Q&A: Gundy says quarterback competition is ‘positive in their learning experience’

2019 Big 12 Media Day-0115.jpg

OSU coach Mike Gundy during Big 12 Media Days on Monday, July 15, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Mike Gundy hasn’t publicly named a starter.

The Oklahoma State football team’s season begins Friday at Oregon State, and fans and reporters continue to wonder whether Spencer Sanders or Dru Brown will play as quarterback for the Cowboys’ first snap.

Although Brown and Sanders are competing for the starting spot, they remain friends. When Gundy had a press conference Friday, reporters asked him how using two quarterbacks affects practice.

Q: How have you liked the interaction between Spencer and Dru through all this?

A: You get a lot of coaches’ talk there. I don’t see it much because I’m not in the meeting rooms. I don’t spend a lot of personal time with them based on what I do, but I do see them having discussions over what’s going on on the field, which is positive. There’s no question both of them want to be the starter, and I’m guessing that they would both like to be the full-time starter, so there’s always gonna be some edge and competition there. But it has not become a distraction, and I actually think it’s been positive in their learning experience. Other than that, I hadn’t been around them enough to know, so that’s the part that I appreciate with them is that they can compete and also work together to improve.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced when you’ve had quarterback situations like this in the past, from your standpoint?

A: We really haven’t. We’ve had good guys. (Clint) Chelf and J.W. (Walsh) got along. J.W. and Mason (Rudolph) got along. I mean, Mason didn’t ever want to come out of the game, but he understood. There was never an issue. I’ve never had to have a discussion with anybody over the years.

Q: What about just from a football standpoint, in terms of making sure the reps are where they should be and even leaning on your coordinators?

A: You’ll never get enough reps for the starter when two guys are sharing time. That’s the issue you have. There’s no secret there. You can’t just put more plays in because the five offensive linemen only have so many reps in their body, so what we do is we just run the same plays with the ones and the twos, and then if they run this list of plays, then the next guy runs this list of plays, and so it becomes the same. It’s just not with the first offensive line and the group of receivers. The thing that helps us in this area is we play a lot of receivers, and they rotate in. We always have done that here, and so there’s not really an issue as far as working with one guy more than the other at this point.

Q: In a situation like this, does a head coach have to put even more trust in his position coach or his coordinator? Are you leaning on Sean (Gleeson, offensive coordinator) a little bit more than when you know you have one guy in that (quarterback) position?

A: It’s pretty clear-cut. We work together. All that was done early in the summer, the reps, the scripts. The plan was in place before they went on vacation in June, so it’s all laid out exactly, because we knew, spring ball was over. It wasn’t gonna change before August, so all that was done before we ever started August practice, and it’s all been scripted the way it should be to get everybody quality work.