By Jason Elmquist
CNHI News Service
STILLWATER – With the Oklahoma State University offense prepared to take the field for Saturday’s opener against Savannah State with a completely different personnel look, coach Mike Gundy said the play calling won’t change - even with true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt at the helm.
“We haven’t had to simplify any of it. How much will be called on game day has yet to be seen,” Gundy said. “Those discussions took place after spring ball and throughout the summer in preparation for fall camp and there wasn’t any scaling back the offense. (Lunt) has shown signs of being intelligent enough and smart enough to be able to handle it. We feel like it is better for Oklahoma State football that we give it all to him and see how much he can handle in the early part of the season.”
But that’s not to say Gundy doesn’t have some reservations heading into the 6 p.m. kickoff at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“Any time you are going to have a guy that’s going to touch the ball 75 to 85 times a game that’s never played (at the college level) that’s always a concern,” Gundy said.
While Gundy knows what it is like having to be the starting quarterback at Oklahoma Stat as a true freshman, he said Lunt has reached the point where talking him up will only hinder the rookie QB.
“I thought that at some point that I would need to have that discussion with him, and I think they only thing I could do now is mess him up,” Gundy said. “I think he seems to be very level headed and he plays with confidence in difficult situations in practice - where we try to put him in the most difficult positions he could be in.
“And I just don’t see any reason for me to get involved in his mental approach at this time. I think (offensive coordinator) Todd Monken is a very smart football coach and I think he’s handled him very well. The way those two are working right now, I’m just kind of watching and seeing him develop.”
Another area of his team Gundy is concerned about is his defensive line.
“I want to see some production and difference up front on defense because I think we are good enough to do it this year,” Gundy said. “... We’ve talked about just trying to get by with defensive linemen for five or six years now - we’ve just kind of held our breath.
“They’re all great kids and they are giving us everything they have, but if I go out and run 100 meters in the Olympics, it’s not going to look very good - I don’t care how hard I try. Those guys have done great for us, but they’re just not the pro-type defensive linemen.”
For Gundy’s offensive coordinator, he’s trying to take it in stride that this year’s offense isn’t going to be as developed or polished as a year ago.
“I have got to be better in understanding that guys are going to develop. It happens at different stages for different guys,” Monken said. “Justin Blackmon redshirted, enough said. Brandon Weeden was a walk-on. You have to keep reminding yourself of that we’re in a business where nobody wants to wait.
“That’s the hardest part about what we do. It has all got to be now. We want it now. We need them to be good now. It annoys me when they aren’t good now. So now I am going to move on, and I have to fight that.”