STILLWATER — The Cowboys made a statement Saturday night with their shellacking of TCU.
Oklahoma State beat TCU 63-17 in Boone Pickens Stadium. Here is what OSU coach Mike Gundy said after the game.
“Good effort tonight by our team. I was proud of our guys. I told him afterwards that it’s just fun for me to be along for the ride and be the coach and watch these guys practice during the week. Their focused, their disciplined, their toughness and their willingness to exert themselves during the week and just play hard. They have a smile on their face. They compete, they like each other. And it’s a lot of fun for us as coaching staff.
“So, I mean, we were good in all three phases tonight. I mean, I don’t really need to get into statistics and all that. I mean, everybody saw it. So, I was just proud of our guys. We were able to get a number of young players in the game, and they performed well. We had a couple of mistakes, we got lined up wrong defensively and gave up a long throw. And then we had a running back — obviously a running back-quarterback problem when we set the ball on the ground. But, for the most part, those guys that played in the game in the end have had as many reps as the ones have had from dating back from last year to spring ball and August. So, that’s why they could go out and play good and stop them and move down the field and score. So, I’m proud of those guys and everybody in the organization. It was a good night for us, so give them a chance to enjoy it and spend time with their families, and then we got to go to work tomorrow.”
On Oklahoma State’s run game
“I think we just blocked. We were physical. [Josh Sills] wasn’t in there, [Tyrese Williams] had to come in and play. I think he played great. Danny (Godlevske) got banged up, he had to go out. [Joe Michalski] had to come in for him. And they’re just physical up front and blocked them. I think our running backs ran hard, I think they were physical when they dropped their pads and ran hard.”
On if Jaylen Warren had more energy with Barry Sanders in attendance
“Oh, you know, I mean, for the story I’d like to say yes, but Jaylen (Warren) likes to play. I’ll say yes for your story. Jaylen likes to play, loves to play, competes. Coach [John Wozniak] took him over to the reception last night, and let all of them spend some time with [Barry Sanders.] Barry told me today that he enjoyed that part of it as he always does, but it’s pretty cool that you know, I mean, this day was for the greatest college running back ever. I don’t think that’s even up for debate. I don’t know what we rushed for. We probably rushed for 300 yards. I don’t know, what’d we rush for? See, look how reliant you are on technology. Tramel and them, like they keep it by paper. And then you got to add it all up, that’s the problem, too. But anyway, we probably rushed for close to 300 yards, so that was pretty cool.
“Defense got hit for a few plays in the first quarter, but they bucked up a little bit when they got in down inside the 40 and held them to a field goal, so on and so forth. I mean, they played fantastic. I mean, they gave up 10 points. The ones gave up three — ones and twos. And then we had some young guys in there and they gave up one and that’s okay, that’s fine. I mean, it doesn’t matter. It’s more important that they play then worry about how many points we give up.”
On the running back room
“Yeah, Jaylen (Warren) got his breath knocked out of him a little bit, so we put [Dominic Richardson] and [Dezmon Jackson] in. And [Jackson] looked good. He’s been healthy now for two weeks and practiced hard and ran well tonight. And [Richardson] runs hard now, [he] run hard. If you get in front of [Richardson] you’re gonna get punished and he runs hard and he takes pride in it. And then [Jaden Nixon] comes in and, you know, showed why we recruited him. So, I’m very encouraged by those guys.”
On Jaylen Warren and offensive line injuries
“I think [Jaylen Warren is] fine.
“Well, (Josh) Sills will probably be back practicing this week. I think, I mean, I don’t know, it’s hard for me to predict. And then, I mean, I think Danny (Godlevske) should be back pretty soon. But again, I haven’t heard anything since, so, I usually know more [Sunday] or Tuesday.”
On Spencer Sanders
“I thought he played good. I thought he made good decisions. He threw the ball, best I remember, most of his throws were pretty accurate. I didn’t hear anybody on the headsets concerned with his reads. So obviously, he must have played pretty good.”
On if it is a good sign to see Spencer Sanders throwing away passes when in trouble
“Sure it is, yeah. You know, sometimes the other team gets a chance to call good plays and make good plays too, so not everything’s going to work. And the position he’s playing at times, second-and-10 is a lot better than trying to force something and give the other team an advantage. Now that you brought that up, I thought he was probably pretty good at that tonight.”
On reasoning for not playing backup quarterback Shane Illingworth
“Yeah, he’s still got a chance to redshirt.”
On Gunnar Gundy
“Well, Gunnar’s worked. With Gunnar, I try to make decisions as if he wasn’t my son, but it’s harder on him. I’m harder on him. He’s last in line to get reps in practice and out here, butt then to a certain extent, you know, what would I do if he wasn’t my son? Well, then I would have put — he’s earned his time, he’s earned his right to go in the game, I put him in. So, I don’t want to ever punish him because of that. He gets punished enough because he’s my kid. So, it was his time, he was due.
“Shane [Illingworth] has a redshirt capability, and [Ethan Bullock] has been great for us. He got some time and we like to keep him going. But then, you know, you got to get young guys in and [Gunnar Gundy] is a young guy, he needs to go in. His heart needs to be out of his chest, he needs to call signals, he needs to get guys lined up, he needs to figure it out and play. I thought he would pull the ball one time, well, he pulled it one time, I thought he was gonna pull it another time. But it’s good for him. He needs to get in there and get used to it. That’s how you learn.”
