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The Top 5 Quotes from Mike Gundy’s Post-Cincinnati News Conference

On Ollie, Leon Johnson’s big day and more.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy got his first taste of the Big 12’s new blood on Saturday.

Oklahoma State whooped Cincinnati 45-13 in Boone Pickens Stadium. Here are five of Gundy’s best quotes from his postgame news conference with the video of the full presser below.

Calming Gordon after His Early Fumble

Ollie Gordon had his first fumble of the season Saturday.

He went to the OSU sideline after and slammed his helmet on the ground before Gundy went over and had a chat with him. Here is an incredibly insightful (and lengthy) quote about Gundy trying to develop his young superstar emotionally to pair with his on-field play.

“Ollie wants to perform well for everybody all the time, like we all do, right?” Gundy said. “We all want to do good and have people tell us that we’re doing good. Human nature is we like that. He, now, everywhere he goes, people chant his name. He goes to homecoming last night, people chant his name. Walks off the field today, they chant his name. There’s a lot of pressure involved in that, and he’s a very prideful young man. That’s good, but what I shared with him is I’ve been around the greatest running backs to ever play this game. None of them did that [throw their helmet down]. They all learned to keep their composure. There’s times that they don’t play as well. There’s times they make a mistake.

“If he wants to play this game for a long time, then he’ll learn to keep composure because all that is a waste of time. It’s a waste of energy. It’s a waste of effort, and it becomes negative for the football team. That’s what I told him. I said, ‘It’s a choice you make — not me. It’s our team and your career — our team and your career. Your choice, but that is gonna get you nowhere. That is not gonna get us anywhere.’

“The six or eight or 10 backs that I’ve been around that are really, really, really, really, really good and two of them or three of them that are the best ever don’t do that. He had a choice to make then. He could get mad at me and sulk, feel sorry for himself, and try to make a statement, or he can say, ‘I’m sorry. I apologize. I’m gonna do better.'”

After that chat with Gundy, Gordon had 255 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Gordon’s ‘Competitive Speed’

Gundy has said over recent weeks that he thinks some schools were slow to recruit Gordon because there were questions about his speed.

Well in the past two weekends, the 6-foot-1, 211-pound tailback has touchdown runs of 75 yards, 46 yards and 53 yards. How’s that for speed?

Gundy said he wasn’t sure what Gordon’s 40 time is, but when the pads are on and the clock is running, he is fast enough.

“He has good competitive speed,” Gundy said. “I used to talk a lot about Hart Lee Dykes being a 4.6 (40-yard dash) guy, but he never got caught in space. His competitive speed was really good. I think Ollie has really good competitive speed. I think he feels guys coming behind him and he kinda weaves and takes off and goes pretty good.

“The one advantage he does have — he doesn’t have that burst from 10, 15 feet, but he’s a big strider when he gets in the open field. So they kinda have a hard time getting him from behind. I’m not sure what he runs, but his competitive speed is pretty good.”

Leon Johnson’s Big Debut

Leon Johnson III made his first catch as a Cowboy on Saturday night — then he caught four more passes and finished with 149 receiving yards, the most a Poke has had in a game this season.

A transfer from Division-III George Fox, Johnson’s 6-foot-5 frame was intriguing, but after being on pace to redshirt in his first season at the Division-I level, Johnson was outstanding against the Bearcats.

“I felt like he would play really good, but I’m not gonna say I thought that he would step up the first time and go for 150,” Gundy said. “Pleasantly kind of surprised. But he’s always practiced well. You have to give him credit. One thing that’s difficult for college players to do is to stay engaged and practice hard and compete when you thought, ‘On Saturday, I’m not gonna get to play that much.’ That’s hard.

“We talk to the players about that all the time that you never know when you’re gonna get to play, but it’s still hard to tell a guy, ‘Hey, I need you to grind. I need you to bust it in practice. I need you to watch extra tape. I need you to do all these things. Oh, and you might not get to play very much.’ He’s done a good job of that. When we needed him at West Virginia, he stepped up and helped us, and he practiced well all week and played well today.”

On Bowman’s Performance

In some tricky conditions and missing a handful of receivers, OSU quarterback Alan Bowman finished with 286 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception while completing 50% of his passes.

His interception hit Brennan Presley in the hands, but there were a few balls Bowman missed on. Gundy has said Bowman needs to set his feet more, something Gundy reiterated after the game.

“I thought he played pretty good,” Gundy said. “He fired a couple, three balls in there that made me nervous. … He got the ball to open receivers. He needs to set his feet. They’re working on it, but he slides and shuffles at times that he doesn’t need to. That’s when he gets in trouble. But overall, he handled things fairly well in my opinion.”

The Bowl Streak Continues

For the 18th straight season, Mike Gundy has led his Cowboys to bowl eligibility.

When this team was 2-2, it was hard to find four more wins on the schedule, but now the Pokes are 6-2 with four more games to climb up the bowl pecking order.

“All those things are great,” Gundy said. “I don’t know how many teams now have been bowl eligible 18 years in a row anymore. I don’t keep up with it, but we work really, really hard and I like to see the players rewarded — the fruits for their labor. That’s one of them.

“It’s good for us. We’ve done it a long time now. Coming from where we were after Game 3, I’d say that over the last five weeks is a pretty good accomplishment.”

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