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The Rundown: Mike Gundy Says He was Calling Defensive Plays for the Pokes

A breakdown of Gundy’s thoughts after the TCU win.



Mike Gundy usually talks about his redshirt freshman quarterback getting “flustered,” but today Gundy was apparently the flustered party.

At the end of Oklahoma State’s 34-27 victory against TCU on Saturday, Gundy said he took control of the defense, something he has never called, and called plays OSU didn’t even have because he wanted to win so bad.

Gundy talked that and more at his postgame news conference.

• “Very well-played game by our team, obviously. We were a very disciplined team. Thirty-seven yards in penalties, rushed for over 300 yards and very minimal with turnovers, took care of the football. We averaged, gosh, almost eight yards (7.3) a snap rushing the football.

“Obviously Chuba was fantastic. Quarterback handled himself well. Defense had a stretch there where I think five, six series in a row where we held them to turnovers, fumbles, interceptions or punts. I’m not sure what it was. Guys really played well.”

• Gundy said he was proud of how OSU executed on special teams, taking Jalen Reagor out of the game. He said they played well against him on defense, as well.

• On playing well despite missing Tylan Wallace, Tre Sterling and Johnny Wilson: “I actually apologized to the defensive staff. I got a little too excited the last two minutes there, but I really wanted this game for the players, going through what they went through in the middle of the week.

“We talked a lot about our culture and staying the course. Then the coaching staff, not changing the plays, run what we run, other guys can make plays. A lot easier said than done. They did. They practiced, well we only really had a half practice, it was just kind of a weird deal to lose those three guys basically in one day.

“I was really proud of our coaches, the schemes and staying with it, then the players recovering from it. It’s a shock to them. That’s their buddy. When that happens, it’s unfortunate. It’s a tough game and sometimes that happens. I was really proud of them, as much for this game as any in a long, long time.”

• Wallace, Wilson and Sterling all got injured on the same day. “It’s one of the most unusual days that I’ve had as a coach.”

• “It was just a weird deal. We don’t practice full speed much this time of year. Just half to third-quarter speed drill. I don’t have an explanation for it. Just an unusual situation. One and then the other one and then the other one in probably less than three minutes on the other side of the field. I was up in the tower watching practice, so I got down real quick and held onto the rails coming down because I didn’t know what was next. Stayed on the ground the rest of practice.”

• Wilson’s and Sterling’s injuries aren’t as serious as Wallace’s. “Tylan is out for the year. Those two guys, we could possibly get back.”

• He said it’s hard to lose Wallace because he’s so committed to the program and also hard to lose Wilson and Sterling for similar reasons.

• Gundy said he tried to keep the injuries a secret as much as he could even from his family, so it wouldn’t ruin their weeks.

• Bowl eligibility is special for the school and the players.

• “That’s the first time I’ve lost my composure in a long time as a head coach. I told everybody I apologize to them, but I wanted it so bad. I wanted them to learn that life lesson, that it’s OK when you get through adversity to find a way to be successful.”

• The league is going to get tired of defending Max Duggan for the next three years.

• On how he lost his composure: “Well on the sideline, I started calling defenses — I haven’t ever called defenses in my career — in the last two minutes. And it was stuff that we didn’t have. You remember when Lou Holtz called offense and defense both in 1976 in the Orange Bowl? I started thinking about that, and I don’t know why. I don’t even know why I know that.

“I started trying to call defenses, and one, I don’t call defenses, and two, we didn’t have them. They tried to (run what I called), but we didn’t have it. So, I apologized to Joe Bob (Clements) and (Tim) Duffie. Jim (Knowles) never listens to me. He just keeps going, which is pretty smart. I got out of control because I wanted them to win so, so bad for all the reasons that we talked about over the last five minutes.”

• “(Gary Patterson) is really good. He always has been, and he’s particularly good against the rush. I just looked that (Chuba Hubbard) had 223, and I have a lot of respect for (Patterson). He and I are good buddies. Before the game we almost think about siding up with each other every time because we enjoy each other’s company so much. I don’t know if anybody’s ever rushed for 200 yards on him. In his career, I doubt anybody’s ever rushed for 200 yards on him. He’s been pretty good against the run for 20 years.

“(Patterson) ran his plays. He did the same thing he’s always done for the most part. That’s what he believes in. That’s what he does, the difference being when Chuba gets through there, nobody can catch him. That makes him different than other players.”

• Kolby Harvell-Peel didn’t practice much this week after getting hurt against Iowa State.

• The defense did a good job of creating energy for itself.

• When Gundy gets told OSU completed only nine passes and won the game: “Is that all we completed? You should’ve asked me that before you gave me the answer. Would not have thought that. Here’s the other one, last week we had 54 plays; this week we had 56. We normally have 100 plays a game over the last six or eight years.”

• On Spencer Sanders: “The interesting thing about Spencer, and I told you guys this, the only issues that he’s had this year is that he’s so ultra-competitive that his emotions get involved. I kinda watched him a little bit Wednesday in the last 40 minutes of practice after half the team got injured, and then I watched him on Thursday, never fazed him. I kind of expected him to come to me or Sean (Gleeson), and say, ‘What do you guys want to do?’

“He’s interesting. He’s an interesting young man from the standpoint that it never fazed him. It would’ve fazed me if I was playing quarterback and Hart Lee Dykes would’ve went out on a Wednesday. It would’ve fazed me. It didn’t faze him at all. That was a plus, and he was really good today emotionally.

“He got upset when he saw the replay of the interception because he knew he held the ball too long, didn’t get rid of it early enough. When he looked at the board he got frustrated at himself for that. Then he calmed down about 30 seconds later, and he was fine.

“He ran really well today. He had some really good medium-sized, four-, six-, eight-, 10-yard runs.”

• They ran Sanders more by design because of how good Patterson’s defenses are at gap control.

• On Dillon Stoner: “He’s the guy that kind of rolled over into that spot because he’s a veteran guy. The Z responsibility got thrown on him Wednesday or Thursday, basically. Stoner is what he is. When we were practicing Thursday out here, which is basically kind of a shorts practice, the ball he caught for the touchdown, we threw it in practice. And he ran in the end zone, and he laid out and caught the ball with one hand on a Thursday practice. I was sitting up there watching him, and I thought, ‘You know, that’s why that kid’s special.’ Nobody lays out on Thursdays. He does.”

• The young defensive line is getting better at getting to the quarterback.

• On if the three injured players were around the team today: “I saw Tylan, I don’t think I saw Johnny and I saw Tre. Tre was on the sidelines. I don’t know where Johnny was, but Johnny’s got a lower injury. When you have those, they usually won’t put them on the sideline because there’s nowhere to run and hide when the play starts coming off. So, we usually don’t put them down there. I don’t know where he was. He was probably up there at the concession stand would be my guess.”


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