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Notes On Mike Gundy’s Iowa State Press Conference



For some reason, OSU has disabled embedding Mike Gundy’s press conference this week, but we still have notes. And you can watch it in full here

Coach gave a lot of really good stuff today. Reviewed Texas a bit, previewed ISU, talked about the speed and reputation of the Big 12, and had some high praise for several players.

Opening Remarks

• “We obviously took good care of the ball, made some plays on defense, running game’s better, blocking’s better. Defensively our staff made some really good adjustments at halftime.”

• “It was a good win for our program. Had a good practice last night.”

Previewing Iowa State

• “Obviously getting into another week. Got a team that’s gotten considerably better over the last couple of weeks after what I’m sure they would consider a slow start.”

• Is Joel Lanning most underrated playmaker in conference? “He has a nice little running game with their package. He’s done very well and has been very productive – no question.”

• On RB Michael Warren: “It’s the same with everybody in the league; if you become one-dimensional you’re not as effective on offense. You have to stop the run. It’s going to force an extra hat in the box, based on their quarterback’s ability to take off and run with the ball like a running back would.”

• Have you gotten to know (Coach) Matt Campbell? “I spent some time with him at the meetings; but other than that, not really. But, Iowa State did a tremendous job against Baylor’s offense, in my opinion, based on that staff’s first time in this league.”


• How’s Washington? “He’s fine.”

• From your experience playing quarterback, how difficult is it to stay in the pocket and stay composed like Mason is doing this season? “Well you’re too young to know, but I didn’t stay in there. I didn’t have any interest in staying in there. I was trying to avoid contact at all times due to fear of those guys. It takes a lot to sit in there. The quarterback has to be the toughest guy on the field because he’s the one that gets hit and doesn’t have a chance to hit back.”

• On Mason running and taking the hit: “He’s always been that way. The truth is we kind of hold him back a little bit because I’m not excited about him exposing his body very many times is a game. The truth of it is, if your offense has a backup that’s experienced and understands and can fit a role similar to what your starter has, then you can roll the dice a little more. Right now we don’t have a lot of experience at that position. But he also needs to be able to carry the ball three or four times a game and keep the defense honest.”

• “He wants to play like that. That’s important to him so we’re not going to take that away from him. He wants to at times keep the ball and he wants to be Reckless with his body. That’s great for the team that’s great for everything as long as he gets up and jogs off, it’s all good.”

• Does he remind you of you being reckless? “If you look at me, I’m at 183 pounds with clothes on. Mason is 230 pounds so there’s a big difference between he and I when it comes to that. I like his competitiveness, I like his nature. I like what he brings to the table. We’ve just not been really excited around here about our quarterback taking a lot of hits.”

• On the play resulting in McCleskey’s TD catch: “We hit that played twice. Mike (Yurcich) put that play in for Texas based on their defense and we will hit it twice – both of them for big plays. He (Yurcich) had a good understanding for it, a good feel for it. He was trying to see what the safeties were based on our Turbo System where we’re going and lining up fast and in a little bit of an unconventional look for them.”

• How’s Justice Hill? Really cool comments here: “He’s really been fine from day one. Coach Arroyo was on him and obviously when I made comments about us turning the ball over – Mason had turned it over and Justice. So they understood who we were talking to. I’ve mentioned this before, he’s a really quality, mature, classy young man – he had a good upbringing, he understands constructive criticism and he knows we care about him and he knows we’re going to give him the ball. I think when you have a relationship with a player and he knows you care about him, you can coach him anyway you want and for that reason he’s comfortable and ran real well last Saturday.”

• How’s he doing with so many carries? “He ran really well last night. So, knock on wood, hopefully he’ll continue to push and move forward.”

• Great thoughts here on the downfield blocking and Chris Lacy in particular: “Chris Lacy had a big block and then Junior had a big block on Washington’s play. We had a really good block on the perimeter on Justice’s run then he ran through a guy or two. That play was pretty impressive for a freshman against the quality of opponent we played last Saturday. That’s what it’s all about. Offensive football is ten unselfish players and one guy that gets to touch the ball and make a play.”

• “I’ve mentioned this for a number of weeks now, what Jhajaun Seales is bringing to the table down the field. Not only is he making plays in the throwing game but his leadership and downfield blocking. And then Chris Lacy in this last game was as impressive as any wideout as I’ve seen here in a long time other than that guy we had, from South Texas, that played when we ran the ball all the time. I just went blank – I’ll think of his name. He used to crack and bock safeties for us all the time. Who? Yeah, Demarcus Conner. He used to just wear guys out. Well, that’s what Lacy did in the game. That’s what he brought to the party. That’s pretty special for a football team to have young men that are willing to play like that when they’re not getting the football.”

