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‘We Might Play Multiple Quarterbacks’: Gundy Says If Two Quarterbacks Deserve to Play, They’ll Both Play in 2023

It shouldn’t be a surprise Gundy didn’t name a starter Saturday.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Less than a week into fall camp, Mike Gundy is not ready to announce a starting quarterback, and at OSU’s media day on Saturday, he uttered a phrase that will likely catch the attention of the fanbase: “multiple quarterbacks.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point that Oklahoma State hasn’t named a starter among Alan Bowman, Garret Rangel and Gunnar Gundy. Mike Gundy didn’t name one in the spring. He said at Big 12 Media Days that he wanted to wait until about halfway through fall camp before beginning to make that decision. And even Wednesday after the first day of fall camp, Gundy mentioned the importance of letting guys compete for playing time in the transfer portal era.

So, no, it’s not surprising Gundy didn’t take to the podium Saturday and proclaim a starter, but this is the first time this season he has mentioned the possibility of more than one guy playing.

“We might play multiple quarterbacks,” Gundy said. “If there’s two guys that deserve to play, we’ll play both guys. If one guy takes the job, we’ll play one guy. But if two guys deserve to play, then we’re gonna have to play two guys.”

This is far from the first time Gundy has floated the idea out there, and it’s gone a few different ways. There was the eternal battle of J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf (and Wes Lunt). There was the Rudolph-Walsh tandem of 2015. Then there was the Spencer Sanders-Dru Brown battle of 2019.

Most recently, in 2019, Sanders won the job outright until he was sidelined with injury. So, there is a world where this doesn’t turn into a multi-man show. Gundy just isn’t ready to declare a starter yet.

Bowman would be the Vegas favorite. A transfer from Texas Tech and Michigan, Bowman has thrown for 5,329 yards and 34 touchdowns as a college football player. Rangel and Gundy combined have thrown for 958 yards and seven touchdowns. That’s quite an experience gap.

The tandem of Rangel and Gunnar got thrown to the wolves last season, with each playing in four games.

Both showed their potential and their inexperience. Rangel completed 68% of his passes and threw for 304 yards in his first start against Kansas. However, he also threw three interceptions in that game. Gunnar threw a beautiful 83-yard touchdown pass against Iowa State, but finished his redshirt freshman season having completed just 49% of his passes.

Both said the lumps they took last season have given them something to build off.

“I would say that I’m very obsessed with my craft,” Rangel said. “The only way I know to handle those losses like that is to just get back in the lab and start working. I didn’t try to think about it too much even though it definitely hurt because you want to be the guy that comes in and wins, but other than that, I said, OK, it is what it is, and I got back to work and tried to do my best for the team going into the season.”

Gunnar added:

“I think it was just the experience,” Gunnar said. “There’s no better experience than just being tossed in there. You can practice it all you want, you can do everything you want, but once you get in the actual game, there’s like no substitute for that. So I think that was the main thing that I took away from it was just the feel of the game, the crowd, the speed of the game. There’s no preparation from the actual game moments. You just have to go experience it.”

Mike Gundy said Saturday he’d like to make a decision somewhere between fall camp practice 12 to 14. Saturday was No. 4. It feels like it’s more likely to be one guy at this point, but Gundy isn’t counting out the other two just quite yet.

“I’ve watched all the tape from this morning already and I see guys that are playing really good, and we could have guys that are good enough for us to win with,” Gundy said. “But there’s not one that’s pulled far enough ahead for us to say, ‘this is the way we’re gonna divide up reps’ yet.”

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