Stillwater News Press

August 17, 2013

Oklahoma State displays improvement during scrimmage

By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater NewsPress


Mike Gundy and his coaching staff got one last glimpse of his Oklahoma State University football squad in a scrimmage setting before the players get consumed by classwork with the Stillwater campus beginning classes Monday.

“We had another really good scrimmage, competition was good, their attitudes were great,” Gundy said. “It was a sound scrimmage. We didn’t really have very many penalties, which I was pleased with.

“There were good plays on both sides of the ball. Players competed and we just had a really good day.”

The Cowboys scrimmaged indoors at the Sherman Smith Training Center for the second straight week due to the first two games of the season being in domes.

A week after being none too pleased with the passing attack, first-year offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich was happy with the performance of his top two quarterbacks Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh, as well as the receivers.

“Ball security was good. Neither J.W. nor Clint had a pick, so that’s good,” Yurcich said. “Now the young guys have a little more room to grow and ball security is really important. The younger guys turned it over a little bit, but they’ll learn.

“The receivers did a great job today. We got better. You can always improve — you can never have a perfect game or a perfect practice.”

Yurcich was also happy to report continued growth in the running game — a year after the loss of the Big 12 Conference rushing leader Joseph Randle.

“I thought they (Jeremy Smith and Desmond Roland) ran the ball really well,” Yurcich said. “We went into a four-minute situation coming out from our own end zone and those are typically more run-oriented situations. And I thought they responded real well and ran the ball real tough.”

As for the play on the defensive side, first-year coordinator Glenn Spencer said he continues to see improvement around the field he is looking to take a more aggressive approach to attacking opposing offenses.

“There were a lot of good things — though I saw some errors, too,” Spencer said. “I loved the emotion and the intensity. They are all buying into what we are wanting to do, what we want to accomplish. We also have some younger guys starting to create some depth for us, which is great to see. We’re going to have that because it’s a long season.”

Spencer happy to hear about NFL success

While first-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is focusing on the current roster of Cowboys, the five-year OSU assistant couldn’t help but smile over the success of a few former OSU players at the NFL level.

Ex-Cowboy defensive ends Jamie Blatnick and Ryan Robinson each scored touchdowns for their respective teams during preseason play Friday.

“It’s awesome. I wish they would have done that more for us,” Spencer joked of the pair of Pokes who went undrafted out of college.

Blatnick, who is on the Buffalo Bills roster, scored the first touchdown of the game in Buffalo’s 20-16 win over Minnesota, recovering a fumble in the end zone in the second quarter.

Robinson, who plays for the Oakland Raiders, scooped up a fumble for a 1-yard touchdown return in the game against New Orleans. The score cut the Saints’ lead to 23-14. Playing in his second preseason game, Robinson recorded one solo tackle and an assisted tackle.

“I’m just happy for them. Everybody knows about the first-rounders and then you get those guys that are just fighting and clawing to try to make that roster,” Spencer said. “Every day they are in camp is just a blessing to them and they are just fearing that knock on the door late at night to turn in your playbook.”