Big 12 Sports Articles

Mike Gundy’s Personnel Misuse Contributed to 2020 Letdown

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma State

Among the many other problems the Oklahoma State Cowboys have faced this season, one of the more lingering issues that has cost OSU some wins in 2020 comes down to personnel. Mike Gundy and staff have done a less-than-stellar job at putting the right players on the field, at least on the offensive side of the ball. It feels like I’m the only one that has been saying this since the beginning of the season, and unfortunately it’s become too little too late to fix.

For the past few years, it seems like Mike Gundy has valued loyalty and seniority over talent. He refused to play anyone other than Taylor Cornelius at quarterback in 2018 when, at points, it clearly wasn’t working. Skip ahead to 2020, where Braydon Johnson and Landon Wolf continue to be every-down receivers to the hindrance of the team. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like Johnson and Wolf as much as the next Cowboys fan, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that they are not better receivers than what OSU has sitting on the bench and don’t need to be taking the same amount of snaps as Tylan Wallace.

 

Washington State transfer Tay Martin comes to mind when it comes to wasted talent. A proven receiver from a Mike Leach air-raid offense has, so far, logged only nine receptions for 76 yards and no scores for the Cowboys in seven games this season.

Dee Anderson is another example of a wasted wide receiver. He’s only a former five-star athlete who was formally committed to LSU, no big deal. How many catches did he have for Oklahoma State…?

One. One reception for 14 yards in garbage time against Kansas.

The dude is a 6 foot 6, 230-pound freak, and only caught one ball in six games played (why is he completely absent the other four games??).

Both Martin and Anderson are seniors this season who participated in all the senior day activities, so it seems very unlikely to me that Gundy plans on utilizing the free eligibility blanket year and is just saving their talents for next season. If they are gone after this season, my faith in Gundy will be at an all time low.

 

Others will point to the quarterback situation or the o-line debacle, but I think those were out of the coaches’ hands. Poor play calling held the QBs back and Oklahoma State suffered the worst luck possible when it came to offensive line vacancies, with season-ending injuries, early retirements and dismissals, no one could have foreseen the Cowboys’ offensive line struggles.

Another minor thing that irked me later in the season was after Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown went out and Dezmon Jackson was thrust into the spotlight, Gundy and coordinator Kasey Dunn handed the ball exclusively to him. He balled out, but giving him every carry to the point where had 30+ rushes a game didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t until the regular season finale at Baylor when the coaching staff finally tried freshman Dominic Richardson and Cowboy fans got a glimpse into the future. This kid was warming the bench up while Dezmon Jackson never left the field, and I can’t help but wonder if he helps change the outcome of the TCU loss the week before, had he gotten more than zero carries.

But no matter the last few weeks, which generally did not go well for the Pokes, the mindset of the coaching staff

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