still make mistakes, obviously, but I think we're starting to mesh a little bit.

"I think guys aren't thinking as much. They are kind of reacting and I think once we get to that stage where we don't have to think as much then we'll have a lot of success. I think guys are starting to get comfortable."

Like Weeden, many of the receivers were in the celebration spirit when they heard about the offensive change and that certainly included sophomore Isaiah Anderson. The speedster started spring with a different spirit and so far it has carried on each day in practice as he often gets mentioned by Gundy as a playmaker.

"When they told me the offense was going to be like Houston that got me going. I got excited about it," said Anderson. "I was thinking spread the ball around, put the ball in my hands so I can make plays. To finally have the opportunity it feels good.

"At first it was kind of rough. We were just trying to find our place out there," continued Anderson. "Now it is getting going and we're doing a good job of catching passes, adjusting our routes and adjusting to what the defense does. It'll pay off in a couple of weeks with the spring game."

Like we said before the fans can't wait. Now one of the interesting aspects of the offense is the increased workload, quarterbacks throw more and receivers run and catch more than ever in practice. The question is do the legs wear out?

"Not the legs, it's the feet you have to worry about," answered Anderson. "Everybody's feet are burning up out there. You go home and you kick them up, and now that we're on a regular schedule of one day on and one day off that's getting better."

In the long run though, Anderson is not complaining. This is what he wanted. It is what he prepared for. His sports as a youngster led him this way and this offense fits his style which also includes talent at returning kicks and punts, which he also might do for the Cowboys this upcoming season.

"I started out with basketball for a long time and I thought that was what I wanted to do but then I found track and then football was what I wanted to do and it got me here, and I'm loving it more and more each practice," he said.

"I feel like safeties are like kickers back there, just birds on the wall and you need to make them miss."

Like I said, we can't wait.

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