October 8, 2013
STILLWATER — Throughout the spring and fall camp, the chatter from the Oklahoma State players and coaches was about how new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was going to make a Cowboy no-huddle attack that was already fast run even faster.
About how the time elapsed between each play hovered around eight seconds. About how everyone — including the offensive linemen — was in tiptop shape and ready to wear defenses down. About how the Cowboys would benefit from the extra official added for Big 12 games whose primary responsibility is to spot the football.
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So far this season, though, that plan for speed hasn't exactly transpired as a consistent, full-throttle machine. Instead, OSU has used a more situational approach, with last week's narrow win over Kansas State providing a prime example.
The Cowboys went slow for much of the game, but turned on the jets for their game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, needing just 1:56 to zoom 75 yards down the field in six plays.
“When they get you on the move, the better they go, the faster they go,” Wildcat coach Bill Snyder said. “I can't speak for Mike (Gundy) and his people, but when they're moving the ball, they're gong to go faster. When they're not, they're going to try and slow it down a bit and try to pick and choose the right things.”
So why the change in tempo?
Gundy first pointed to a receiving corps that has been hit with recent injuries, as Blake Jackson, Austin Hays and Blake Webb were all held out against the Wildcats. Those receivers often have the farthest to run on each play and, thus, need to be part of a revolving rotation when going up-tempo.
The Cowboys didn't have that luxury Saturday.