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The Rundown: Gundy Talks Injuries, Kansas State Win

Gundy said a lot of guys scarcely practiced this week.

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At face value, a win against a Kansas State team without its starting quarterback might not seem like a massive feat, but the Cowboys were dealing with injures all around their lineup.

Oklahoma State beat Kansas State 20-18 on Saturday in a comeback win that saw Cowboys laboring all around Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Here is what Mike Gundy said about his team’s gutsy performance after the game.

Opening Statement

“We were pretty beat up. We had a number of guys not practice this week on offense, and it showed today. Quite a few of them just played without hardly practicing at all. That’s extremely difficult. I told the team I was proud of them. They had their back against the wall, and they found a way to win on the road. That was a good win for our team.

“Looking forward to a week off where we can get a little recovery with our guys.”

On LD Brown

“He’s been good all year. He practices hard, he’s got a smile on his face, his attitude’s good, he’s unselfish. I’m very proud of him. He stuck around a long time, has backed up a lot of good running backs in our organization, and he’s getting his shot this year.

“He didn’t practice much all week. In fact, he practiced a little bit Thursday, and that was about it. Kudos to him for fighting through an injury and coming out and making some plays.”

On if Chuba Hubbard was banged up

“Yeah, Chuba didn’t practice this week either. I worked a little bit at tailback, and that was about it.”

On the mindset entering a game with so many injuries

“I’m not sure. Teven [Jenkins] went down, and then the next play we put the backup in and then he went down. I don’t know who we put in after that. Teven came in eight or 10 plays later. We’re down to so many young guys, I’m not even sure who’s playing anymore on the offensive line.”

On the defense’s second-half performance

“Obviously it was big. We played OK offensively in the second half, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. So, our defense needed to make plays. Obviously, we got a strip, and the ball went in Jason’s hands and he was able to score. Then in the end, Tre Sterling made the play on the overthrow, gave us a chance. Defense was able to make plays and score a touchdown. Percentages will tell you when the defense scores a touchdown, you really have a good chance of winning the game. That’s what happened today, and it’s why we won the football game.”

On Brennan Presley

“As we progress and as Brennan gains experience, his role will increase. He’s traditionally been a gamer, made a lot of plays in high school. [His touchdown] was a well-organized play. It was blocked well, but he still made a play. Dipped in, dipped back out, ran in and got to the corner of the end zone.”

On pulling out a close game after falling in one last week

“I told the team after the game that this was a really big game for them because we limped through practice this week on both sides of the ball. We didn’t get quality work. When you don’t get quality work during the week in practice, your results usually aren’t very good. They found a way to win the game, and ultimately, that’s all that matters. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but they found a way to win the football game. I told them it’s gotta be them. The coaches can’t do it. We can’t do it, players gotta make a decision to get it done, and that’s what they did.”

On not turning the ball over

“We did protect the football. We were better. It’s very important. As we move forward, we have to be as efficient as possible with the ball.

“Then we were really good on special teams coverage today. We challenged our players early in the week, challenged them again this morning, then each time when they went on the field concerning Kansas State’s return game on punt and kickoff. That was also a big part of the game.”

On Kansas State not rushing the ball as well in the second half

“At the end of the half, we were trying to get in an aggressive play and maybe choke them out, call timeout and get a good possession right before the half. Quarterback creased us on maybe an 80-yard run or something. That was a big part of it. We still have to improve a little bit on the quarterback run. We’ll have to look at the tape and see where we were deficient and clean that up somewhat.

“Our effort was really good in the second half, and I think that we kept them in a lot of third-and-longs. That’s how we were able to slow them down a little bit in the second half.”

On players stepping up with others injured

“We don’t ever talk about it, but they need the credit this week for fighting through where they were and finding a way to play on the road and win this game. It’s extremely difficult when you don’t have your guys practicing. Even though some of them are veteran guys, you have to practice. We were able to pull one away today without being as prepared as we should’ve been.”

On if there is more pride in a win like this

“This win proves that our culture and our team chemistry is strong. In my 31 years of coaching and 16 as a head coach, you don’t win a game like this if your culture and team chemistry is not strong. That’s just my opinion. I’ve seen it. You get your backs against the wall, and somebody’s gotta make a play.

“Then toward the end of the game, when we punt it and they got 1:49 left, they only gotta get a field goal. It’s not a matter of letting the clock run out, you gotta stop them because they got the wind and they have a good kicker. So our guys had to go out and find a way to make the stop vs. just letting the clock run out.

“Without really good culture and team chemistry, players caring about each other, my history is you don’t win these games.”

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