Note: This story is part of the 2010-11 KU football preview section that will appear in Saturday's Journal-World. Check back to KUsports.com throughout the week for a breakdown of each Big 12 team, including an in-depth look at KU's offense, defense and non-conference schedule.
Simply stated, it’s what the Oklahoma State University football team hopes to create for opposing defenses in 2010.
The Cowboys will have a new-look offense this season, one that spreads the field, has everyone except offensive linemen running routes and operates at a rapid pace. Trying to defend it appears difficult, even for OSU defenders in practice, who, to some extent, know what’s coming.
“It gets to the point where it seems like you just can’t get everybody on everybody all the time,” OSU junior defensive end Jamie Blatnik said at Big 12 media days. “There’s going to be somebody open.”
The Pokes made the decision to switch to a new offense after hiring Dana Holgorsen as offensive coordinator in January.
Holgorsen, a Mike Leach understudy, has ample experience in lighting up the scoreboard. He was offensive coordinator at Texas Tech under Leach from 2000-2007; the past two seasons, he held the same position at Houston.
Texas Tech has led the Big 12 in passing every year since 2002. As for Houston? The Cougars led the country in total offense last year and were ranked No. 2 in the country in Holgorsen’s first year in 2008.
Sixth-year OSU coach Mike Gundy handed over the play-calling duties to Holgorsen this spring.
“It does get chaotic. And it’s fast,” Blatnik said of the new air-it-out scheme. “Two to three times faster than what we were running last year. It’s, ‘Boom, they got it.’ They hit an out route and they’re coming up and they have a play called. You’re looking at the receivers like, ‘How do they know what the play is?’ We haven’t even gotten our one signal in yet, and they’re snapping the ball.”
The Cowboys will have an experienced quarterback leading the charge in 26-year-old Brandon Weeden. Only a junior, Weeden spent five years playing minor-league baseball, but never made it to the big leagues.
Weeden gained experience last season, filling in for the injured Zac Robinson against Colorado, going 10-for-15 for 168 yards and two scores and leading the Cowboys to a 31-28 victory.
It didn’t take long for Weeden to embrace the new offense this spring.
“It’s wide-open. Full throttle,” Weeden said. “We’re four-wide, and we’re moving fast. Our goal is to snap the ball before the defense is ready. Get the ball in space.”
Weeden’s most lethal weapon will come in the backfield in the form of Kendall Hunter. The senior battled an ankle injury last season, but is expected to be fully healed. Hunter was an All-American as a sophomore in 2008, when he ran for 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Junior Hubert Anyiam (42 catches, 515 yards, three scores) and sophomore Justin Blackmon (20-260-2) figure to be Weeden’s top targets at wide receiver.