Gunter Brewer has UM ties

ARLINGTON, Texas - Gunter Brewer has a built-in attachment to Ole Miss. His Dad, Billy, was the head coach at Ole Miss back in the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Gunter is the Co-Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma State, Ole Miss' Cotton Bowl opponent.

"It's great to see guys who have been at Ole Miss since my Dad was there. Nobody has changed much. We've all gotten older, but the personalities are still obviously the same," said Gunter Brewer, son of former Ole Miss Coach Billy Brewer and now the Co-Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma State, who will be the Rebels' foe in the upcoming Cotton Bowl.

Gunter didn't play at Ole Miss, opting to play wide receiver at Wake Forest during his collegiate years, but due to his family connection, he became an Ole Miss fan during his formative years.

"You could not be in my family and not love Ole Miss," he laughed. "Mom and Dad made sure of that. My older brother (Brett) punted there, but I went another direction because I wanted to play a lot and felt I would have a better opportunity elsewhere.

"Ole Miss has always been in my heart though. Mom and Dad still love that place and live in Oxford. Dad goes to all the games and I get reports all the time. He would only give me some general thoughts for my scouting report. (laughs) He told me Ole Miss is physical and fast and we'd have our hands full, but I alreadey knew that."

Gunter is happy at Oklahoma State, but his name has ben circulating through the coaching ranks as a mentor ready for the next step - head coaching.

"I feel I've paid my dues and am ready for the next step. My body of work starts from a long time ago as a graduate assistant," he explained. "I have worked hard and have moved up the ranks and would certainly like a shot at running my own program one day.

"A lot of it though is lady luck smiling on you. Who you know and being in the right place at the right time is also important. I'll be patient, but I believe my time is coming. If Florida is interested, I'll listen (smiles). All kidding aside, it would be great to follow what my Dad did and become a head coach and see if I could win some games."

Gunter's son, Keaton, is a junior at Ole Miss.

"There was never any doubt where he'd go. He's there with Dad and Mom," Gunter laughed.

Down to business. The Cotton Bowl.

The Cowboy offense took a major blow earlier in the year when First-Team All-American Wideout Dez Bryant had to leave the team.

"That was tough. Anytime you lose the caliber of guy who has a chance to be a top 15 pick and is considered the number one receiver in the upcoming draft, it's hard," Brewer noted. "You look at the yardage and touchdowns and the double coverage and all that goes with it, and it took away a lot of our offense. It took us a while to figure out how we could recover from that.

"We have bounced back somewhat, but when you take a Randy Moss kind of guy off the edge out of your lineup, it's going to hurt. We've had to compensate in the running game, which we have, and Zac (Robinson) has recovered."

Brewer and Joe Wickline, a former Ole Miss OL coach, inherited a pure spread offense from current USM Coach Larry Fedora, who was the Cowboy OC before taking over at Southern Mississippi.

"We wanted to settle into our own personality and run the ball more," Brewer said. "Joe has been around some SEC programs with a tough mentality and as a consequence, we have led the Big 12 in rushing the last couple of years with a one-back set. We believe in the basics of football - running the ball and being able to block people.

"We spread it around with the option, different pass formations, rolling Zac out and then lining up and trying to be physical. Joe and I both believe that no matter how fancy you are, when it gets to be 4th-and-1 you better be able to move some people and buckle your chin strap."

Brewer is looking forward to the Cotton Bowl, for several reasons.

"Obviously, I have many ties there and a deep love of that school," he said. "Two, we are proud of what we have accomplished at Oklahoma State. We want to show everyone what we have developed in our program.

"Three, the tradition of both schools speaks for itself. To be able to match up with a great school and team in a bowl game that is BCS caliber on national TV is what we all work for. This is a great reward for us and I am sure for Ole Miss as well. I can't wait."

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