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Notes on Mike Gundy’s Pre-Kansas State Press Conference

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Mike Gundy talks Bill Snyder, wide receiver unselfishness and why he was dressed like the Abominable Snowman in Ames.

• “We were glad to get out of the game last week with a win.”

• Kansas State runs the same plays no matter who their QB is. “You have to stop the run with them and rally and defend the pass.” They do a lot of pulling trying to get a gap advantage. “Defeating the QB run is never easy.”

• “(Bill Snyder has) been as big an impact at Kansas State as any coach who’s ever coached in college football.” Coaches can have advantages at certain schools (i.e. Alabama) but Snyder has made his own advantages and put in the time and effort in Manhattan.

• KSU used to have more throwers, but his philosophy is the same. KSU adjusts their offense based on their QB personnel. Said they recycle plays and put them back in the system.

• OSU’s Cowboy Back is a little different from the KSU fullback position because OSU runs their Cowboy Back out a lot more in the passing game.

• “They’re a quarterback RPO team a lot and that makes it even more difficult because you’re an extra guy advantage in the running game.”

• Each week is difficult based on what QB you’re playing in the Big 12. “You have to do a good job of reading high hat, low hat, run, pass. You have to weed throw it and watch a lot of tape.” Said a lot of B12 teams run block but then throw it down the field.

• Let ISU running back bounce around and didn’t finish. So they got big plays. ISU’s running back is better than what Gundy thought. “He sits in there, and he’s patient.” Said OSU has to finish tackles better. Said ISU RB had 80 YAC. Two personal fouls didn’t help defense either. So tackling and penalties.

• Said not tackling probably relates to fatigue but everybody is tired. Not just OSU. “Gotta get guys down and can’t allow as many yards after contact.”

• “Had a lot of practice at (close-game situations).” Noted parity in Big 12. Laid out KSU’s close losses (WVU, OU and Texas). “Don’t let the record fool you.” Can take majority of B12 teams put them on a neutral site and it’s going to be a toss-up. “I don’t see any difference in this (Kansas State) game.”

• In the waning moments, he’s trying to think ahead. Not thinking “here we go again.” Said he’s going back and forth on the headphones.

• Said OSU would have gone for it on fourth down if it had been much closer. “I burned a lot of brain cells thinking what play we were going to run, talking on the headphones, everybody had input, I said, “Shut the hell up. Let me think.” Lot going on for them to not move the ball.

• He’s excited for the game. “Obviously we want to win for the team.” Said he gets paid to “stay calm and think.” Said he’s excited but needs to stay calm and think to make the best decisions possible.

• Percentages of converting a 6-inch play vs. two yards wildly different.”

• Why OSU wins close game: “Hopefully just the culture we create. Understand play the next play. Control what you can control. I really believe that has an impact. The long-term system we have in place … it’s like raising a kid and actually having rules and enforcing them. We enforce the policy here on things we believe in. I think that helps us win games.”

• “You have to lean on (your seniors).” Tells more mature guys, “I can’t do it for you. You have to find a way. Figure it out.” Said that’s how life is. “You get to a point where they have to take care of themselves.” Said they get catered to so much that when they get out of CFB they can’t take care of themselves.

• Said he looked like the Abominable Snowman in Ames with how he was dressed. “You’re playing in tall grass that’s unusual (up there).”

• Three semesters is the going rate for figuring out the OSU culture. Noted Marcell Ateman as somebody who took three semesters to figure it out. “He’s just kind of emerging on the national scene, he’s a pretty good player. But he’s in an offense that has a lot of good players so he doesn’t touch the ball a lot.”

• “They’re playing their entire team over here on 28.”

• “We’re going to find out in the spring our APR for this year is 1,000. That’d be perfect. That’s pretty impressive. To win. To have a 1,000 APR. That’s pretty impressive. I think that’s what the number is going to be.” Things like this are why his team finishes games, he said. “Doesn’t guarantee you’ll win every game. It just gives you a hell of a chance.”

• Gundy talked to Rudolph’s mom and dad on Saturday. Told them he’s going to be the most-decorated QB in the history of the school. He’s been the most committed player to OSU that Gundy has ever seen. Commitment to success … is through the roof. Gundy hopes his sons are that committed to an organization at some point in their life. “He makes me proud. That’s what he does.”

• “Those two (Ateman) catches on Saturday made me real proud.”

• “It would be difficult if you were a selfish skill player to be on our team.”

• Wide receiver group is “a pretty special group.” Talked a lot about blocking from everybody who doesn’t have the football. Wishes he could pin this down in recruiting. Most important part of recruiting is “how important is football to them? Will they be willing to maximize themselves? How important is the team to them?”

• Sees similarities in the way KSU and OSU recruit. Studies in the offseason of how you get ahead without built-in advantages.

• Said Snyder has been an assistant since the 20s. Lol. Went on to say that he’d guess you have to adapt to Snyder’s culture in Manhattan to get on the field.

• Unless you’re a dominant defense, each week you’re vulnerable. Same thing with an offense. That’s what makes the game so fun. You have about five or six teams across the country that are physically more dominant then 40 that are similar. The 22-year-old kids provide the variance week to week.

• Mentioned Joe Tiller, Frank Beamer, Mark Few, Spike Dykes and Vanderbilt’s baseball coach as coaches he looks to to see what they’re doing to have success. Researches people who have to do work to get to where they are.

• “Fortunately our players don’t pay much attention to where they play.” Said players learn to play without being able to hear because they have music banging during practice all the time. “(Road games) probably not as loud as what we put them through here.” Have to have some substance to them, though.

• Said good life lesson is you sit down and figure out the answer to a problem rather than asking why bad things are happening.