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The Rundown: Gundy Talks Voting, 2011 Comps and Texas

Gundy had plenty to say ahead of a big one on Saturday.



[Pool photo by John Clanton, Tulsa World]

Mike Gundy was insightful in his answers at Monday morning’s news conference, but it made for a lot of transcribing.

Here is part two of The Rundown. You can read about the first half of Gundy’s presser here.

On if OSU is altering its practice schedule to allow players the opportunity to vote next week

“I’m not sure what’s happened. I’ve heard those discussions. I haven’t really paid attention. I think that’s a week from tomorrow, isn’t it? I will make next week’s schedule Wednesday morning. So somebody will let me know what’s going on. I’m not sure what all happened. What time do the polls open?”

“8 a.m., and they stay open until when?”

“I’m gonna vote. I’m gonna find a time to do it during the day. I’m not sure what the NCAA’s gonna do, but I would think 8 to 7 is 11 hours, I would think at some point that they would find a time to swing by and vote. But we’ll follow the rules, whatever somebody says to do. I’m guessing if you guys have to vote, you still have to go to work.”

On if he has discussed the importance of voting with the team

“We’re on our third year of mandatory enrollment to vote. Three years ago, we had a meeting with them and told them they all needed to register, and they needed to learn how to vote in order to be a part of this country.

“Obviously because we’re at a state school, I don’t make it mandatory, but I highly recommend it. That was three years ago and two years ago and last year and then again this year. That’s been a big part of what we’ve said around here. How many of them actually registered? I don’t know because I don’t have the authority to make that decision, but that’s something that’s been talked about in this organization for over three years.”

On Brennan Presley downing a punt inside the 5-yard line Saturday

“With what he’s done in his [high school] career, I don’t think anything he does here in that type of situation will surprise any of us. He was a two-way player. Very, very, very good high school football player that it wasn’t uncommon for him to have 15 catches and have 20 carries in a game and play every game at corner. Brennan loves to play football. He’s highly competitive. He’s tough. He’s not scared. And he’s loyal. He’s gonna make a lot of football plays here at Oklahoma State over the next four years.”

On how he compares this team to the 2011 team midseason

“Well, we had, I don’t know, five guys on offense that were NFL players. We had two first-round pick on offense. Defensively, we had, I think, three guys that actually played in the NFL. So, you can go through where we’re at, probably not as many NFL players on this team as we had on that team. You’re talking about a talent level, most teams that win a conference championship out of the five Power Five conferences are gonna have quite a few legitimate NFL players sprinkled in them in my opinion, and you’ll generally have at least two first-round picks.

“There’s some similarities, but I don’t know that we would actually have as much NFL talent on this team as we did on that team.”

On if this defense is up to the standard of 2011

“2011 gave up quite a few yards and had a lot of takeaways. They got off the field with takeaways. I think we were in the top five in the country that year in turnover margin, I’m not for sure, but we were up there pretty high. They got off the field with turnovers. This year’s team has a chance. I said this two weeks ago and I’ll say it again, we’ll know a lot more, I said four weeks, we’ll know a lot more now in three weeks. We play two or three more games and we have an open date, I’m not for sure when that is, but during that time we’ll have a pretty good idea because we’ll have seen a variety of offenses with really good quarterback play.

“We got our first dose of it last Saturday with two and three tight end offenses, little bit unusual for this league with a potential NFL quarterback in Purdy. We’re gonna have the same challenge this week. Then as we move forward, we’ll find out exactly where these guys are. I will say, I’m not hesitant in telling you the same thing I told them, that they do have maturity, they do have depth, they do have speed. So, if they’re willing to put time and effort in, if they’re willing to focus and absorb information during the week, if they’re willing to practice hard, they have a chance to be a really good defense. That’s their choice.

“Do I like where we’re at defensively? Sure, I do. Do I have concerns with the teams we’ve play coming up? Sure because it’s a little bit different approach with each one of these guys. We’re gonna find out a lot more over the next two to three weeks.”

On Texas’ defense

“They’re a 4-2-5. They’re four press on the edge, coverage-wise they’re gonna challenge your receivers, quite a bit of zone, more of a traditional style of play. I’ve gotten into them a little, not a lot. Trying to finish up on Iowa State, myself, but coaches have got in a little bit deeper. From what I’m seeing, that’s what their scheme is on defense at Texas with [Chris Ash] being there this year.”

On OSU’s analysts

“Those guys are a big part of our team. The senior citizens club, as I call them. They give and have great information for me. When you have guys like [Bill] Clay and [Gary] Gibbs and [Chris] Thurmond, who are still involved in coaching, they got 40-plus years, they’ve been coordinators, they’ve been in big programs, they’ve been in programs where you have to fight every week to survive, some of them had NFL experience, they’ve been around young people all their life, they have invaluable information for me as a coach. And once you get to the point where they’re at, they don’t have any egos. They’re just here to make Oklahoma State football better.

“I lean heavily on those guys for information on the feel and the attitude of our team and what my approach would be as a head coach when I commutate with them week-to-week. Those guys are a tremendous resource for me in a lot of different ways, much less football.

“What you’re talking about is Xs and Os, and for both sides of the ball, they’re excellent. You can’t really have enough guys like that. The difference is they’re at a point in their career where their egos are, they don’t care anymore. They just want to be a part of a team, they like coaching football, they want to be involved and they’re very, very important to our organization.”

On success in the Texas series

“There’s two things, in most years, our players … well let me back up. I don’t know if we have anybody on our team that was even offered by Texas. That’s fairly consistent. We have 85 players on scholarship. I mean, I could be wrong, but I don’t think we have anybody on our team that had a Texas offer. We usually get two or three guys committed a year, and Texas will come in and take them in December and guys will flip and sign with Texas. But I don’t know that we’ve had any here that Texas has actually offered that I can remember. So, I think our players enjoy that game.

“I guess you would have to take a poll with our fans how they feel about that, I’m not sure. But arguable, and/or, in somebody’s opinion, each season, across the board, Texas is gonna be the most talented team in this league, just on the top 85 or top 130 — somebody’s opinion.

“Our players know that we have to have really quality work. Our coaches have to have good plans. We have to try to really lean on our strength compared to maybe what their weaknesses could be. I don’t really remember when you play them they have a lot of weaknesses from a skill standpoint. You work together as a team. There’s 11 guys on the field both sides of the ball and on special teams. It’s just a game, but because of location, I guess because of the history of their organization, it becomes a little bit bigger to the people of the state of Oklahoma. We have to really work hard to make sure our players understand it’s all about practice. It’s about functioning and doing what we think’s best and not getting out of our box.

“That’s really who we are at Oklahoma State, right? We are who we are. We don’t get out of our box. If we’re gonna play on a par-five, and we can really hit the ball a long ways, we hit a driver. If we hit a good drive, I don’t mind going for the green on No. 2. But if I don’t, I need to hit an eight-iron, and I need to layup. Don’t try to hit another driver and take a chance on hitting water. That’s really what we have to do here at Oklahoma State, and we’ve leaned on that for 16 years.”

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