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The Rundown: Everything Mike Gundy Said after Oklahoma State’s Win against Texas Tech

On the ups and downs from OSU’s win against Tech.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The Cowboys avoided a trap game to remain unbeaten.

Oklahoma State defeated Texas Tech 41-31 on Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium. Here is everything OSU coach Mike Gundy said after the game.

Opening statement

“A good game. I’m sure it was fun game to watch. Obviously had, let’s see 190 offensive plays — 104 for them, 86 for us. A lot of plays, everybody got their money’s worth. We had a special teams return yards and penalty yards advantage, we were plus, just under 60 (yards). So a little more than half a field. And then we were plus-1 in the turnover margin. That’s really the big difference. Third downs, (we were) 8 of 18, they were 8 of 22. We were 1 of 1 on fourth (down), they were 4 of 7 on fourth.

“So, as I mentioned, on Monday, this would be a challenge for us, because we haven’t played a team that plays as up-tempo as this. So, we were learning on the run. We had quite a few new guys that had to play defensively. Had a few guys get beat up and such, so we play some of the guys defensively and they did a good job picking it up. I thought our defensive coaches made some really good adjustments at halftime. I think we held them to seven (points) in the second half and we scored 21.

“We didn’t rush the ball as well as we need to rush the ball, but we did at the end of the game. Interestingly enough, the last drive, when they knew we were going to run it, we rushed the ball better than we did the other three quarters in my opinion.

“So, it’s a great win for us. I think there’s a tremendous amount of parity in this league. I think you’re going to see games like this every week. That’s what I told the team a couple weeks ago, weekly, every other day and told them again today. So conditioning is going to play a big factor in this. I thought we were in really good shape. At the end of the game we had gas in the tank, we could roll. And it gave us a chance to finish the game off.

“So, we can enjoy this one tonight, and then tomorrow we got to get back to work. We gotta travel on the road and play a team that’s obviously playing really good football. And so, looking forward to that and looking forward to a good week of work.”

On the injuries defensively and how that affected the game

“We had quite a few guys I think went out on defense. So we had young guys that had to play. We were pretty young and immature out there defensively, but they rallied around and made some plays. They hit us on a couple of deep balls, but really coverage was pretty good. Their kids went up and made plays. They did a good job of covering us today, also.”

On whether Spencer Sanders’ 2-yard touchdown sparked the team

“That was a big play. The two biggest plays — there was a lot of big plays, so it’s really unfair to say that — were that and the targeting. Really kind of changed the flow of the game. And we were pretty average protecting him. I’ll have to go back and look and see, but I didn’t think we did a good job protecting him. And, you know, I’ve said it a number of times, maybe we did and I just couldn’t see it, but I didn’t get that feel. So, that could play a role in some of that. But he’s been around a long time, he’s competitive, made a play there at the end. Made a good play converting the third down at the end. So that’s the advantage of having a mature quarterback.”

On whether he liked the toughness and grit from Oklahoma State

“I did. Fortunately, we’ve got, you know, enough veteran guys that get it. I think we’re in really good condition. As I said earlier, they had some gas in the tank. And we’ve been in these battles before and in the end there wasn’t any panic. Guys had a clear mind. They were able to listen and absorb information. There’s no panic. And in that situation gives you the best chance.”

On the halftime adjustments defensively

“Well, we made a few adjustments. And it was interesting, the adjustments we made didn’t fit that first drive. So I thought, ‘Well, that’s great. They adjusted on our adjustment.’ And you know, [Joey McGuire] is doing a good job coaching them. They’re well-coached. It’s hard to explain, but the things that we made adjustments on is not what they did on that drive. Then after that they kind of went back to what they’re good at, and then the adjustments we had worked on all the short-yardage, quick stuff. We were in attack mode, very aggressive on the perimeter. They got us in the first quarter a lot on the perimeter. And so we made those adjustments. And it worked for us in some key stops on fourth down. You know, the last drive we scored on, I think they gave us the ball on the 42-(yard line) or something like that, I’m not for sure. That was a key stop. And allowed us to go down the field to use clock and score.”

