MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For some intel on the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys and the no-name coordinator directing their offense, MetroNews turned to Kelly Hines and Jimmie Tramel beat writers for the Tulsa World:

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Jimmie Tramel and Kelly Hines cover Oklahoma State athletics for the Tulsa World.
The pipeline of OSU play-callers now drawing a head coaching salary (Larry Fedora, Dana Holgorsen and Todd Monken) is impressive. But be honest, when you first heard the name Mike Yurcich, did you have any clue who he was?
Hines: Definitely not, and I had to Google him up. When Mike Gundy announced the hire on Twitter, no one was exactly sure how to pronounce Yurcich’s name. And when the university sent out an email with the pronunciation, his first name was wrong on it. But he has adjusted and seems to be comfortable in his new job.
What’s been your impression of Yurcich (personally and schematically) so far?
Tramel: OSU has a history of hiring offensive coordinators who are—and I think this is a fair word—”characters” in their own way. Schematically, Yurcich was coincidentally watching tapes of OSU games long before he ever arrived because he liked the way the Cowboys played on offense. Like Todd Monken before him, he tweaked Holgorsen’s “old” offense and wants to go faster than ever. Personally,  Yurcich seems humble and funny at the same time. He’s a former quarterback who named his sons after linebackers (Jack Lambert, Clay Matthews) because he thought it would help neutralize the “soft quarterback gene” he passed down to them. He puts them to sleep at night by singing the Neil Young song “Daddy Went Walking.” He’s competitive, as you would expect a coach to be, and he married a former All-America track and field athlete. While she was pregnant, he trained so he could finally beat her when they went running the first time after she gave birth. He got his lone victory. The best part about Saturday is he’s from a Cleveland suburb and his 71-year-old father will get to make the drive to Morgantown to watch him coach in an OSU game for the first time. Yurcich coaches in the press box, so his ability to throw a headset has yet to be evaluated.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State receiver Josh Stewart has fallen off last season’s 100-catch pace.
West Virginia remembers how Josh Stewart blistered the Mountaineers last year on his way to a 100-catch season. Through three games this fall, he’s on pace for only 60 catches. How do you explain the dropoff?
Hines: Because of receiver injuries last year, Stewart kind of had to step up. Now, OSU almost has too many capable pass-catchers and not enough passes to go around. Stewart likely will get more thrown his way as the season goes on, although some of the up-and-coming guys (Marcell Ateman, Jhajuan Seales) may surprise opponents who are focused on trying to shut down Stewart. But Stewart playing with his high school QB and best bud J.W. Walsh certainly provides an unparalleled chemistry.
As productive as J.W. Walsh has been, it seems increasingly curious Mike Gundy chose Clint Chelf to start the opener and then yanked him after two scoreless series. Was that a miscalculation or do you think the staff did Chelf a courtesy because he’s a senior?
Tramel: That’s a curious deal and I don’t think Mike Gundy enjoys being forthright when talking about players who used to play his position, so we may never know the real deal. Here’s a best guess: Chelf was the feel-good story of last season. He went from third-team QB to MVP in the Heart of Dallas Bowl and seemed to be a guy teammates responded to favorably last season. Physically, Walsh (and I’m no talent scout) just seems to have more assets. It appears the OSU staff wanted to give Chelf a chance to continue to work his mojo. When the Cowboys got off to a slow start in the opener, the door was open for Walsh to step in and use his legs to make plays.
Those 504 yards UT-San Antonio compiled look awful gaudy, but they’re sort of misleading right?
Hines: Yes, because the first-team defense didn’t play much. Gundy said afterward he should have mixed and matched players instead of wholesale changing in the third quarter. OSU inserted its third-string defense, young guys who had never played together before and had a hard time finding their way. And I think UTSA started to get acclimated late in the game. That’s not a bad team.
Dating back to 2012, OSU has dropped three straight Big 12 road games; but the Cowboys weren’t three-touchdown favorites in any of those. Is there any trepidation among the fan base that OSU should be on upset alert this weekend?
Tramel: OSU progressed from bad road program to good road program under Gundy, but the Cowboys took a step backwards last season. Four of their five losses came on the road. The Cowboys went 1-3 in Big 12 road games and the lone victory was an “ugly” win at Kansas.  Running back Jeremy Smith answered a question about road trips this week by saying Gundy once compared going on the road to the situations the Spartans faced in the movie “300.” Because West Virginia’s offense seems to have issues, I don’t think OSU’s fan base is on upset alert this week. But the Cowboys need to show they can handle the road better than they handled it in 2012.
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Comments

  • tw eagle

    coach Patterson ... got a training technique that might help in preparing you D for the rigors of up tempo play in the XII ... like the O goes into a game with scripted plays , so should you prepare your charges with pre ordained calls for definitive situations ... lacking time to coordinate calls, your field generals should be programmed to makes calls based on field position and down and distance ... spending film time learning the opponents tendencies ... to be drilled in at the end of practices by having the D run 40 gassers and then have to respond to the situation you give them ( 3rd&7 our 40 ? ) after each sprint ... six good calls, they hit the showers, miss two in a row and they start over

  • TruthTeller

    Gentlemen, I do not see any fire in these players eyes. Dana is not getting these players fired up for these games. Do any of you remember watching the videos of Rich's locker room speeches? Those guys were fired up and ready to play when they came out. I don't see that this year. It is like these young players don't get it.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    ok st 21 wvu 3 defense holds them to 3 touchdowns...go eers!

