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Mike Gundy Not Happy With Slow Start vs. Lowly McNeese

OSU has to get out of the gate more quickly.

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Here was Spencer Sanders’ reaction when he was asked after the game what Mike Gundy said at halftime after OSU stumbled out of the gate against McNeese.

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“(He said) we started off a little slow, and we picked it up and we need to keep that up,” Sanders said of the G-rated version of Gundy’s halftime speech. “He wants to see how we should have started coming out in the second half. We proved that and scored on the first play.”

After lighting the world on fire in Corvallis last week, OSU averaged 1.5 yards a carry in the first quarter, barely topped the 100-yard mark overall and gave the ball back to McNeese without scoring on three of their first four offensive drives. They righted the ship in the second quarter with a pair of scores and 169 yards, but the first 30 minutes did not engender a whole lot of optimism.

“I felt like as a whole we came out kind of slow in the first half,” said Tylan Wallace after his 180-yard performance. “We knew that we had to come out differently. We had to come out like we know how to come out like we play at Oklahoma State. We did that and finished up the game like we were supposed to.”

The first play of the second half after a bumpy first quarter and that mostly-good second quarter was a 75-yard TD connection between the two guys quoted above.

It was what OSU and its fans are more accustomed to.

“I wasn’t very happy with the way our team played in the first half,” said Gundy. “We were flat, we didn’t take care of the football. We had penalties. I told the team at halftime that I was disappointed in the way they were playing. In my opinion, they weren’t focused like they were in Oregon. They went out flat waiting on each other to make a play. In the second half, they came out like they should have started the game.”

I said this on Saturday, but a marker of last year’s team was inconsistency. You can afford to come out flat for a quarter or a half or probably even a full game against McNeese and Tulsa and even Oregon State. You can’t afford it against Texas and most of the rest of the Big 12. It costs you games.

It’s also emblematic of how OSU has started Big 12 openers. They’re 2-5 in their last seven conference openers. Slow starts, it seems, have at times been a marker for Gundy teams., both on a micro and macro level.

That’s not universally true of course, but it’s something to remember and something OSU needs to clean up both within games and with that dismal conference mark if they want to have any kind of dark horse shot at contending for this year’s Big 12 title.

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