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The Rundown: Mike Gundy’s First Media Luncheon of the Season

A breakdown of what the Pokes’ head man talked about in his last presser until the season opener.



STILLWATER — Mike Gundy won’t have to talk about who how Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders haven’t played in a game at OSU again.

Gundy had his first media luncheon of the season Friday, a week out from his team’s meeting with Oregon State. It’s the last time he’ll meet with the media until postgame in Corvallis. Here are the topics OSU’s coach hit on.

Gundy said:

• He started with some self-aware coach speak saying everyone is excited, and we’ll know a lot more a week from now.

• There is now a plan in place for how the quarterbacks will play next week, but it’s not a plan Gundy intents on spilling. He said nothing has changed in regards of both being equal.

• We go straight from quarterbacks to … the kicking game? Alright. Tom Hutton, a 29-year-old freshman, is the punter. Jake McClure will handle kickoffs, and Matt Ammendola will kick field goals.

• The lights started to flicker before turning off early in the press conference. “That new baseball stadium sucked the money. We didn’t pay the damn light bill.”

• The team talent show was director of player development Joel Tudman’s idea. Gundy said it was such a hit that he suggests the team has at least two a year.

• “Israel Antwine, if you guys turned around and looked that way and he got up here, when he speaks like President Obama, you don’t know the difference. It sounds exactly like him.”

• Gundy said The Temptations cover band of Dru Brown, LD Brown, Samuela Tuihalamaka, Sione Asi and Dillon Stoner was “pretty good.” There were more up-to-date acts where Gundy had no idea what was going on, and A.J. Green better stick to playing corner as opposed to becoming a magician.

• On Bryce Bray being listed at right guard instead of left tackle, Gundy said Charlie Dickey is moving guys around some. Gundy said he isn’t sure that it’ll start that way. They’re always looking for three guards, three tackles and two centers.

• Malcolm Rodriguez got moved to linebacker because of the limitations the team has there with a few injuries. Gundy said he thinks Rodriguez weighs somewhere between 212 to 215 pounds now (he’s listed at 205). Gundy said his agility will be a big advantage for him at linebacker, but his size could be an issue.

• Gundy said he thinks Oregon State would prefer to run the football with 2018 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Jermar Jefferson.

• Gundy expects his offensive line to start the year better than the group has in the last few seasons with new offensive line coach Charlie Dickey.

• With the four-game redshirt rule, Gundy said he intents on using it the same as last season: using skill guys on special teams and in most cases the big guys won’t play unless there is a game where OSU is “way ahead.”

• You don’t see as many kickoff returns now with the rule changes, Gundy said. He said Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown want to be back there, so he let them.

• As far as leaving his first two options at running back back there, though, Gundy said he goes back to what Penn State did with Saquan Barkley, letting him return kicks.

• On comparisons between Johnny Wilson and Charlie Dickey: “(Wilson) likes heavy-metal music. I don’t know that Coach Dickey likes heavy-metal music or has been to a Metallica or Black Sabbath concert as recent as Johnny has.”

• Gundy wasn’t really ever into heavy-metal. He was more of a Motown guy.

• To a certain extent, Gundy said he imagines Oregon State will run similar plays to what they have in the past.

• A lot of the preseason rankings are determined returning quarterback play and returners on defense. With not a lot of starters back on defense and no returning quarterback, Gundy said that’s his guess as to why they weren’t in the polls.

• Tre Sterling covers Malcolm Rodriguez’s safety spot. Gundy said Sterling had a great summer. Gundy added Sterling wasn’t too physical when he got to campus, and he didn’t know if college football was for him. But Sterling has made a “big change.”

• Tyler Lacy, listed as a starting defensive end, has grown even more than Sterling. “Tyler spent most of last year asleep. We had to yell at him every day just to do anything on scout team. He’s doing a lot better now.”

• Gundy hasn’t spent much “personal time” with Dru Brown and Spencer Sanders, but from what Gundy does see, he said he sees them have positive discussions about what all is going on. “There’s no question both of them want to be the starter, and I’m guessing that they would both like to be the full-time starter. So, there’s always going to be some edge in the competition there, but it hasn’t become a distraction. And I actually think it has become positive in their learning experience.”

• There haven’t been a lot of challenges he has had to face in the quarterback battles over the years. He said Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh got along, as did Walsh and Mason Rudolph.  “Mason didn’t ever want to come out of the game, but he understood. There was never an issue. I’ve never had to have a discussion with anybody.”

• The staff has a good plan in place on how to use the quarterbacks against Oregon State.

• Brown and Sanders are further ahead than J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf were in their 2013 quarterback battle.

• Tom Hutton is “very athletic,” but Gundy isn’t giving out any information in terms of punt fakes for the former Australian-Rules Football star.

• Competitive penalties are OK. “It’s not like we’re gonna play games and not have any penalties, but what I’m concerned with are undisciplined penalties.”

• TV pays the bills, so arguing against a Friday game would be a waste of time.

• “(Tylan Wallace) hasn’t changed at all. He won’t change. He’ll be the same 10 years from now when he’s still playing. It’s just who he is. He doesn’t think he’s any different than anybody else. He’s in every blocking drill. He dives for balls. I see him doing it in practice and I look over at Coach Dunn like, ‘Really? Does he really need to run down the field and dive for a ball eight times a day?’ He just does it. It’s what he does.”

• With a new rule on targeting, cracking down on crack-back blocks against a defenseless player, Gundy said they’ve taken out the plays were Wallace has drilled guys in the past because he’d get throw out of the game if he does it this season. It was clean last year.

• Chuba Hubbard won’t have the 15-touch limit Justice Hill loosely had last season. Gundy said Hubbard has “a little more meat on him.” He said if OSU is way ahead, he’s going to pull Hubbard because he doesn’t want him to get hit unnecessarily.

• Hubbard is more serious about playing football this year, so his change this offseason might have been more mental than physical. “There’s no BS.”

• Gundy said Thomas Harper, Jayden Jernigan, Trace Ford won’t redshirt. He said he thinks the number of true freshmen who will play is six. Jim Knowles has mentioned Na’drian Dizadare and Kam Farrar as guys who will likely play, leaving a mystery man. He doesn’t expect any offensive linemen to avoid a redshirt.

• Trace Ford likes football. Gundy said he was “kind of a key recruiter” with Ford because he watched Ford beat out a bunt and steal two bases against the Stillwater High baseball team. “I came back to the staff meeting the next day, and I said, ‘I know we’re recruiting the defensive end from Santa Fe, I just watched him steal two bases in high school against a pretty good catcher, and it wasn’t even close. So, if you’re thinking about it, I would highly recommend we go after him.'”

• Kanion Williams benefited from the four-game redshirt rule last season, as did Jason Taylor.

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