Dru Brown finally got his chance.
After Spencer Sanders was named the starting quarterback in the opener, Brown hasn’t gotten time on the field other than a couple of spot minutes in blowouts.
But with Sanders being held out with a precautionary thumb injury, Brown got his first genuine game action in an Oklahoma State uniform against Kansas.
Coach Mike Gundy praised Brown’s character and how he’s dealt with his situation.
“He was a captain in this game, so that tells you what kind of young man we’re dealing with,” Gundy said. “He’s practiced hard, he’s stayed focused. It’s difficult to do what he’s doing. But he’s tremendous. He hasn’t flinched at all, and he played pretty good.”
Brown only attempted five passes, but had a solid performance. His biggest highlight was a 43-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Stoner, a good friend of his.
His teammates mobbed him. Stoner almost took out Brown in celebration afterwards.
Brown won’t be remembered for his on the field play at OSU, but he wants to leave a lasting, positive impression. Just being a good guy.
“I still am blessed to be able to show up, and practice, and study film and go to meetings,” Brown said. “At this point, prepare to play and if I get to, then I get to. But if I don’t I’m going to be there supporting everybody. I just show up every day, and I just want to be a good person”
Hubbard’s Heisman Campaign
Mike Gundy’s postgame press conference lasted 17 minutes.
He spent almost a third of it discussing Chuba Hubbard and his heisman campaign.
For most running backs, rushing for 122 yards and two touchdowns is a great performance.
But for Hubbard, it was relatively average. Just another day in the office. He leads the country in rushing yards by a wide margin, with Boston College’s AJ Dillon a distant second.
“If he rushes for 1,900 yards, and nobody else in the country does and he’s playing at a Power 5 school, and he doesn’t go to New York, it’s a quarterback award then,” Gundy said.
“At some point you have to look and say, ‘Is this a quarterback award? Or do running backs and other positions potentially get involved?’ If it’s just a quarterback award, I’m good. That’s my opinion.”
Against Kansas, Hubbard increased his rushing total on the year to 1,726. With two games and a bowl still to go, he already has the fifth-most rushing yards in a single season in school history. He’s likely to climb to second on that list by the end of the year, only trailing Barry Sanders’ untouchable 2,850-yard 1988 season.
“The fact that people are questioning if he should go to New York or not is ridiculous in my opinion,” Stoner said. “Just give it to him. Time and time again he’s the most consistent 100-yard rusher in the nation. I don’t know why there’s a question about it.”
Special Teams A Low Point
On a day where OSU had a strong game in almost all aspects, special teams faltered.
Other than one great boot to pin the Jayhawks at their own 5-yard line, punter Tom Hutton had a horrendous day. He netted only 30 yards on average, including a 25-yarder that fluttered off his foot and was downed at the OSU 33-yard line, essentially in field goal range already.
Kicker Matt Ammendola wasn’t much better. He’s been close to automatic in his senior season, but only went 1-for-4 on field goal tries Saturday, two of which were from rational distances.
“Punters and kickers for us today weren’t very good,” Gundy said. “Sometimes they don’t play as good. (Their mistakes are) more recognizable because it’s just them.
“I have all the confidence in the world in Ammendola, but he missed two kicks that have been pretty routine for him this year. He’s had better days, and I would guess that he will have better days from here on out.”