MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 6, 2014

OSU’s Orange Blitz was as advertised – a practice


CNHI News Service

— CNHI News Service



STILLWATER – Perhaps Allen Iverson was on to something in his famous rant about practice.

Saturday, the Oklahoma State football program held an open spring practice – not a game, but practice. And the Cowboy faithful showed their displeasure for practice just as Iverson did years ago.

There were as many fans in the seats at Boone Pickens Stadium as there typically is for a Cowgirl basketball game – a lackluster few thousand bodies, if that. It was a far cry from the estimated 15,000 fans who made it out to last year’s spring game.

Mike Gundy expressed earlier in the spring that one of the reasons for the switch to a practice instead of a traditional spring scrimmage was it would be a better experience for the fans.

He finally elaborated a little more after the practice that the lack of bodies in camp would have made having a spring game impossible – or at least slower, without a chance to give as many players a chance to workout.

The 90 minute practice started with 30 minutes of individual work, with the team stretched throughout the stadium – causing a sensory overload for fans instead of one focal point as a scrimmage would.

The other problem with running a practice, from a fan’s perspective, was much of the time was spent watching players running from drill-to-drill or standing around waiting for the start of a specific drill.

But once 11-on-11 drills began, fans were given a chance to see the Cowboy offense runs some plays – very similar to a scrimmage setup.

That all seemed to settle well with some fans who came out for the spring event.

“I liked it, because I like getting to see more of the aspects of the team because you get to see them play all the time,” said Travis Creasey, a native of Jones who has been to a handful of spring games over the past few years. “You get to see a little more in-depth of what they go through. The orange and black game last year, it seemed like it was really toned down to a point where you weren’t watching a game level anyway.

“It just seemed a little more intimate, like you were actually a part of it even though you weren’t. It just seemed to me like you were invited in to be a part of the program – like you were invited to practice.”

That’s exactly what OSU and Gundy were going for. Problem appears though, that Creasey is in the minority in that regards.

Gundy made it sound like next year’s spring finale could return to being a spring game setup – with a smaller senior class, meaning more bodies expected in camp.

– Jason Elmquist, Stillwater News Press



Sooners continue to change

NORMAN – All teams go through changes from season to season. The seeds of the one Oklahoma’s offense is going through, however, were planted much earlier.

Think back to the end of the 2012 season.

Most teams aren’t willing to acknowledge they’ve become a finesse team. The connotation means the ability to win through brute force is absent.

When a team flounders trying to convert a third-and-1, the proof is there.

OU had the problem two seasons ago and a couple seasons leading up to it. Base an offense off throwing to small receivers and it removes the brutish mentality.

Re-acquiring it was the goal as OU wrapped up the 2013 recruiting class and has continued since.

“In recruiting you have the ability to recruit different kinds of kids every year but we are a little bit bigger,” OU receivers coach Jay Norvell said. “I would say this class of kids coming in is definitely bigger, the running backs and the receivers especially, and with the tight ends coming in we’re definitely bigger.”

– John Shinn, Norman Transcript