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Notes On Mike Gundy’s Pittsburgh Press Conference



Hoo-boy! This was a little longer than usual, for obvious reasons. But, Coach was composed, styling, and discussed Pitt, the CMU debacle, Big 12 officials…and probably got himself fined!

Opening Remarks

• “Looking forward to getting back to work. We had a great practice last night. Players’ attitudes are really good. This will be a good football team we have coming in here Saturday. In the summer when we looked at them, in our opinion, we felt like they should be in the top 25. They have several potential NFL guys, in our opinion.”

• “It’ll be a real challenge for us and a lot of different areas. We know what our task is and we just got to have a good week of practice and go out and play hard on Saturday.”

Let’s Talk About Saturday…

• Did you feel like on Saturday morning that we were not ready to play? “No. We practiced well last week. We were poor on 3rd down defense and we were terrible on 3rd down on offense. That’s really what it came down to.”

• Have you had a chance to process your emotions since the game? “After the game, had a chance to go home and go over my 14-year old’s games. So, he got 2 hours’ worth of punishment.”

• “Not really anger or frustration as much as disappointment just from the fact that there are so many variables involved that could have changed it. And then you get right back to the decision’s been made and you move forward.”

• This was cool to hear for some reason: “When you’re involved in a game like that, that’s something that will cross my mind 500 times if I live long enough. Those games don’t ever get away from you.”

• What other coaches or individuals do you draw from? “I mean, I’ve gotten a lot of texts. Most of them from people who like OSU or like me, so they’re on my side. But, I haven’t heard from any other coaches that have been in the situation we were in.”

• Can you/will you protest the result? (much of this is pretty mundane, so I didn’t write it up; but, it’s worth a listen for the analytical side of it.) “I would say that there’s a good chance that this rule will be changed. That’s just my guess. In my final analysis, the one area that disappointed me is that I couldn’t just take my shirt off and lay on the field and protest and say, ‘I know this rule is this way because I know 9 years ago when we studied it, there was enough people in that room, and we’re detailed enough with our staff and what we do…’ The only thing that crossed my mind was maybe it’s changed and I didn’t know it.”

• “Looking back I would have said, ‘I know we’re smart enough to check everything. We would’ve not ever had a play in the playbook that’s going to give them another play. We wouldn’t do it, we’d do something else.”

• “The game was over. And the evidence is clear. I’ll bet you, in the future, somebody has to say, ‘We have to change it (the result). I’m sorry.’ That would be my guess.”

• “In a lot of things that happen, there’s still some time left on the clock, there’s still 2 or 3 plays left, and you really don’t know. Here we knew. But, honestly, I thought they were going to change it. When I was in the locker room I thought, ‘They’ll change it.’”

• In hindsight, would you run a different play? “Why would you change it? The game was over. Why would you change? We already studied that. The only thing that I was deficient in is not knowing the rules. The game was over. I could have done just what I did and the game is over.”

• Then there was this… “We had eight guys on the field, a guy in the box, and the Big 12 Office that all screwed it up. I’m disappointed that I could have said, ‘Listen, I’m taking my shirt off, laying on the field and said don’t do it! It’s over!’ They would have done it.”

• “I’m self-critical because I’ve got 132 guys that busted their butts all week and because of me not being strong enough with the rules to say, ‘You’re wrong’ my guys lost a game. I didn’t know for sure that I was right. I wish I would have.”

• “Would I change what we did on offense? No, because the game’s over. That’s why I was so frustrated that night, because I knew that an accepted penalty by the defense, with the clock expired, the game’s over. At the end of the night, laying down, that’s why I was so upset. Because I should have just said, ‘I know the rule!’”

On having Power 5 Officials for Power 5 Games

• “I feel like we should have our officials in our games… in power 5 conference games. That’s just my opinion. There’s a lot of good officials out there, but they’re all working to get to that level right? Aren’t most umpires in AA trying to get to the majors? That’s just my personal opinion, that’s not sour grapes. Now when we play one-and-one with somebody, you’re going to switch officials. That’s just common.”

• “This is probably a better question for the conference. I think that we have been 12 officials in Dallas watching the game with the buzzer to the people here is that right? So that is being done. They’re watching every game.”

• Then came this beauty! “So um, jokingly, ever watch cartoons when like they have a guy sitting up in a fort, and he’s watching, and he’s like this? (Gundy acts like he’s sleeping)”

• “I’m serious. I wonder if that’s happening. I know they’re going to be mad at me, and they’ll probably fine me for that. But, I’ve been fined by them a lot of times.”

Moving Along to a New Week

• “Anybody want to talk about Pitt? Guys, they’re a really good team now.”

• What do you tell the players? “When you go to practice I don’t want to hear anything about it from you because you can’t do anything about it. It’s my fault for making that call and me not knowing that that rule was the way it was. You guys can’t do anything about it. But, we didn’t play very good on third down. You guys need to do something about that. And they accept that, they understand that.”

• “They’re (Pitt) going to try and run the ball. That part of their world, they pride themselves in it. I’ve lived in that world with Les (Miles). ‘We’re going to knock you off the ball, we’re going to pound you, we’re going to hurt you, we’re going to use the clock.’ I think they were 117th in the country in plays per game, meaning their tempo.”


• “We abandoned the run too early in the last game. That was the thing we’d correct in the game, going back. That’s what happens when you start to press a little bit. The quarterback they had, made you want to press a little bit.”

• Have Hill and Carson begun to stand out in practice? “We like all of them. I wish Rennie could’ve touched the ball more. But we abandoned it too early so the touches got reduced. 27 needs to touch the ball more. The one thing that I like with Chris is…his attitude and the way it is playing right now. To me he’s better, he’s more aggressive than he was last year.

• On the O-line: “We’re better. We still have a ways to go.”

• On the D-line: “We need to keep them healthy. The one area I was really disappointed in is Tre Carter had two personal fouls in that game that extended drives.”

• “Those (defensive) tackles have given us a lift. They’re going to have a real challenge this week. We’re going to need all six of them.”

• “(Averette’s play) was a great play to put us back in the game. The defense made two plays at the end to essentially give us the game and they don’t get talked about because of what took place. That play and the interception were big-time plays to secure the game.”

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