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Mike Gundy Has a Formula for Winning the Big 12

Are turnovers and QB play enough?



Mike Gundy, dressed in his best “we just beat OU and Mason Rudolph is my QB so I don’t care about anything” tie, addressed the media on Tuesday in Dallas.

He spoke on many things — including the importance of J.W. Walsh — but most interestingly to me, he spoke on what he thinks the formula is for Oklahoma State to win the Big 12.

“And as I said, we get good quarterback play, take care of the football, force some turnovers on defense, and we should have an opportunity to win the league,” said Gundy.

“We have good young players. We’ve got some depth. Like most years, we have to stay healthy at certain positions.”

The one thing OSU did not do well in 2014 was force turnovers. It finished 111th in turnover margin and 116th (!) in turnovers gained last year with just 14 forced interceptions or fumbles.

“We’ve gone back and worked really hard in the spring and tried to make an emphasis on forcing turnovers, getting the balls tipped, getting balls punched out on the ground, and then taking care of the ball on offense.”

But I’m not sure he considers that the most important part of his three-part formula.

“We see it across the country, certainly in the Big 12 Conference, and at every level of football, if your quarterback plays well, it gives you a chance to have a really good season.

“If your quarterback is average or you get into a situation where you’re playing multiple quarterbacks from an injury standpoint, then it’s difficult to have a lot of success in most cases.”

I said it last year, I’ll say it again. Mason Rudolph was so much better than Daxx Garman at avoiding rushes and buying himself an extra second or maybe two. That made a big difference in the Baylor game and it won Bedlam.

Rudolph is a good one. Gundy warned that he needed to get even better.

“It’s only human nature to get comfortable in things we do in life, not only as a player but in the professional world. I like where he’s at at this time. And if he continues to work, be a student of the game, distribute the ball the way he needs to, the way we ask him to, depending on what style of defense we’re going against that week, toughness and leadership are very important, in our opinion, at the quarterback spot.”

Turnovers and QBs lead to Big 12 titles, says Gundy. I like our chances.

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