Sexton threw for 398 yards and 3 touchdowns last Saturday.
PITTSBURG, Kan. – “It’s very exciting. Coach Wright’s a genius.”
Pittsburg State sophomore quarterback Mak Sexton is excited for the opportunity to shine in a new offense under first-year head coach Brian Wright.
Making his first start under Wright last Saturday against Nebraska-Kearney, Sexton threw for 398 yards and 3 touchdowns, helping the Gorillas rack up 530 total yards of offense.
“In the first half, we were too much in our own heads,” Sexton says, “In the second half, we were a lot more clear and just played how we know to play and how we practiced all week. I’m excited going into the next game to see what we got.”
Sexton played in all eleven games last season as a freshman, sharing a majority of snaps with Brandon Mlekus at the quarterback position. He threw for 1,694 yards and 13 touchdowns, completing nearly 55% of his passes.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Sexton was asked if there were major changes in the offense from last season to this season.
“From the triple option?,” Sexton said with a huge smile, “Yeah.”
The Pitt State offense is expected to be faster and more explosive under the offensive-minded Wright.
“We knew he was going to bring in some creativity, and I love it. I’m excited to learn every day from him,” Sexton adds.
Wright spent four years at Toledo as the offensive coordinator before taking the job at Pittsburg State. In his first year with the Rockets in 2016, the team averaged a school-record 517 yards per game, including 322 yards per game through the air.
His up-tempo, quick strike offense seems to be a perfect fit for Sexton, who was asked to do some of the same things when he was in the game in 2019.
“When I first got here and started meeting with Mak, I learned quickly…this was going to fit his style,” Wright says, “Once we really got into preseason in September, I knew he was going to be able to read the coverages how we want him to read them and be able to get the ball out in a timely manner like we like.”
There’s no hard copy “playbook” for the offense the Gorillas are running under coach Wright.
“It’s just whatever the coaches want to install that day. I like it,” Sexton says, “That’s how I’ve always learned in high school and all the way down. I’ve never actually had a ‘playbook’. We’ll have like one route concept that we can run four or five different ways. They’re called different plays, but it’s the same concept. He draws it on the board…and we go out and practice it.”
“We don’t just have a big book we hand out to everybody,” Wright says, “We force our guys to take a lot of notes and keep notebooks themselves. We put a lot on the guys to make sure they build their own playbook as far as the paper version of that goes, and then we teach from there.”
So is it hard to learn?
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years,” Wright replies with a laugh, “What I think and what our guys think could be a little different. Throughout time you always find ways to make things as simple as you can make it. It’s always going to be about what the players know. It’s not going to be about what I know and what the coaches know. It’s about what they know, and about what they can execute.”
“He did a good job of teaching us the basics first, and then expanding off of that,” Sexton says of learning the offense from Wright, “I mean it was a lot to take in, but it wasn’t overwhelming or anything.”
For now, it appears Sexton will get his chance to grow and show what he can do in the new-look PSU offense – and the “Texas Gunslinger” is ready to let it fly.
“That’s the type of player that I am,” Sexton says, “I love it. I’ve heard (people use) the nickname gunslinger…it’s a blast to play in this offense.”