    • WVUDAD

      BUT the ST gaffs give them three more, OSU 42-7

  • Big Larry

    I hide gummy bears under my man boobs.
    Oklahoma State 57
    Wvu 7

  • Bryan

    If you do not like the situation at WVU take your ball and go home. Just do everyone a favor though and stay there when this coaching staff and these players reach their potential, get things turned around and start winning.

  • Gunga Din

    WVU used to be a tough place to play, but with the outfit we've got it's an easy win for most upper-echelon FBS teams -- like OSU.

  • brown

    Holgerson came in with a great resume'. I am not concerned with whose recruits were whose. It comes down to if a coach can coach his team up and have them ready for game day. I see that the current display of offense and defense doesn't have the killer's instinct, too many offensive guys taking plays off and too many special teams players making young mistakes. A good team takes time. His current performances have been less than appetizing however, after last week's debacle, I look for an upset against OSU this weekend in Morgantown. GOOOO MOUNTAINEERRRSS!!!

  • Dave

    LET'S GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John b

    If Stewart had recruited well we would have some seniors and juniors stockpiled. But his classes stunk and we are playing to many young kids. Holgs deserves and will get at least 2 more years. If after that time results haven't changed he will be shown the door.

    • WVUDAD

      Stewart had two of the best recruiting classes in school history, look it up. Those kids have mostly left the program since Holgorsen took over, NOT Stewart's fault.

    • cnbwv

      Bill Stewart signed three classes at WVU, with 20 being the smallest. There definitely was some attrition, but you don't bring in Geno, Tavon, Stedman, and Bruce Irvin if you can't recruit. Attrition is natural and no coach is immune. Holgorsen signed 29 players in 2012 and 10 are already gone. 10 in just one year!

      It happens to every coach. Even Holgorsen - who at this point looks to be in way over his head.

    • Janem

      Asking a question where is the juniors and seniors on this roster ...We should have half team full of these guys we don't have them Stewart did not recruit like everybody thinks he did.. Dana recruited 12 junior-college transfers last year alone...

    • Doug

      I agree

    • joe

      Agreed. Agreed. And Agreed.

  • Duggie

    It's funny that Holgerson offense is what we are facing Saturday and everyone is saying they will kill us because Holgerson can't coach. LOL. I am guessing that Texas would like Holgerson. You guys might get your wish. Then who would we get? Someone that has to recruit their players for their offense and defense. That would take about 4-5 years to be productive......wait, that won't work. You guys will only give them 2 1/2 to 3 years at best.

  • Tj

    Rich Rodriguez was just as fiery and foul mouthed. Did you all forget? His first three seasons were nothing to brag on either. That was the Big East.

    I think 2014 will be the season to make or break Holgorsens career. His recruits, solid core of returning players, all that jazz.

    These guys are still young as is Holgorsens head coaching career. 4-5 losses this year is an achievement. 4-5 losses next year, Holgorsens not our guy.

    • cnbwv

      The BE from 2001-2004 also had Miamai, VT, and a decent BC program. But, you shouldn't let little things like facts cloud your arguments.

  • Little Bill

    That explains the RR statement, Watson is in Rehab!

  • Hoss

    The coach is trying and the players don't quit. This team will get better.
    RR cr-ped on WV and still some folks want him back??? I guess you can.t fix Stupid........

    • Rock Solid

      Hey Hoss: When you read a lot of the blogs posted by Rich Rod lovers you see that there is a lot of stupid running rampid in the state. Probably a lot of it is posted by the legislature in Charleston and DC.

      • Uncle Unctuous

        "Running rampid." You heard it here first, everybody!

      • Harpers Ferry

        You both are idiots. RR brought WVU to unequalled heights. Holgerson is taking WVU to unprecedented lows.

        • Bondo

          Don Nelen took us to two National Championship games. Not RR.

        • Marcus

          What unequalled heights?? He never got us to a national championship game!! Doc and Dunlap where on a staff that coached in two of them!

  • William

    "From inside the Huddle' - Just heard that some of the players don't like playing for Holgorsen. Some will not play hard(bust their butts) for this head coach!

    • poketransplant

      That wouldn't surprise me...

      I remember watching last year's game between these two (I think it was this matchup) and the Mountaineers were stuffed at the goal line...Holgerson was caught by the camera saying "Soft-a## m_______ F______" as he walked disgustedly down the sideline. I remember thinking that's not cool to me if I'm a teammate witnessing that. I rewound it just to make sure. not cool

      • Duggie

        Man....I take it you never played Football. It's a tough sport. If our coach said that on the side line, that would have been the nicest thing he ever said when someone messed up,

  • Janem

    Big upset this weekend in Morgantown West Virginia knocked off OSU .... Go Mountaineers...

    • Pat

      I'm glad you said it so I don't have to!