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Mike Gundy on Extending Jim Knowles, Team Evolution and More With Joel Klatt

Gundy talks style changes, his coaching staff and the 2021 season.

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The man, the myth and the mullet himself, Mike Gundy, said the magic words every OSU fan has (probably) been dying to hear all season Wednesday in a media appearance with Joel Klatt.

“I’m looking forward to signing [Jim Knowles] to a long-term contract after this season and keeping him with us. He’s settled in here in Stillwater, really likes the community, and obviously the people here are really fond of him,” said Gundy. “[Jim] has been with us four years. We’ve made changes. Coach Knowles understands concepts, schemes, and he has been able to adapt. He’s changed concepts and schemes based on our personnel and the teams we play. He’s done a great job.”

Of course, Knowles will have to agree to the new deal — no guarantee given how hot his stock is right now — but Gundy did strike an optimistic tone talking about locking up his defensive coordinator.

Here are a few other highlights from his conversation with Klatt (which you can watch here.)


  • “I am pleased with us progressing each week. I told the staff that the sign of a good team and coaching staff is if you can get better each week. We have improved each week. We’ve had two complete games, played really well against Kansas and TCU. We’ve gotten more healthy. We’re playing good football.”
  • “Earlier in the season we lost three receivers. The only way we overcame that is to play really good defense, be sound on special teams and slow the game down.” He says he watched Eddie Sutton coach practice back in the day and Sutton told him to limit possessions if you aren’t overly confident in your team.
  • “We have six super-seniors on our team. Nobody could take into account how they could change college football. Georgia is clearly No. 1, Alabama’s been No. 2, but Alabama’s had two or three games where they could’ve lost those games.” He says the elderly players in the sport has changed the sport’s quality for the better this season.
  • Gundy on taking down OU and bringing the Big 12 title to Stillwater: “We have to stay the course. We’ve played fantastic on defense. My fear is at some point the defense might have a letdown. The thing that makes me feel better is that we have experience and a lot of reps. We’ve become a more physical team over the last month. Always been a big part of what we do here. My message to the players is that simple. The other side is not listening to other people talking about how good we are.”
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