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About Two Weeks Out from OSU’s Season Opener, Gundy Says There’s ‘No Way’ He Could Name a Starting QB

‘There’s no way we could name a starter right now.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The Cowboys’ 2023 season will kickoff in 16 days, but which Cowboy quarterback will take the season-opening snap is still in the air.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy on Thursday said the Pokes’ quarterback competition is still ongoing. At Big 12 Media Days, Gundy mentioned the halfway point of fall camp as a spot they might have an answer, but the competition is still apparently tight among Alan Bowman, Garret Rangel and Gunnar Gundy. Gundy reiterated Thursday he is comfortable playing multiple quarterbacks if it comes to that.

“They’re playing really well,” Gundy said “… There’s no way we could name a starter right now. Just can’t, and I’m a little surprised that it’s gotten to this point. Whenever we feel like that it’s best for the team based on what’s happening in practice, we will. But not right now.”

An argument against elongated quarterback competitions is practice reps. In some cases, a coach would want a starter — especially a new starter — to get as many reps as possible heading into the season. But Gundy said he isn’t worried about that. He has mentioned a few times over recent years about how the COVID season changed the program’s practice habits, getting everyone plenty of reps.

“They’re getting a lot of reps,” Gundy said. “We practice differently now than we used to because of COVID, and it’s really, really good for our organization. They’re getting a lot of reps.”

There are some different play styles on display among Bowman, Rangel and Gundy, as well, but it’s not as extreme as the difference between Spencer Sanders and Rangel/Gundy last season.

Bowman can navigate a pocket, but he isn’t going to use his legs like Sanders did. Mike Gundy praised Gunnar’s ability to move last week, but the spectrum of styles among Bowman, Rangel and Gundy doesn’t sound as vast as it did when Sanders was in town.

Gundy was asked Thursday how much the starting quarterback would change the playbook.

“Not as much as maybe it would have in the past at times,” Gundy said. “There’s similarities in what they do. There’s some of them that throw certain routes better. Some of them run better. But for the most part, I’m gonna throw out 80% of it is going to be consistent.”

By now, you should know the candidates. Dekota Gregory did a nice breakdown of them earlier this week. But here is a quick breakdown:

Bowman: A sixth-year senior, Bowman is in his first year at Oklahoma State after spending time at Texas Tech and Michigan. He threw just 11 passes the past two seasons with the Wolverines, but in three years with Tech, he threw for 5,260 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Rangel: A redshirt freshman, Rangel was thrown into the fire last season when Sanders got injured. He completed 51% of his 115 pass attempts, throwing for 711 yards and four touchdowns.

Gundy: Also thrown into the fire last season, Gundy had just 39 attempts where he threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 70 rushing yards.

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