Oklahoma State can tout the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.
Safety Zack Craig may have had the special teams game of the year for OSU with his performance last week against Texas Tech. The junior special teams ace blocked two punts and returned the second block 30 yards for a touchdown.
OSU coach Mike Gundy saw this kind of game coming for Craig based on how Craig prepared during the week.
“Zack is a good example of the team concept,” Gundy said. “He is not a starter on defense but he is on all of our special teams for the most part. He worked hard on block this week and takes extra time. He had a plan; he bought into it and executed it.”
Craig relishes he role as special team ace and said he does everything he can to help the team.
“I take pride in everything I do,” Craig said. “It’s a blessing to be able to play here at Oklahoma State. So anytime I can make a play for the defense and the team in general, it’s great.”
For the most part, Texas Tech gave Craig a free path to the punter, and he took advantage.
“I was surprised about how free I was because normally there is a guy who pushes me,” Craig said. “I don’t know if they were just focusing on the middle but I was free both times.”
Craig nearly missed having a third blocked bunt, attributing it to the punter changing his timing.
“They got it off quicker than normal because I was a couple feet away,” Craig said. “I wanted a third one but (oh well).”
OSU defensive coordinator was pleased to see Craig perform well when Craig was on the field with the defense as well as special teams.
“He just did a great job busting through and blocking the kick and that just changes a game,” Young said. “He has done a nice job blitzing and did some good things in coverage. He is getting better.”
Craig was met with feeling of disbelief when he scored the touchdown.
“I cannot believe I am doing this,” Craig said of scoring his touchdown. “It was my first touchdown here and it’s hard for defensive guys to score touchdowns in general, so to get the block and to get in the end zone, it nuts.”