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Notes On Mike Gundy’s Southeastern Louisiana Press Conference



And we’re underway! Coach Gundy talks season opener, o-line, comes out pro pom-pom and more!

Early Starters and the Opener

• Sporting the Ticket City Cactus Bowl shirt immediately getting grief for The Gullet. “Yeah, I probably need to trim it up at some point before Christmas. Not much for an opening statement; but, we’re a healthy football team, practice has been going really well and we’re excited to play a game.”

• Talks about the six freshmen that will probably play in the first game, or at least early in the season. Who are they? “Well the guys I’ve given you. I hope I don’t forget any names. We’ve got Bundage, he could play; we’ve got AJ Green; Stoner could play, Obi…there should be one more. Oh yeah, 27 could play in a game.” Coach is back!

• Asked if Justice Hill (27) compares with Hunter, Toston and Randle regarding earning playing time as a freshman: “I’d be careful comparing him to those guys. They all three played in the NFL, or still play. He’s done very well in camp. We think the three or four we have now are better than what we were using last year with two or three.”

• Coach says we’ve got three or four solid running-backs, but Jeff Carr’s name wasn’t mentioned. What’s his status? “Well, it should be. I mean, he’ll be in the mix.”

• Do you foresee using five backs or would you like to see that position “skinny up”? “I would say we would need to use fewer backs at certain positions.” What? “We’ve got guys who can do certain things in our offense. A couple of them will be in two-back sets, and a couple of them won’t be in two-back sets. It’s kind of like what they do in the NBA. There’s guys we have that are really good in certain plays we have and may not be so good in others so…it makes it tougher on Yurcich, but we have to use the guys we have to make our running game better.”

• Where are the next challenges for this team even with all the returning players? “We need to improve in gap responsibility and facing different styles of offense. This first offense will be completely different than what we see when we get into conference play.”

• How does facing Southeast Louisiana’s option offense rank for an opener? “Option football is arguably the best style of offense there ever was or ever is, has been, however you want to look at it. So it’s a challenge because our team hasn’t seen any option football in the preseason.” So Gundy!

Some QB Talk

• How comfortable are you with Taylor Cornelius if Mason goes down? “Well, we’re comfortable because he’s the guy. We don’t have a choice. We all know that until we get out there and play you don’t know how you’re going to react, but he understands the program – he’s made plays.”

• Is the hope right now to redshirt Wudtee and allow him to grow a little bit? “He’s getting quality work. Kolar’s getting work. But, Taylor (Corneilson) gets most of the reps in case we were to need somebody. But we’re trying to bring the other guys along – we’re not sure what we would do with him at this point.”

Offensive Line

• How has moving Marcus Keyes into the starting lineup made the line better? “We feel like he gives us a little more athleticism at that part – or at that point, I should say. He’s immature. He hasn’t played. But, we feel like that in the long run he gives us more than what we had.”

• “We could very well play eight guys in the first game in the offensive line…with two or three guys getting 20 to 30 snaps.”

• Can you get 150-175 yards out of your tailbacks? “Yeah, I don’t have any idea. I have in my mind what I feel like that we’re capable of if everybody’s healthy, and we see improvement on the offensive line, and if they play what would be a balanced defense and mix it up, then we need to rush for 125 yards a game. Now that sounds minimal but you have to look at where we were the last two years. 125 yards a game would have been like Christmas for us.”

• Have you had to look close and hard for improvement in the offensive line or has it been obvious? “Well I look close and hard at it every day. It’s really the only thing I coach and am involved with. And I’ve seen improvement. We need to make our greatest strides from last season to this season in covering guys up and running the football.”

Random Tidbits

• Chris Carson – “Most two-year players we bring in, on a scale of 1 to 10, in their first year, if they’re doing ok, they’re about a 4. Then, based on their talent, go from a 7 to an 8. I think he’s made the transition from that level to this level. He has a better feel for our offense.”

• Kickers – “We’ve got a couple guys that are doing some kicking for us in practice. We’re in a competition that’s going to end next Wednesday and that way we’ll know who’s going to kick off.”

• What is this team’s greatest strength? “Have to say that our overall maturity at key positions should help us early in the season compared to where we were at last year.” Don’t you think Mason Rudolph is your greatest strength? “That’s the maturity at the key position I was referring to.”

• Good to have first three games at home? “I’m excited for the fans and the students about playing at home in September. I think it’s important to start the season that way. I think it’s good for season ticket sales, the students, it generates a lot of interest. People are ready for college football.”

• In favor of striping the stadium for the Pitt game? “I’m in favor of striping the stadium. I’m in favor of using pom-poms. I think that’s part of college football that builds your fan base. It excites the students.”

• And finally… the app!! “We’ve developed, I think, the first head football coach app. It will be a Coach Gundy app. You can download it and put it on your phone and get instant information on everything we’re doing here – videos, interviews, roster, photos, schedule, NFL players, camp information, pictures – what? – yeah, there’ll probably be a mullet watch. We’ve got that out right now and it’s up and running. Good stuff, you need to download it!”

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