On Texas Tech starting quarterback Behren Morton

“He’s a good player. What year is he? [Redshirt freshman.] That’s not good. He’s a good player.”

On whether Oklahoma State expected Behren Morton to start

“No. No. He slings it around pretty good. I had heard that. I heard this summer that they had a kid that could throw it around and sling it. Obviously that’s who it was.”

On the targeting call on Kendal Daniels

“It was targeting. Tough game, you know. But the way the rule is set up that was targeting. So you cannot lower your head. And they know it. He’s young. We talk about it, talked about it Friday. Talked about it this morning before we came over. Those are things that I remind them all the time. But in the heat of the moment, all he knows is he had a dead shot at the quarterback in the end zone. You cannot lower your head. You have to keep your eyes up all the time. So, you know the rule is put in place to protect and it’s a good rule. Nobody likes the rule, because people think it’s football. Football is football, until that’s your kid that’s getting hit. But it was the correct call, and he needs to learn to keeps his face up. Keeps his face up and goes through the ribs, then it’s all good.”

On losing Kendal Daniels for the first half of the TCU game next week

“Yeah, he plays a lot. You know, you hate to lose — I don’t particularly like that. To me if a guy goes out in the third quarter like that, one game’s enough. Now he misses three and a half quarters, but I don’t make the rules. It’s fair for everybody, but that carry over, I have never liked that. We know going in where it’s at, and so it’s quick, easy solution. Keep your head up, keep your eyes up. You can’t lower your head.”

On Preston Wilson’s status and Joe Michalski taking over at center

“I thought Joe did okay. A couple snaps were up there a little bit. I thought he did okay. I know that it’s not a significant injury. So, [Wilson’s] walking around. He couldn’t really push off. Hopefully he’ll be better in three days.”

On Jaden Bray

“We overthrew him a couple times. He looked good out there. He looks good in his uniform. He’s 16 pounds heavier — I asked him on Friday — than he was (last year). He didn’t handle press-man (coverage) very well. He hadn’t been in it in a while. He’ll handle it better. They were able to cover him up pretty good on it. And then there was a couple balls that if Spencer (Sanders) backs it off maybe a yard, he can go up and get it. But he’ll be fine. Tough deal for him, right? Comes right out playing in conference play and trying to beat man coverage, so on and so forth. He’ll be fine.”

On Jabbar Muhammad

“He did good. He competed, and that’s difficult. It’s hard, the length [of Tech’s receivers], it’s like a boxer, but he competes, stays in there. Those guys, 104 plays, that’s a lot, and he was in there a bunch and fought hard and made good plays.”

On calling a fair catch on Tech’s onside kick attempt

“As soon as they kick it, if you show fair catch, they can’t catch it. Pretty smart, huh? So, if I’m here and they’re flopping it over here and I’m running like this and I [wave a hand above my head], they cannot catch the ball. So, we’ve practiced it and talked about it. We were fortunate enough we had a guy that plays a ton of special teams for a long time and he’s mature and made a good play.”

On Bryson Green

“He’s coming along. Made some catches. Made a big one there in the last drive, right? I think that was him in the middle of field. And he’s maturing. He didn’t play much last year. Significant snaps, big games, tired, physical team, so he’s coming along, learning to use his body. He’s got a ways to go, but made some plays.”

On Braydon Johnson’s status

“He’s fine. You know, I don’t know for sure what happened to him. I don’t know. Until you brought it up. He didn’t play much in the second half, right? Yeah, I’m not sure what happened. I need to check on that. I don’t know. That’s a good point.”

On what worked well enough to score 41 points

“I don’t know, I’ll be honest with you. We made some plays at times. To start the game, we got to an easy seven because they tried the onside got the 15-yard penalty, and we got them on a trick play. So we got a touchdown and we hadn’t really done a lot. And then we were able to capitalize on some short field with failed fourth downs, which helped us. [Green] had a big catch, long ball. And then the last drive, we rushed the ball pretty good. Sure didn’t look like 41 points, did it? Didn’t look like that to me either. We gotta get better at running the football.”

