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Notes on Mike Gundy’s Texas Press Conference



Here are the notes from Mike Gundy’s weekly presser. He was in peak Gundy form in discussing the Homecoming and Hoops incident.

• Called Texas “the most athletic team in the league” from what he’s seen.

• Quarterback “throws it, can run it” and does a little bit of everything.

• They’re using their QB as a running back. “Backers have to tackle well in space.” Said it becomes fairly easy (straightforward) for the defense, but you have to hold them to a low yards per carry.

• He’s felt like they’ve needed improvement in red zone offense for last month. Justice in wildcat might not be a “long-term answer” but he was pleased with it against Baylor. Said Rudolph is effective at running but can’t run it like J.W. Walsh.

• Not sure if Texas coming off tough game against OU is an advantage. All about focus and preparation the week of. “I can’t tell anymore if it matters whether you’re coming off a win or a loss.”

• Reason Baylor looked good on the first drive is because “we let them do it.” Looked like Baylor wanted to run it and eat up clock. Said it only looks good when you do it well. Not what he was anticipating against them.

• Defenses have “more exotic looks” than what OSU has seen in the past. Lot of offensive production in the Big 12 because of good QBs and average QBs who run it a lot.

• “(Texas wants) the quarterback to run the football.” Said their defense also has more blitz and more pressure than in past years.

• On Ateman: “He’s been very good.” Because he was without football for a year, he realized what he’d lost.

• Talked for a while about Washington’s ability to accelerate through the ball when Rudolph throws it deep. Says he and Ateman play totally different games. Wouldn’t commit to whether Ateman is “a No. 1 guy.” Said Ateman will get a chance to play beyond college because of what he brings to the table. Noted a lot of man coverage in the NFL which will benefit him because of his body.

• Said Washington doesn’t get a lot of catches because of the way defenses play him.

• It took Ateman a year to buy into the program but he “likes to play the game … likes to catch … likes to block.” The more he does it, the more it improves his stock. “I’m sure he’s aware of that situation.”

• Rudolph makes a lot of throws between the hashes where he’s reading inside/outside linebackers so he has to make sure he gets it over the first level (can lead to overthrows). Said he adjusts and works on his throwing maybe too much. Also noted that he throws the ball down the field more than anyone in the country which leads to more incompletions.

• Gundy told Rudolph to not throw a football from Sunday-Sunday in the bye week and he didn’t. Said they’ve tried to reduce how much he throws “but he’s a workaholic.” Cited science of QB arms and compared it to pitchers. Trying to reduce work.

• Said Rudolph will miss some throws, but “he’s been a perfectionist in trying to improve his game.”

• Rudolph may have thrown more balls down the field in the last four games than many kids will do all season.

• NFL scouts “like our guys.” Gives them information on what kind of people they are, commitment to themselves and society. Doesn’t interfere with determining talent. That’s why they pay those guys millions of dollars to determine that.

• Said Texas is physical up front. Have brought in developed guys. Don’t bring guys in to be developed. When you have guys that are as big and fast as them you can limit offenses.

• OSU has had good players which is why they’ve beaten Texas so often recently. “Have to have skill kids who can make plays in space against them. I think our players enjoy this game.”

• “People want to watch every game we play because it matters.” Said it’s not like basketball where you can lose 10 games and still win it all. Doesn’t think there’s as much emphasis on any one game (i.e. Texas, Bedlam) because they all matter so much.

• First Texas win in Austin wasn’t as big as first in at Nebraska, in his opinion.

• “Prior to this year, (McCleskey has) been somewhat flawless. He’s not been good this year. He’s essentially been bad on four of nine occasions.” Doesn’t have an answer on who will be returning punts. Knows OSU can’t afford to turn the ball over when they stop other teams. Special teams, turnovers and penalties will be a big factor this week.

• Not in the position to “put energy in reserve” — have to get in position to beat “arguable the most athletic team in the conference.”

• Compared punt returner to a 3-point shooter who keeps missing. Either let him play or take him out of the game. Did that with Tylan, too. Had to “let him go.”

• Never had more than four guys capable of returning punts. “I would never want to be back there fielding a punt with those guys running at me like that.” ?

• Mentioned Perrish, Gilbert, Tyreek and Josh Stewart as great returners in their history. “Right now we’re not a threat. It’s just not an easy task.”

• “Tylan’s a gym rat.” Doesn’t give you deer in headlights. Avoids frustrating things as a young guy. “If a guy can do it, he can do it. What’s puzzling me is McCleskey’s been good at it for a couple of years.”

• Explained why he took his shirt off on Friday. Said you miss the high school pep assembly in college. On Homecoming you get it back. All the Greeks. All the people in GIA. They’re all excited. Said he had a high school assistant who would crazy things at pep assemblies. Said it was a cool deal because he still remembers it 30 years later.

• Was thinking about pep assemblies a month ago and challenged Mason to do it. “They all go crazy over Mason. He’s fortunate to be a nice looking guy, good player, nice good kid so people like him.” Told him he should take his shirt off for them. That’s not his nature. Would prefer to be at a lake throwing a football to somebody on a jet ski. “You’re gonna go to the pros next year anyway …” Couldn’t get him to do it until he promised to do it, too.

Said it made his wife “throw up in my mouth a little bit.”

“If you can’t have fun doing this, it’s probably not worth it.”

• Kids told him he was right up there next to the Kardashians on Snapchat. Said “I’m better at that than I am at coaching.”

• “Mason and I have had a great career here together. Over the last few years, we’ve gotten really close. We’ve had a great relationship.” Said his relationship with his QBs historically has been important because that’s the world he lived in.

• Said he wouldn’t have wanted Pat Jones to take his shirt off when he was in college.

• “QB play is so vital. We’ve been very fortunate here.” Nobody really highly recruited (except J.W. Walsh). Been fortunate to be able to develop them. Said he’s been fortunate to have coaches who can develop guys.

• Would not enjoy running a new guy out there every year at QB. Said Mason has gotten so much better at where to distribute the ball. People used to say, “What are you doing?!” Now he knows where to go with it. Might miss some guys, but knows what he’s doing now.

• Bumps travel up 3 hours for 11 a.m. game in case planes are late etc.

• Says it takes a while for the big fellas to rehydrate after being 30,000 feet in the air.

• His players are good at getting up in the morning because they’re used to it. The 11 a.m. kickoffs are not as fun for fans but doesn’t really affect the team.

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