The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

August 25, 2013

Preseason expectations not a concern for Cowboys

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State’s players certainly appreciate that the media thinks highly enough of the Cowboys to pick them to win the Big 12 Conference this season.

But they don’t want to buy into the hype, especially after an 8-5 season in which Oklahoma State started three different quarterbacks and settled for a trip to the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Coach Mike Gundy said preseason expectations are often based on who’s returning at quarterback, and that remains a tightly guarded secret in Stillwater. Oklahoma State must also shore up its defense if it hopes to earn its second Big 12 championship in three years.

“It’s all about what you do once you get on that field, so Aug. 31 and on we’ve got to prove every day, every game, that we’re really No. 1 (in the Big 12),” Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Stewart said. “And that’s what we plan on doing.”

Five things to watch as the Cowboys try to live up to the expectations:

1. Name the starter: Gundy has been tight-lipped about his quarterback situation this fall, and he has kept the two candidates for the starting job from speaking to reporters. It’s created plenty of intrigue as the Aug. 31 season opener at Mississippi State approaches. Senior Clint Chelf is considered the favorite to start over sophomore J.W. Walsh, though both quarterbacks started at least three games last season.

2. New faces: Oklahoma State’s players should have worn name tags in the spring to make things easier for all the new assistant coaches on Gundy’s staff. Gundy had to hire four new assistants, including both of his coordinators. Gundy caught many by surprise when he hired Mike Yurcich from Division II Shippensburg to run his high-powered offense. Yurcich had proven that he could generate points and his stock will rise even more if Oklahoma State can again lead the Big 12 in scoring offense. “I think he’s very comfortable with our system now, and I see him being much more aggressive in practice and it seems to be going very well at this time,” Gundy said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

    What Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes did following the two-hour rain delay against Texas was telling. It didn’t pay off in the Sooners’ 8-1 loss that secured a series sweep for the Longhorns. But it declared where the Sooners are and that some ...

    April 15, 2014