It’s hard to gauge a group of starters after just one quarter of play — whether as a fan, a player or a coach.
While fans questioned if anything was truly gained from Saturday’s blowout of Savannah State, the Oklahoma State players and coaches were left to ponder the same thing during Monday’s press conference.
“The only thing you can take away from it is that we had 11 guys on the field. When we went tempo, we got lined up. Our process was good,” offensive coordinator Todd Monken said.
“A lot of young guys got to play. The reality is that you want to make sure you’re playing good football. Our substitutions were good.”
“In the amount of time you are in there, you’ve just got to make the most of it,” senior cornerback Brodrick Brown said. “I’m pretty sure all of us were in there having fun and just making the best of every down we had.”
But that’s not to say the players didn’t want to be riding the pine in the season opener. Many of them wished they had seen some more action against Savannah State — though they also understand the need to sit after rolling to an early lead.
“I think it was fair for Savannah State, but we all could use more snaps,” senior offensive lineman Lane Taylor said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys and had a lot of guys making their first start. So this game (against Arizona) will help with them getting more playing time and getting people more comfortable with the game.”
It wasn’t just the first-time starters that wanted more action, either. Second-year starter Joseph Randle said he wanted to keep playing after running the ball just six times — and racking up 107 yards and two touchdowns.
“Of course I was trying to get back out there,” Randle said. “But we trust our coaching staff. We have really good coaches, so whatever they say goes.”
Though the starters didn’t get much playing time — with most of them watching from the sideline for the final three quarters — that meant backups got plenty of playing time. OSU had at least 19 current walk-ons play in Saturday’s lopsided victory.
For co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, he was satisfied with what he saw from his third and fourth string players in the second half of the blowout.
“They handled it really well and that’s the difference between the last couple of years and this year — since we have some depth, those guys can go in and function,” Spencer said. “Those guys can go in and maybe not do the whole game plan, but function with our base defense and be sound.
“So even when they got in there weren’t a lot of mental errors because of we have guys who know our scheme well. You still hold your breath, but they did well.”
It was also great for the players seeing their backups keeping pace with the performance of the starters.
“Those guys that stepped up and came in, they were having fun out there just like we were early in the game,” Brown said. “They made some good plays. I’ve seen those guys make those types of plays in practice.”