Connect with us


The Rundown: Everything Mike Gundy Said after Oklahoma State’s Win in Waco

On OSU’s Big 12-opening win.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

WACO, Texas — Mike Gundy’s Cowboys are 1-0 in Big 12 play, which isn’t an easy task this season.

Oklahoma State defeated Baylor 36-25 on Saturday in McLane Stadium to get to 4-0. Here is everything Mike Gundy said after the game.

Opening statement

“So, this was really a very, very evenly played game. If you look at the stats, we averaged, I think, 3.5 (yards) a carry rushing the ball. I think they averaged 3.6 (yards). Third downs and fourth downs together, we were 7-for-16, they were 6-for-16. The two teams played clean football, no penalties basically. We ran into a guy on a punt, if it’s not for that, we have two penalties for 10 yards. They had two penalties for 10 yards. So, you have two teams that are evenly matched. They would end up with more total yards that us because we out special teams-ed them by 157, almost a football field and a half in special teams. And it was a draw in penalties. So, the difference in the game was special teams — 157-plus in our favor. We had a turnover. They had two, I believe. So, I mean, just basically an evenly matched game. Two good football teams. We’re 5-for-5 in the red zone, they were 2-for-3 in the red zone.

“So it’s a good win for us. My concern coming down was what I told you guys on Monday, that we had nine players that were going to play significant snaps in the game that had never played in a conference game and never played on the road. And those guys played pretty well. So, I thought our coaches did a good job. The players competed. They’re a good team. They’re gonna make plays. We’re gonna make plays. The players stayed focused for two weeks and practiced well. They gave great effort. They were competitive. So was Baylor. Obviously, it’s a good win for us, and you know, we gotta enjoy this one and rally back and get ready to go to work tomorrow.”

On what the Oklahoma State players showed him in the game

“I mean, I kind of felt like that this team liked each other. Their chemistry is good, but you never know. You gotta get in a position to be in a hostile environment, and be challenged like we were today. And what I told them after the game was, it’s going to be this way every week in this league. I mean, I don’t know any scores other than ours, except for early before we played our game and people were talking about other scores, but they need to get ready because it’s going to be this way every week. So, hopefully, they understand the importance of focus and the competitive nature of practice and not taking a day off.”

On the recent matchups against Baylor

“I just think that [Dave Aranda] is a good football coach. I think he’s got — when you watch our teams play, there’s no BS. There’s no late hits, there’s no slamming people down, there’s nobody talking trash. Guys just play football. And teams don’t get penalized very much. And I give them credit for that, I’ve told him that several times when I talked to him. I appreciate his team and I appreciate what they do. And I think we play the same way. I think we try to play the same way. So, you have two good football teams that are trying to do the right thing and play good, hard-nosed football.”

On the third quarter

“The third quarter was like a video game. So, we hit the kick return, and then we hit the deep ball, and then they went to the fourth down and hit the, whatever, 77-some-yarder, then we stopped them on a fourth (down) or something then we converted. Then we got on the half-yard line and everybody wanted me to go for it and lost their mind, because kicking a field goal which makes it a three-score game, I mean. So, we took the field goal instead of taking the chance. Just a good football game, but it just went back and forth. And I think that’s what this league is going to be like in the next couple of months.”

On whether this game showed Oklahoma State can win in different ways

“I hope. It’s too early to tell, but I thought the defense played really good. You know, it’s interesting, when you play a team that’s going to go for as many four downs as they do in certain situations, the results are going to be a little different, because percentages are they’re going to convert some of them and then percentages are if they don’t we’re going to lose the field position, which is a choice they make and a choice we can make. So, you’re going to get a different feel in the game. They believe in their mid-zone run, they really like their linemen up front. So they have some advantages there in some short-yardage plays and I think that’s what contributes to a wild game against a team that goes for this many fourth downs in that style of offense.”

On the decision to go for it on fourth down on the first offensive drive

“Well, those are all my calls, unless they don’t work and then they’re Kasey (Dunn’s) calls. But, no, fourth downs are my call. We went into this game since last year’s (Big 12) Championship Game and said, ‘When we get close to the goal-line or we get in short-yardage (situations), I want our players to know that we can convert it’ because we didn’t do it in the championship game. We didn’t coach them well enough. And that’s my fault, and the offensive coaches. And I said, ‘When we get in this situation they need to know whether [Siaki Ika] is in the game or not, we’re gonna sneak the ball, we’re gonna run the ball to convert, otherwise we have a hard time winning.’ So, we worked hard in the spring — you guys saw us in the spring do it — we did it in August, and whether [Ika] is in the game or not, we’re gonna convert. Now, in the end, kicking the field goal changes the game based on how many possessions it takes for them to score. That’s a different situation. But, the first fourth down and the other time at the goal line, we’re gonna push it in there.”

On whether he was pleased with Oklahoma State’s short-yardage offense

“Yeah, and that hasn’t been a strength for us. I mean, most of our linemen are more fit for playing fast, they’re not bulldozer guys based on the style of offense we run. So, but we improved on it, yes. And we told [Hunter Woodard], [Preston Wilson] and [Taylor Miterko] and those guys, ‘You got to block ’em. You know he’s gonna be there. You got to block him.'”

