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Notes on Mike Gundy’s Iowa State Press Conference



Coach had some interesting stuff today. Maybe set aside 30 minutes and check it out. But, if you can’t – here’s some highlights. He talked Iowa State – now and 2011, a little TCU, covered the staff’s plan for scholarship distribution, our glorious defense, how Mason performed and channeled his inner Phil Jackson.

• Opened with, “This was, in my opinion, the most complete game we’ve played all year in all three phases. Obviously, there’s a lot of excitement in our program.”

About Iowa State

• “They’re playing as well right now as they’ve played in a long time. We’ll definitely have our hands full.”

• What’s the challenge in going to Ames? “It’s a road game in conference play. You have injuries, fatigue and there’s just a lot going on. When you’re in the friendly confines of your stadium, it makes it a little easier to play. But, we don’t have that luxury each week.”

• Don’t you just have to accept it that people are going to talk about it (2011) all week: “That’s the first time I’d heard it, to be honest with you.” Really?!? Can I steal a Cris Carter here – COME ON, MAN!! “But, obviously it’s Monday. I’ve just never bought into revenge.”

• But, really – what about 2011? Coach was very honest and real here: “Obviously the crash is the most tragic part of it. (But, for this year…) “It’s the ‘outside’ part of what’s going on in college football…it concerns me a little more than actually what happened then with THESE guys (emphasis mine – CD). They’ve learned that’s not something we can change.”

• Don’t they seem to always fight hard? “Paul (Rhodes has) done a great job there. They may be the best offensive line in the league. They run the ball when they want to. This will be a battle for us and we’ll have to really focus and play well.”


• How proud were you of the plan the staff put together? “I thought the staff did a great job of using the talent we have. It’s allowed us to progress as a team.”

• “We’re going to continue to work to try and improve the running game. I didn’t feel like we were as good against TCU as we were the last couple weeks.”

On Scholarship Distribution

• All of this was really very interesting. “I made a decision – I think 4 years ago – that if we’re going to be a contender in this conference, we needed to play more consistent defensively. Obviously I have a background in offense and I feel like you can ‘scheme’ more on offense than you can on defense, and we could make up for those lost numbers.”

• “It’s not been as easy as I thought it would be offensively because two of those numbers came from our offensive line…and that has been a little bit of an issue for us.” Ya think?

• “It used to be 41-41-3 (offense-defense-special teams); we went 38-44-3 and it’s been consistent that way. It’s allowed us to keep two more defensive linemen and a backer on scholarship.”

On Mike’s ‘Win Each Day’ Philosophy and the Older Players

• “Without me being directly involved in play-calling, it allows me to read the attitude and get a feel for the team.”

• Hello Zen-Gundy, a.k.a. Phil Jackson…or maybe, just Glenn Spencer…“I’ve studied a lot of mental preparation – cleansing your mind – and different areas that I think helps our team. I’ve shared some of that with them (the team) and it’s been interesting to see how they’ve grasped on to that.”

• “When you have a guy like Ogbah, a guy like Glidden, and a guy like J.W., and you have Peterson, you have Jimmy Bean, some of those seniors that are willing to accept and buy into what The Plan is, then it makes it a lot easier for the coach to instill information.”

• “They’ve (the older guys) really instructed and trained the young guys for us.”

Let’s Talk Mason Rudolph

• “He played good. There was a couple reads he could’ve been better on and obviously he missed a couple throws. But, for the most part, we thought he played pretty well.”

• How were the deep balls to James Washington scouted? “In James’ high school tapes, when he caught a deep ball, there wasn’t anybody else on the tape – just him. He’s played very well over the last month.”

• “Mason has improved in the last 4-6 weeks in his ability to throw the deep ball – more than any quarterback I can remember.”

•* Comparing him to Brandon Weeden: “Yeah, I wouldn’t go that far yet; but, he has thrown it akkrit – and it has worked!” (Sorry – couldn’t ignore it…)

• What’s happened to help Mason improve in the last 4-6 weeks? “I don’t know; but, Yurcich needs to make a tape and sell it – a clinic tape. They’ve worked on it a bunch.”

• “The real improvement for him should take place bout games 16-20.” Look out bowl game and early next season!

On this OSU Defense

• What about Kevin Peterson’s 4th down, goal-line stop? “He’s probably giving up 10-15 pounds to Boykin. He (Boykin) had the momentum, and he (Peterson) not only made the play, but was able to pull him down and keep him from falling that way (into the end zone!). It was as big a stop as I’ve been around.”

• Is Peterson an underrated tackler? “He’s made plays. He’s done a good job of just getting guys down, which is all that matters in college football.”

• The defense played 110 plays. Are you concerned or is there some special preparation? “Both. I’m concerned. We had 100 last week and 110 this week. We cut their reps back this week. We have the science – we have that chip and stuff in their gear. We know how many steps they’re taking, what their energy load is…so we take all that into account during the week.” So, we have a Robo-Defense?! That’s so awesome!

• On Trace Clark: “He’s played really well for us over the last few weeks. He’s going to graduate here real soon with a degree in Engineering. He won the ‘Effort Award’ on that side of the ball. He’s a very quiet person. He’s continued with the system, stayed involved, waited his turn and now he’s given the opportunity to get a lot of playing time.”

Random Closing Notes

• Have the analysts been any part of our success? “No question. Bill Clay and Darrell Wyatt have been tremendous for us. They’re very good at what they do.”

• When did our success, as far as winning on the road change? “A number of years ago we won at Texas for the first time in a long time, and I think that, if there was a turning point…we won at Missouri when they were 2nd or 3rd in the country; those were kind of turning points for our program.” Zac to What’s-His-Name in the corner!!!

* Closed out with…Do you look for opportunities to provide for a little levity for the team? “It’s almost like Tom Cruise said in ‘A Few Good Men’ to Demi Moore, ‘We’ll do whatever it is that you do. I don’t know what you do.” (I don’t know where to end this quote – it’s so random!) Just take some time off. I don’t know what they do when they leave here. I know they’ve got some study hall, but they don’t love this life 24/7 like people want them to. They have a lot going on” As college kids should…

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