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The Rundown: Gundy Talks Sanders, Illingworth and Defense after Tulsa Game

Everything Mike Gundy said in his post-Tulsa news conference.



[Photo via John Clanton, Tulsa World]

The Cowboys took an unpredictable route to 1-0, but they are 1-0 nonetheless.

Oklahoma State beat Tulsa 16-7 on Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium. After the game, OSU coach Mike Gundy met with reporters over zoom. Here is everything he said in his postgame presser.

Opening Statement

“I was proud of our team. We got put in a unique situation there for a while, had to regroup particularly on offense. Defense was fabulous, 0-of-11 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth down is really the story of the game. Played well enough late to rally, get the guys the football that we needed to get to to score points. I’m thrilled with the guys for fighting through all the adversity and finding a way to win the game at the end.”

On how dire things were in the third quarter

“We needed to find a way to get a drive started. We were moving some guys around then trying to figure out what to do at quarterback. We needed a couple plays. Then [Tylan] Wallace made a play or two, Chuba [Hubbard] hit a run or two, and LD [Brown], and we kinda got back on track there a little bit.”

On the offensive line

“We were playing musical chairs. We had some guys go out, so we had to move some guys to different positions to try to settle in, to get the guys in there that have practiced the most.”

On Tylan Wallace

“Tylan was good all day, we just didn’t get the ball to him early. Once we started going at him, he was fantastic and made plays.”

On Spencer Sanders

“I know that he doesn’t have a serious injury. Obviously, I haven’t visited with anybody medically, other than them telling me during the game that he wouldn’t be back today. So, I don’t really have information on him at this time.

“Honestly, I never even saw him get hurt. I was watching something else. I’m not sure exactly what his injury was at this time. Hopefully they’ll let me know here in a few minutes.”

On the game day experience

“I thought the crowd was fantastic. A couple of penalties that Tulsa got on the offensive line, I believe, was because of the sound. They were really loud. I mentioned that to the coaches, I mentioned that to the team that the limited number of fans that were able to come to the game, they were awesome. We’re very appreciative of it. There were times where they actually got loud in the stadium.”

On going with Ethan Bullock initially and transitioning to Shane Illingworth

“Bullock has been getting those reps. Illingworth has been out for a long time on [contact] tracing, so very limited practice reps for him. Bullock had a few things happen to him that weren’t really his fault, but it got to a point where we were just kinda stale and I felt like we needed a change.”

On how much the offense needed to be scaled back with Illingworth, a true freshman, going in

“I don’t think any. I think he handled it really well, and I didn’t notice them scaling back anything with him being in the game.”

On LD Brown

“I thought he ran more physical and determined today than he has in his career here at Oklahoma State.

“He’s practiced really well. He’s always worked hard, but over the last month, he’s just looked a little different in practice. I wish I could give you a reason why, but he’s practiced really hard, his attitude’s been really good and I thought he was a very physical runner today. We’re certainly gonna need him, so I’m excited about what he accomplished today.”

On what it does for the run game having Brown being able to give Chuba Hubbard a rest

“Chuba’s gonna get tired, ya know? We talked about this last year, talked about it preseason, it’s difficult to carry the ball 30 times a game like he did last year. We gotta have other guys. Other guys have to be able to go in there and rush the football.”

On if he was happy with the performance

“Well, I don’t think we’ll cancel practice tomorrow or Tuesday. We have to stay after it.”

On what needs the most improvement

“We’re gonna have to figure out where we’re at offensively, based on moving some guys around and then try to determine what gives us the best chance to move the ball and score points.”

On playing only one nonconference game and if the team is ready for the Big 12 schedule

“We’ve got a lot to work on. Tulsa’s a good football team, and we gave them plenty of chances to have success. We need to minimize mistakes, obviously take better care of the football, and then you go into Big 12 conference play. Doesn’t make a difference, you’re gonna play next week in the Big 12 conference. So either way our coaches are gonna be responsible for finding answers to the issues that we have and improve for next week.”

On OSU’s defensive performance

“I told them in the locker room after the game that I was proud of them for continuing to make stop after stop. Sometimes when an offense doesn’t play as well or sputters out as much as we did today, then defensively it’s hard to continue to play.

“They made plays. We gave up a wheel route for a big pass play. Other than that, I thought they were really, really good, particularly good against the run and then terrific on third-and-long and terrific on fourth downs.

“I think we stayed fairly healthy on defense today, and until we can decide which direction we’re going offensively, the defense needs to play well and give us a chance to have success.”

Closing thoughts

“I thought the crowd was fantastic. It’s nice to get back out there and play football. I’d like to give Tulsa credit for their gameplan and what they brought into the stadium today. I thought they did a really nice job.

“We look forward to getting back to work as a team and putting a package together and getting ready to play West Virginia.”

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