On Tech having 62 plays in the first half

“Remember Monday, I said they could have 100 plays in this game, and when you go for that many fourth downs, then you’re gonna run that total up, especially as fast as they play. You’re gonna get into that number. You know, there’s pros and cons. You know, you keep the drive alive, but sometimes if it doesn’t work, you give up good field position. But one thing that can happen is you can run up a bunch of plays because you keep possession, and they play really fast like we do. They play faster then we do.”

On whether having a longer drive to start the second half was good to slow Tech down

“We should have been better. We got the ball down, and we didn’t execute down in there. We end up getting three points. But, then they countered us. They came back and got a seven on us. So, that wasn’t quite as fun. But then we were able to really adjust and make some good plays defensively from that point moving forward.”

On whether it’s difficult to kick field goals against a team that goes for it on fourth down so much

“Not for me. I’m not a big fourth-down guy. I’ve got to have a good reason for it. I’m not saying they’re wrong. Everybody’s got their own way of playing the game, but I have to have a good reason for doing it and feel like that I have an advantage in doing it. Because we have a really good punter. So, we pooched twice in the second half, and I think we downed to more than 4 when [Kendal Daniels] got the targeting. So, that’s twice in two weeks that we’ve downed them inside the 5 and got two safeties. I know we didn’t get it, but you get the picture. And then the second time we did it, he downed them, I think, on the 9. The percentage of the other team scoring, or even specifically, a touchdown from that far end is really low. It’s really low. Inside the 10, I think is 12%. Inside the 5, think it’s like 7, 6%. So, we got to do it. I mean, that’s what I do. I play percentages. You know, Tommy Lasorda, if the percentage to steal this base is good, I’m gonna steal it. If it’s not, I’m not going to steal the base.”

On Mason Cobb’s interception

“Mason studies a lot of film. He’s a student of the game. He’s up here all the time studying route concepts, pattern concepts. I have not spoken to him directly about it, but I’m gonna guess that’s what happened. He probably saw the developments. He came backside — a little bit like Malcolm (Rodriguez), right? Malcolm used to do that, come from the backside and sweep underneath. So, I’m guessing something he saw on tape and had a good feel, came all the way back underneath. He ran well with the ball. I think he played offense in high school some. I can’t remember. But right before he went down, he got the ball loose out here. Made me a little nervous, but he did run with the ball well.”

On Cam Smith

“Played pretty good. They hit the deep ball on him down here in the corner. He had good coverage. Guy just went up and took the ball. What I told them in there, you gotta grow up fast. Robert Allen asked me at halftime what needed to happen, and I said ‘One, we have to rush the football better. And two, young guys playing defense gotta grow up.”

On how the team tackled

“You know, it’s interesting. I’m glad you brought that up. If you think about percentages, the plays they defended. It wasn’t a 70-play game. It was 104 plays. We didn’t really miss that many tackles. Now, I want eyes up. I don’t want to miss any tackles. But we know that there’s so many skill players in college football now, it’s not easy to get them all down. But when you think about they basically played another quarter of football today. So the fair way to coach is that we miss some. But when you think about them having an additional 35 plays, probably wasn’t much different than what it has been the first four games.”

On whether he worries about the hit Spencer Sanders takes

“Sure do. I worry about him all the time. If I was him, I’d go home, straight home tonight and go to bed. I wouldn’t pass go, wouldn’t look at any pretty girls. It’s a tough game. He’s at the one position you can’t defend yourself. You get hit. You can’t defend yourself. Tough, tough job.”

On Logan Ward kicking off

“Alex (Hale) has been a really good field-goal guy and did some kick. But he hadn’t got as much distance. Logan has given us a little bit more distance. So, we let him kick. He did a good job. He nubbed one out of bounds, but other than that, we thought he did a good job.”

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