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Notes on Mike Gundy’s South Alabama Press Conference



Mike Gundy addressed the media on Labor Day to talk about some leftovers from the Tulsa game last Thursday and preview the South Alabama game this Friday night on ESPN2.

Here is a Cliff’s Notes look at what was said.

• Gundy noted that South Alabama is as athletic as half the teams in the Big 12. Of course, after last weekend, I’m not sure how much that’s actually saying.

• Said peer pressure is important and his team cares about each other. Likes the team chemistry so far.

• Said, “Balance is very important.” Huge shocker there. Said they can’t throw it for 500 yards and rush for 75 yards and win games.

• Agreed that Justice was shiftier against Tulsa but said we’ll find out more in coming weeks.

• He said OSU is just a better team than the one that lost to Troy on the road in 2007. “Our organization is more mature now than it was at that time, but you’re still vulnerable at all times.” Compared playing on the road to shooting a basketball in an opposing gym.

• Said King taking care of the ball is important. His mental approach is “excellent for his age.” Said he reminds him of Joe Randle. Not in awe of football at the college level. Hasn’t affected him. I’m starting to wonder who doesn’t remind him of Joe Randle.

• Said the corners “limited big plays which is important,” and noted that Ramon’s eyes were on what they should be on better than they have been in his career.

• Did not like the turnovers. Wants Mason to “play in his world” and “stay in his box.”

• Said McCleskey made three bad decisions in the span of about three seconds. Said in order for OSU to be successful, they have to be smart and disciplined.

• Said the NFL will tell Mason what to do more than OSU people do, but that he’s had good buy-in with what Mike & Mike have told him. In order for him to play for a long time, “he has to play within his box.”

• He said Rudolph is built for the next level, “maybe even more so than college.” ?

• Abbott played well. Didn’t get Sione a lot of work. Said those guys are just like the corners. They should be much better six weeks from now. Needed to get them in real games because simulation in scrimmages just doesn’t cut it.

• Said OSU will be put more to the test against the run over the next month. Said OSU ran really well side to side. “Speed is important in this league.”

• “Our ability to run (on defense) will hopefully help us over the duration of the season.”

• Said he wants every Big 12 team to win. Watched Mike Leach “just to see what he had going on.” Worked, late practice and then went dove hunting until dark.

• It’s a positive for his team to watch every game possible “because you learn a lot from watching games.” Can see what to do and what not to do.

• On Baylor and Texas: “It’s hard to predict anything.” Said there are five teams in the country that can just shut you down athletically. There are 30 other teams that are dependent on what happens within the game.

• He thought Cochran played fairly well for the first game. Compared Oklahoma-California weather which was a delight.

• Said OSU boxes up gear for NFL players and ships it out. How do I get on this list? Gundy said the guys who make NFL teams are the ones who show up during off weeks.

• Gundy: “I think Brandon Weeden is a good football player.” Said he’s been in the wrong place at the wrong time and had as much bad luck as anyone in the league.

• On Adrian Baker: He’s getting a little better and said health is clearing up. Hopes to get him in the S. Alabama game.

• Called himself a “recreational dove hunter.” If the grass is too high or too hot, he’s out. Shot 25 times on Sunday night and didn’t hit anything. “If we were hungry, we’d still be hungry.” Likes hunting with folks from the agriculture community and enjoys the fellowship.

• On Gunnar at QB for Stillwater: “Thought he did fine. He has a long ways to go.” Gundy watches film with him until he gets mad and walks out. “It’s fun for me to watch his games and grade him and such.” Grades him on effort and leadership.

• Will only get to see him play three games. “Gunner’s a big boy, he’ll have to figure out how to do it on his own. We don’t get these days back, but we have a big commitment to this team.”

• On who was better as a sophomore in high school between him and Gunnar: “Certainly me, it’s really not even close. Not as fundamentally sound as I was at that point in my career.” Said Gunnar has a chance “if he keeps growing.”

• Said Chuba could still play. Macon “maybe, maybe not.” Players who come in late are in a catch-up role.

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