No Garbage for Cowboys // Offense Cans Trick Plays, To Test Huskers `Head-On'
BY Rhett Morgan
Aug 31, 1995
8/01/08 at 7:59 AM
STILLWATER -- At times last season, Oklahoma State's offense
appeared flakier than dandruff.
Reverses here. End-arounds there. The team seemed to expend as
much effort going sideways as forward.
Rookie OSU coach Bob Simmons plans to meet challenges head-on.
He begins living up to his word Thursday when the Cowboys face
defending national champion and second-ranked Nebraska at Lewis Field.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. on ESPN (cable-25).
"You're not going to see a bunch of garbage," said fullback Geoff
Grenier. "You're not going to see a bunch of trick plays. We're
going to play ball and be physical."
"Our program is looking to make a name for itself," said Simmons, the
first black coach in Big Eight Conference history. "This is a heck of a way
to come out on national television. I think our kids are ready."
They had better be.
Bolstered by Heisman Trophy hopefuls Tommie Frazier (quarterback)
and Lawrence Phillips (I-back), Nebraska is talented enough to
embarrass most of its Division I-A brethren.
Healthy from a blood clot that cost him eight games last season,
Frazier last week reclaimed the top quarterback slot held by Brook
Berringer, who was 7-0 last season. Known primarily as an option
threat, Frazier is supposedly much-improved as a passer.
An association with an agent -- for which the NCAA still could penalize
him -- is apparently the only thing that can bring down Phillips. He
averaged six yards per carry in amassing 1,722 a year ago.
But the Cowboys, who have endured six consecutive losing seasons,
vow they are a different club under Simmons, particularly the
offense. OSU last season scored two touchdowns or fewer in six
"It is a more multiple offense," said OSU junior Tone Jones,
entering his third season as starting quarterback. "We're not
predictable. The attitude is different. We can believe we can score
on any play."
Said Grenier, "We're going to run the ball first, like most teams
in the Big Eight. But we're going to throw the ball a lot.
"We're not BYU. We're not going to throw to everybody. But
everybody's going to catch their fair share."
Most of Jones' targets are young. Although tight end Alonzo Mayes has a
year under his belt, three of the top four wideouts are freshmen.
Moreover, the strength of Nebraska's defense is its secondary.
"We've had guys who have come in before at 17 1/2 and 18-years-old and
performed," Grenier said. "We're hoping these freshmen can do the same."
A schedule change has hastened their development.
Needing a tune-up for its game next week with Michigan State,
Nebraska asked that the Cowboys move their game with Wyoming to
Sept. 23, previously an open date. In exchange for national
television exposure and a handsome payout, OSU complied.
"I loved it," Jones said of the switch. "It puts a sense of
urgency to your team. We knew in the summer we had to get in shape
and get stronger because of whom we played."
That translated into endless running drills in the 100-degree
heat of preseason.
"We ran every day," he said. "We run more if we're not
enthusiastic about it.
"If we can get into the fourth quarter with a chance to win the
game, that's what we want. We believe we're in that great of
condition. Coach Simmons is what we needed to get over the hump."
The steep climb starts Thursday.
NOTES: A crowd of in excess of 40,000 is expected, at least 3,500
of whom will be Nebraskans.
* Abandoning the black and white color scheme, OSU has new
uniforms. The Cowboys are scheduled to wear orange tops and white
bottoms on Thursday.
* The O-Club, the Cowboys' lettermen's group, will serve food in a
hospitality tent just northeast of Gallagher-Iba Arena. It opens
2 1/2 hours prior to kickoff.