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Mike Gundy Pleased With Jim Knowles’ Quick Learning Against Up-Tempo Offense

Mike Gundy is pleased with how his new DC is picking things up.

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When a play ends, Jim Knowles has five seconds to take in everything he saw, understand the scenario and get his players the information they need for the next play.

That’s how Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he wants it at least.

“In my opinion, being a sound defensive coordinator in this league, you have to think really fast, you have to make really good adjustments and you have to be able to get the information to the players on the field in less that five seconds so they can get lined up,” Gundy said Monday. “I thought (Knowles) did pretty well.”

Gundy said Missouri State used a quicker tempo than the Cowboys expected. The Bears ran 65 plays in their 30:24 of possession. That number is still not quite what Knowles will see in Big 12 play, as OSU itself ran 92 plays in 29:36.

“(Missouri State) didn’t play fast at all last year,” Gundy said. “It was a good warm up for Coach (Knowles), knowing that as we progress through this year, it’s going to get really fast. I thought he handled it well. I think he’s prepared for those situations.”

Apart from after the Missouri State game, Knowles hasn’t been made available to the media since the golf outing at the end of July. Even back then, though, the speed of making calls is something Knowles has mentioned.

“If they don’t know it well enough to teach then I haven’t done my job,” Knowles said. “Everything happens at the speed of light at this level, it is extremely fast, so the system was built with the idea of being the fastest play-calling defense in the country, so you can be fast and still be multiple, but there is no time to think in defensive football at this level.” [GoPokes]

Gundy said he doesn’t get involved too much with the defensive side of the ball because he doesn’t want to get in the way and it would take him away from “being in there and chewing on (Mike) Yurcich.” But, from Gundy’s observations, he said he’s pleased with the new head of his defense through Game 1.

“I felt like that we were in position the majority of the time,” Gundy said. “Obviously, we got out of position on a quarterback power and a quarterback draw, but for the most part I thought that we were in the right spot.

“This week’s game will challenge us a little more on the perimeter with, maybe, more skilled athletes that can go get the ball. It’ll be interesting to see how we play against those guys.”

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