OSU set for big 2013, but now seeks offensive playcaller
BY JIMMIE TRAMEL World Sports Writer
Thursday, January 03, 2013
1/03/13 at 6:00 AM
Surrounded by media, Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle complimented the playcaller who pinch-hit for ex-offensive coordinator Todd Monken in a 58-14 Heart of Dallas Bowl rout of Purdue.
"I think he did a good job," a smiling Randle said in regard to Mike Gundy, a former playcaller who embraced old chores because Monken left to become head coach at Southern Mississippi.
Randle said he could tell the head coach-turned-playcaller was "having fun over there. He misses it, I think."
Post-bowl questions: What else will Gundy - or the Cowboys - miss? And who will be hired for Monken's old job?
OSU won its first Big 12 championship in 2011 and seems equipped to challenge for another in 2013. The Cowboys finished in a third-place tie in 2012 and they were two fourth-down stops away from beating Texas and Oklahoma.
Moving forward, kicker and punter Quinn Sharp may be the senior OSU will miss the most. Only six players who were offensive or defensive starters in the Heart of Dallas Bowl are out of eligibility. But Randle (the Big 12's leading rusher) and cornerback Justin Gilbert are juniors who have the option of jumping into the NFL draft pool.
If Randle returns, that's one more reason for the OSU offensive coordinator job to be coveted by applicants.
Three men (Larry Fedora, Dana Holgorsen, Monken) who held that position during the Gundy era have used it as a launching pad to become a head coach.
And the next offensive coordinator will inherit a unit that set single-season school records for first downs and total offense despite injuries that forced the Cowboys to use three starting quarterbacks.
All three QBs return, and Gundy said things to suggest senior-to-be and bowl MVP Clint Chelf, who started the last five games, will enter spring as the incumbent.
When will OSU hire somebody to coach quarterbacks and coordinate the offense?
"I don't have a timetable," Gundy said during a post-bowl press conference.
Returning players would have reason to be concerned if a coordinator reboot also meant the offense will be rebooted. That's not going to happen, according to Gundy.
"We're not going to change what we do on offense," he said. "Is it an important hire? Yes, it is an important hire. But our principles and philosophies are going to stay the same."
OSU will open next season with a neutral-site (Houston) game against Southeastern Conference opponent Mississippi State. Gundy is on record as saying he wants to take the easiest path possible in non-league games. He wants to avoid injuries and concentrate on making a run at conference titles.
Mississippi State looks a little less formidable after a 34-20 loss to Big Ten opponent Northwestern in the Gator Bowl. OSU played a lesser Big Ten opponent the same day and took what could be a gateway step toward a big 2013. To be determined is who will be along for the ride.
Original Print Headline: OSU set for big 2013, but seeks a playcaller
Jimmie Tramel 918-581-8389