STILLWATER — Oklahoma State is in the middle of its off week, which means running back Chuba Hubbard gets a break.
The 6-foot-1, 207-pound sophomore leads the nation with 162 rushing attempts in six games. He also leads the country with 1,094 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns.
Hubbard has had the heaviest workload among running backs, which is why he and the other starters didn’t do much work the past two practices.
“It gives us a chance to take some guys that play a lot and not work them hardly any at all,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said Tuesday. “Because really, rest is the only thing that can help their bodies. So A.J. (Green) and Chuba and guys like that, they didn’t practice much the last couple of days.”
After Hubbard’s 32 rushes at Tulsa, Gundy said he would prefer to keep him around 25 carries a game. Hubbard has had more than 30 carries twice since that news conference, giving him more than 30 in three of the past four games.
He had a career-high 37 carries in the 36-30 loss at Texas. Hubbard said following the game he doesn’t care how many carries he gets as long as he can help his team.
“This is what we trained all year for,” Hubbard said. “I prepare for stuff like this so (strength and conditioning) coach (Rob) Glass gets us ready for it.”
The Cowboys are fortunate to have two weeks off this year. The second is the first full week in November. The heavy workload may not be affecting Hubbard now, but having two weeks off will help keep him from getting burned out by the end of the year.
Hubbard’s number could be called a lot against No. 22 Baylor, Iowa State and TCU before he gets his second breather to finish out the rest of the season. The first off week came a little later than Gundy would have preferred.
“It’s been a pretty good stretch,” Gundy said of the season schedule. “I wish we would have had an open week earlier. I’m not sure why we got stuck with the situation we did, not that it had a factor, but you’d like to have one after three or four because you’ve got to take August into consideration.”