On if he allows the team to think about what it can accomplish this season
“I’m sure everybody does. You know, now I try to not ever think past tomorrow’s practice, but human nature is that, and I can only imagine that the players and everybody, but it’s not just coaches talk. I spend my time stressing to them the importance of what tomorrow brings and what’s got them here. What’s got them here is their focus, their discipline and their toughness and staying the course. It’s just so difficult in the world today with social media and the outside people who now are going to tell them how great they are more than ever for them to stay focused. But there’s always somebody around the corner and that’s what my 12 years in wrestling taught me. As soon as you start thinking you’re pretty good there’s somebody down the street here that is going to whip you if you back off any at all in your training and your progress in getting better every day. And that’s what they can’t do. They just got to stay the course.”
On if it is encouraging that the team can have fun and stay the course
“Yeah, this team — I’ve not been around a team that likes to be around each other and likes to practice and has fun to the point where it almost worries me in practice. I told you, I’m like, ‘I don’t know. Are we getting better?’ And they like it and they go play hard. And it’s just an unusual group. I mean, they just, you know, I wish I could say that I was the one, that I was the reason for that, but they will develop their own chemistry in our culture. We have a culture that we all follow the rules and we all have a way that we think and we work and unselfish commitment and be humble, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to always work every year. So, they have to create their own chemistry, and that’s what they’ve done.”
On if the Big 12 having so much parity keeps OSU grounded
“Really, it’s across the country. It’s not just us. You look around the country and just about every league, pretty much everybody can beat everybody. That’s what I said the other day on Monday in media day, that’s why college football is such a hot stock right now. We got to be careful that we don’t mess with it too much because the television market and the fans is what drives this revenue and this game up. And the way it is right now everybody’s watching because you put a team out there that somebody thinks that they don’t have a chance to win, they beat another team. So, people want to watch, and that’s what drives this market. That’s why we got to be real careful we don’t mess with college football right now. It’s not much fun for the coaches because we don’t get any off weeks. There’s just no guaranteed wins. But it’s awesome for the fans, and it’s awesome for everybody else because people watch. That’s what drives this market.”
On if OSU’s defense provides the Cowboys consistency despite crazy upsets happening around the country
“I’m an offensive guy. We all know that. If it was up to me, we’d throw it deep 20 times a game. That’s just my nature, and we’d play fast. But we didn’t have that luxury this year. We’re just getting over injuries, and guys are practicing together. Spencer is playing better, I think. I haven’t watched the tape. He has because he’s with his wideouts now for like three weeks in a row. We didn’t have that. But defense can can create consistency. And yes, they have allowed us to find ways offensively to maneuver enough points to keep our head above water. Then as we’ve gotten healthy, we’ve had good game plans, but we just had little things. At Morgantown we had penalties. We put ourselves in long-yardage situations like four or five times. Well, we’re not very good at that. So our defense has certainly given us an opportunity to do just what you said. It gives you some consistency where you don’t have to press as much offensively. You can just kind of stay the course, and if it doesn’t work, you can punt, it’s okay. There’s been times we didn’t have that luxury. We felt like we had to score every single time. So we’ve worked well together. Jim (Knowles) and them have done a great job, and then Kasey (Dunn) and his staff have done a good job of maneuvering with what we have each week. And now we’ve kind of had some guys. We didn’t have [Josh Sills]. [Tyrese Williams] came in and played good. I mean, I think he threw a couple no-hitters, but overall he played pretty good. And he’s never really played before. So, that’s a sign of our culture, and that’s a sign of the program.”
On Blaine Green
“We had several, what I would call scheme passing plays in this game and most of them worked tonight. That’s the difference in us scoring 27 or 47, is your scheme plays that work. We get it protected. We throw it. We catch it. We make plays. And offensively tonight is what we looked like a whole bunch of years because of big plays. The twin is young, I mean. He’s just kind of getting used to how the game is played and the speed of it and the physicality of it. We scored the one touchdown, and he was slow coming backside, ran into Jaylen. He almost tackled him himself because he’s new. He just hadn’t figured it out yet, but he looks good when he catches it.”
On Tre Sterling
“Tre’s back at it. Tre had a pretty unusual recovery with the surgery he had, very unusual and got cleared a week ago and can play with that little half cast on. Very unusual that he can come back this fast. I thought it was after the year, but they went back and when they do all the checks and he’s good. His attitude’s been great. Practiced all week. We practiced him with the twos and things like that. He’s not in shape, but he’s back out there. It’s good to have him. Glad he can be back and be a part of the team.”
On playing as well as they played on the night they honored Barry Sanders
“His linemen were all back. Hart Lee Dykes was here. There are a lot of people here, and you want to do that. I don’t think of that because that just pressures me up more. But you want to do it for everybody. You want to do it for the fans. You want to do it for people that love Oklahoma State football. That’s why we want to do it. And to be able to win like that, particularly after they played so well last week and played with a ton of emotion, and they’re very athletic and they can run. I was concerned with some of the things they do on both sides of the ball. It’s no cakewalk with those guys. Coach (Gary) Patterson recruited well, and they play hard. But the truth is tonight our guys took the life out of them, and then we pounded on him. That happens sometimes.”
On Pat Jones talking at the statue unveiling
“Well that’s good because I’m sure Barry didn’t talk very long. I went a little bit longer than I should have to try to get the people their money’s worth because I knew Barry wasn’t going to say very much. But I forgot about Coach, and if I’d have known that he was going to talk, I would’ve cut mine a little short. But I was happy for Coach, that he could be there for Barry. It was a day that was well deserved, and everybody was proud of him.”
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