On Spencer Sanders

“He played good. You know, he was 20 of 29, they played Cover 2 all day and when he threw the pick the corner carried the wideout, which in most cases tells him throw the ball in the flat and the guy drained underneath it and made a good play. But he converts a lot of plays with his legs, and you see that in college football now. You see that in the NFL too. The quarterback, in my opinion, what he brings to the table is he can convert first downs and keep the change moving with his legs. And in today’s game, the way defenses play over the last two or three years, it’s changed considerably. If you can’t do that at quarterback, in my opinion, it’s going to be tough.”

On his happiness for Spencer Sanders

“I’m glad for him. Spencer’s a competitive dude, now. We all know this because we cover him locally. We know that, for some reason, people don’t give him enough credit. It is what it is. Now, we can go back. I’ve always said this with him: whenever we rush the ball decent, like today we rushed the ball for 166 yards, which is a really good day against their defensive front, and if you protect him little bit, he plays good. That’s what we did today, so he played pretty good. Championship game, we didn’t protect him.”

On not rushing the ball for 4.5 yards per carry

“You know, 4.5, I take that back. You know sometimes you go back to your wife and you say, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that’? I think 4.5 is a little much right now. If we go for 4.1ish, the way that defenses are playing now, I’m gonna buy that. [Baylor’s] front is good. They just are because we have to know where [Siaki Ika] is. Can’t just go in a game and come out of a game and say he just kicked our butt. We’d be like, ‘That’s not very smart. We knew he was gonna kick our butt.’ So we had to adjust some things we do to help our offense, and we did it. But it’s not the easiest thing to do.”

On Dominic Richardson

“Played good. Good, hard yards, protected the football.

“And Ollie got exactly what I told you guys was gonna happen with him. You have a young guy who has multiple carries and he gets tired, first thing he does when he gets lit up, and what happens? The ball comes out. Now, he’ll be better the next time for it, but that’s what I was telling you guys a week or two ago in the press conference is that’s the issue you have with young players. Spencer knows it. When he was young and you get tired and your mind wanders, that’s when you gotta be careful about taking care of the football. That’s what happened with Ollie. Fortunately, we got it back. [Sanders] made a heck of a play. But that’s what happens when you’re young. [Richardson] comes in and he’s a veteran. He’s better at it. He can get tired, and he understands. There’s just no substitute for experience.”

On giving Ollie Gordon the ball in crunch time

“He’s practiced well, and he’s played well. You guys have seen him. He’s played well. Now he’s played well and he’s been tired and he’s carried the ball multiple times his head’s wandering and he’s swinging, and he got lit up and the ball came out. We have confidence in him, and we still have confidence in him because he’s a smart young man, and he’ll learn from that mistake.”

On Tom Hutton

“Tom is really good at what he does. And our cover guys are really good at what they do. I just believe in pinning them inside the 10 because I do know the analytics of a team going 90-plus yards are really low.”

On having a strong start to Big 12 play

“Last year we were a very, very mature team — except for wideout. So, you kinda know what you’re gonna get on the road. I honestly had no idea what we were gonna get on the road in this game other than I knew we would play hard and compete. But with so many young players that had not played on the road, and this is the best team we’ve played, so it was a good game for everybody. And it’s good experience. Now they have to enjoy the win tonight and come back tomorrow and go to work, not waste a day. That’ll be the most important thing for those young guys, which they’ve been told. It’s what I told them. Hopefully, they listen.”

On the defense

“They played good. They held them to 3.6 a carry running the ball. That’s pretty good. They hit us on a couple throws. The 4th-and-4 they went for and hit the over route and went to the house, we changed the call. Basically, it was my fault because they checked it, and I told [Derek Mason], ‘I want you to check it and change it.’ He changed it, and it was too late — not too late, but it was really too late. By the time they got the call, we lost the over route. Right, wrong or indifferent, that was my fault. I usually know better than to make a decision on defense because I’m not a defensive guy. They looked over and checked it, and I said, ‘[Mason], check, check,’ and then he checked it, and it didn’t get in quick enough. So, we didn’t get lined up, and we missed the over route. That’s my fault. It really is, I’m being honest with ya. I took that one.”

On having guys who can make acrobatic catches

“That was where we really struggled last year because we had so much youth on the perimeter. Now we have Braydon (Johnson) who can run by you. And (Bryson) Green is physical, plays physical football. [Green] played really well. Had a drop there at the end. That would’ve been a tough catch. [John Paul Richardson] and [Brennan Presley], those guys that can make those intermediate catches for us, they put us back into the flow of who we are on offense compared from last year.”

On Jaden Nixon’s kick return

“We have four guys that coach our special teams and we have an analyst. They do a really good job. So when you just think about traditional football, our punt today was excellent, right? And the one punt nobody is talking about was at the end when we had to tight punt because they came all block and I don’t know how long that punt was — 50 yards? 45? 50? And it was almost a 5-second hangtime. So, we flipped the field, and they didn’t get a return. That’s a big deal — big deal.

“[Nixon is] real shifty. He’s extremely fast. I think he’s ran a few 10.6 [100-meter dashes] in high school. When he stumbled and got up, most of the time the defense will catch you because he’s falling, but I was watching. I knew he was gone because it only takes him two steps and he’s back at close to 4.5 [40-meter dash] speed. He can roll. We have weapons there with those guys, and they’re very well-coached. The guys that are responsible for that, multiple guys that do a really good job coaching those guys, and they’re listening and paying attention.”

Most Read