PFB - Mike Gundy Has a Plan in Place for OSU’s QBs, but He’s Not Sharing It

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Greenhorn
Feb 17, 2018
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Oklahoma State’s football season starts in less than a week and we still don’t know who will take the first snap, but Mike Gundy does.

For months we’ve tried to grasp at and glean anything we could from what coaches and players had to say about the two quarterbacks in question, but the answers we’ve gotten have mostly been filtered coach speak. We’ve heard stuff like “both guys are really getting after it” or “I’d be fine catching passes from either one.”

Even the quarterbacks themselves — that one time they were allowed to speak with the media — toed the company line. Sanders said, “Whether I’m out there or Dru (Brown) is out there, I just want to see this team be great.”

Gundy runs a tight ship.

But all will soon be revealed, even if it’s not set in stone.

“We’ve got a good plan in place,” Gundy said on Friday. “I’m not trying to hide anything, but I’m not gonna talk about it now. I’m just gonna be up front.

“We have a plan in place now that I think that Sean [Gleeson] and I are really comfortable with, but that’s not something I want to talk about now.”

The ink may be dry on Chapter 1, but it sounds like Gundy is going to let this story write itself. He recently said that once either Sanders or Brown had won the job, he would publicly name the starter. So that “plan” appears to be to let the two decide things on the field.

The situation conjures up memories of the tight race between Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh who each took turns with Wes Lunt in 2012 and then entered fall camp in 2013 neck-and-neck.

“The last time that we were in this situation was with Chelf and J-Dub, that we were in this situation,” said Gundy. “I think both of these guys are further ahead than where those guys were at that time. Now they ended up playing really well but both these guys are pretty comfortable with where they’re at.”

That’s pretty high praise Sanders and Brown considering the former hasn’t actually seen the field in college.

Chelf came into his senior season with 18 games under his belt and having thrown for over 2,000 yards in three season, and Walsh played in 10 games, threw for over 1,500 yards and scored 20 total TDs as a freshman the year before. The two co-captained OSU to a 10 win season in 2013, so they also leave a couple pairs of pretty big shoes to fill.

Any QB battle that goes this far into camp puts you in the unenviable situation of having to split up repetitions instead of giving the lion’s share to your settled starter.

“You’ll never get enough reps for the starter when two guys are sharing time,” said Gundy. “That’s the issue you have. There’s no secret there. You can’t just put more plays in because the five offense linemen only have so many reps in their bodies.

“So what we do is we just run the same plays with the 1s and the 2s, and then if they run this list of plays and the next guy runs this list of plays and so it becomes the same. It’s just not with the first offensive line and the group of receivers.”

More than anything, Gundy appears pleased with the way the two have handled what could otherwise be a contentious battle.

“There’s no question both of them want to be the starter, and I’m guessing that they would both like to be the full-time starter,” Gundy said. “So, there’s always going to be some edge in the competition there, but it hasn’t become a distraction. And I actually think it has become positive in their learning experience.

“Other than that, I haven’t been around them enough to know. So that’s the part that I appreciate with them is that they can compete and also work together to improve.”



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