• How have you seen Chris Lacy progress? “He’s always been very competitive. Football’s important to him, school’s important to him. You know he’s an engineering major. That’s not an easy task when you have the time demands that we have here. He’s mature, he’s tough, he’s physical. He’s a huge part of our team. You can take a poll of our team and he would be in the top five if players just voted on guys that they would want to be in a foxhole with. They would want to be with Lacy.” Pretty high regards!

• On Keenan Brown: Keenan’s gotta play more. Keenan’s got to get on the field more. He’s not been as aggressive as he should be based on his body. But he’s growing into it now. I think that when you have leadership like Lacy and Seales, really all of them, the other guys feel like they need to jump on board and that’s what’s happened with him. He made some nice plays for us.”

• Using Brown as a Cowboy Back vs receiver: “He’s had experience at the receiver spot. He has to learn to play in the world that our Cowboy Backs do. He’s got to be productive in face-to-face contact. He’s getting better and as I mentioned he needs to play more in the games. He’s a guy that we need to use and take advantage of his body.


• On Glenn Spencer moving upstairs: “The reason we want to do it is because of the style of play now in this league. Things happen so fast and I think he felt more comfortable. I know when I listen to the defensive staff on the headphones during the game I thought it was somewhat more peaceful just based on him being in a controlled environment.”

• “Texas got us a half man short in the running game some based on what they do. It ultimately becomes a numbers game – are you going to play pass or you going to play run? But, I felt like that our overall plan, and the way that our players performed on the defensive side of the ball last week, was better than it was the three weeks before that.”

• Your impressions of Calvin Bundage? “He played hard. There were times he wasn’t in the spot he was supposed to be in. The game was moving really fast. But, he can run – can get somewhere really quick, but he needs time and he needs experience.”

• On Burton’s return: “I would say he’s probable. Back to Bundage: “You just hate young man in there who hasn’t played a lot and then have a lot fall on his shoulders.”

Special Teams

• “When they were in a position to tie it up with the PAT, and then you get a block and you get two points and changes the momentum of the game and gets the crowd back into it. That excited the team. And then to do it two more times was really special.”

• “Joe Bob Clements, he’s the coordinator of PAT block and they had a nice plan to attack number 63 and it worked out for us.”

• Is this the best special teams unit you’ve had? “We’re doing good. We’re using a lot of young players. We have guys on special teams that aren’t very experienced and they’ve done a nice job. Our kicking has been good. Philly’s (Matt Ammendola) kickoffs this last game the best they’ve been. And Zach Sinor’s been great.”

On the Speed of the League and Scoring Points

• “We’re in a trend again. We have good quarterback play again in this league. We have really good players, potential NFL players who are mature and they understand. Offenses in this league are going to use all 52 yards wide of the field.”

• This was interesting: “We were the first league to really run the no-huddle. And whatever year I got the job here and Fedora came in with me, we started running the no-huddle. Leach was at Tech and he used the no-huddle but he wasn’t up-tempo. Then we started running up-tempo, then you get two teams doing it, then three and four, then a lot of teams are doing it. Now more conferences are seeing it but, it originated in this league, in my opinion. So that’s why we had the reputation of fast offenses and supposedly defense is not being that good.

• “You can’t evaluate defenses as much on yards and points. I think the two areas that are important is, if you’re going to give up yards, and you are, then field goals are better than touchdowns. So, what you do inside the ten yard line I think is really important. And then you can just throw out the point and yards per game. Needs to be based on total number of opportunities that the defense is given to stop them, because you’re averaging right around 28 plays more on offense with these style of offenses than you were even eight years ago.”

Uni Talk and Other Random Comments

• “The players really like the black. You know, they’re really big on the black and grey. Not only our team, but the young men we’re recruiting. They’re into those colors. They like the chrome. I thought they looked good in that uniform – choice was excellent. We had a big group of really quality student-athletes at our game, high school players, and they’re really big fans of it.”

• On the bye week coming after ISU: “I think this is a decent time. That would depend on what they do with our end of the game, end of the season game. If they’re going to give us a bye week at the end of the year, then I would prefer to have one a little earlier.”

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