Will OSU enter Week 2 with the same muddled QB picture?

Will OSU enter Week 2 with the same muddled QB picture?

Not even Cole Birmingham, the player protecting Garret Rangel’s blindside, knew Rangel would be OSU’s starting quarterback Saturday. He could be in the dark next week, too.

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

| Sep 3, 2023, 4:22pm CDT

Sam Hutchens

By Sam Hutchens

Sep 3, 2023, 4:22pm CDT

Not even Cole Birmingham, the player assigned to protecting Garret Rangel’s blindside, knew Rangel would be Oklahoma State starting quarterback Saturday.

Not that it mattered much to the Cowboys senior left tackle.

“We’ve had so much work with all three quarterbacks we feel confident with all of them,” Birmingham said. “We trust them.” 

He could be in the dark next week, too. Rangel, senior Alan Bowman and freshman Gunnar Gundy each played about one-third of OSU’s 27-13 opening win over Central Arkansas. 

Coach Mike Gundy said he’s no closer to picking a starter.

“You wouldn’t be able to do it either,” Gundy said. “It would be hard. I’ll watch the tape and see the grades. Where they’re at mentally. Listening on the headset I thought they were all in it pretty good mentally.” 

Rangel was 10-for-15 for 118 yards. He threw a pick and a touchdown, while Bowman and Gunnar Gundy stayed out of both of those categories. Bowman threw for 80 yards and was the unfortunate QB at the helm for some wide receiver drops. Gundy threw for 106 yards and led two scoring drives. All of his production came in crunch time.

So did the season opener clarify offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn’s questions or just muddy things up?

“That’s a dang good question,” Dunn said late Saturday. “I’ll bring that one up with the boss man (Sunday). He’s got the corner office down there for a reason. He and I, I’m sure, will sit down at some point and talk about it. You know, each guy did some good things. No question about that.” 

The first debate Gundy and Dunn must have is how much Saturday’s performances matters. There is a whole offseason to evaluate too. 

“We have a pretty good idea from all along,” Gundy said. “The fair thing to do is to grade the tape. But you also have a grade based on the quarterback’s decision making, based on what the defense did. Whether they handed off, threw it. Reads of pop throws, stuff like that.”

As far as intangibles go, separation is hard to find. Running back Ollie Gordon said he heard Bowman, Rangel and Gunnar Gundy lead vocally. He said Rangel’s leadership showed after the interception, when Rangel came to the sideline with his head high and patting helmets.

The leadership extended to the sideline. Senior receiver Brennan Presley said he noticed the quarterbacks on the sideline actively rooting for the starter. 

“There’s no type of animosity, no type of envy or anything like that,” Presley said. “It’s just a team. It’s a brotherhood, so we’re all happy for one another no matter who’s in the game.”

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Sam Hutchens covers Oklahoma State sport for Sellout Crowd. He interned for The Stillwater News Press in 2021 and The Guthrie News Leader in 2022, where he won a first-place OPA award for in-depth reporting. He has also covered sports in southwest Oklahoma for The Lawton Constitution. He strives to tell you the OSU sports stories that you want to tell your friends about. You can email him at [email protected] and connect on Twitter (X) @Sam_Hutchens_

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