STILLWATER — Fresh off a big win in the mountains of West Virginia, Mike Gundy is on to Cincinnati.
Oklahoma State hosts the Bearcats at 7 p.m. Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium, a game that will be OSU’s homecoming. Here are the highlights from Gundy’s Monday media luncheon with the video of his full news conference below.
‘Let That Horse Lay Down’
Ollie Gordon is the talk of the town (and the conference) right now.
OSU’s stud sophomore ran for 282 yards and four touchdowns in Oklahoma State’s win against the Mountaineers. After that performance, Gundy got some advice on how to get Gordon back to Stillwater from Cale Gundy, Mike’s brother and a former running backs coach at Oklahoma and UAB.
“It was funny, I got a text from Cale when I was getting on the plane to fly home Saturday night,” Gundy said. “He said, ‘You need to clear two rows of people out of the back and let that horse lay down and put hay on one side. Let him sleep and just keep feeding him.’ He said, ‘That’s the only comment I got for you.’ I said, ‘Well, have another drink. I’ll catch you when I get home.’”
From ‘S—can’ to Staying Humble
Another piece to the Ollie Gordon equation is his offensive line.
I wrote Sunday on the miraculous turnaround Charlie Dickey’s group has put together just this season. The Cowboys are averaging 6.0 yards per carry in Big 12 play after averaging just 3.9 in the nonconference. Alan Bowman has been sacked just two times in four conference games after OSU quarterbacks were sacked 2.7 times a game in the nonconference.
After years and years of struggling O-line play, Gundy said the trick now is to keep the group humble with a Bearcat defensive front that ranks second in the Big 12 in rushing defense coming to Stillwater.
“The challenge now — and this will be a somewhat laughable matter in here — the challenge now is to keep them humble from everybody telling them how good they’re run blocking,” Gundy said. “… I’m sure people out there talking, social media and all the different things that go on that everybody’s fired up about them now. A month ago they wanted to s—can them all, I’m guessing.
“Now the challenge is to be humble and understand that Cincinnati could care less. This is the best defensive line that we’ve played all year this year. I was shocked when I started watching Cincinnati’s tape just based on, like we all do, I looked at their record then I looked at the tape and went, ‘Hmm — doesn’t match up.’ So the challenge for them now is Cincinnati, I’m guessing, could care less what we’ve done up to this point with Ollie and the offensive line, and now we’re in here talking about how good they played and how physical they are and what we’re averaging rushing the ball when they’ve got to go back to work and do it again this week.”
‘Disregard Your Body’
No matter how much safer football is getting with rule changes, better helmets and all of that, it is still a physical, violent game.
Nickolas Martin made 17 tackles against the Mountaineers, and the OSU offense was flexing its physicality with its run-first offense that nearly got to 300 yards on the ground. Those types of stats involved physical football and don’t even mention the handful of injuries the Pokes had in Morgantown.
“In order to be a good player at this level — really high school, this level and the pros — you have to be reckless and disregard your body,” Gundy said. “That’s just the way it is. You can’t play this game if you’re worried about your body. Can’t play this game if you’re worried about getting hurt. You have to disregard your physicals. Just go play.
“I have a cutup tape to show the team today of about 10 or 12 plays of guys that played in the game who were just completely reckless with their body. [Martin] and [Xavier Benson] on defense are disregarding anything about their body the way they’re playing. They’re just flying around and diving and laying out. [Josiah Johnson] and [Braden Cassity] fall in that category.”
Gundy ‘Hoping’ Injured Players Will Be Back Later in the Week
Speaking of injuries, the Cowboys had to do some rotating on the country roads.
Gundy was asked specifically about starting left guard Jason Brooks Jr. and wide receiver Talyn Shettron on Monday.
“I’m hoping that they’ll be back later in the week,” Gundy said. “It’s really hard for me to tell who’s gonna be able to come back. I’m hoping that all of them will. Brooks is the one guy that looks further off, in my opinion, but he hasn’t been back over here today and take the boot off and do all the examination.”
Keeping the Team Together Through the Rough Start
The seven games the Cowboys have played this season could be the script for some Hollywood flick.
From a loss to a Sun Belt school at home, to losing to a team decimated by a gambling investigation, to all of a sudden ripping off three straight wins and featuring one of the most exciting players in the country in Gordon — it’s been a rollercoaster.
Sellout Crowd’s Guerin Emig asked Gundy on Monday how much keeping the team together through the rough start was on his mind.
“That’s all that’s on my mind because my job is to keep them together, keep the staff together and keep everybody from feeling sorry about themselves and let the thing go the other direction,” Gundy said. “My job gets increased big time in those situations — not Xs and Os, moreso with the team and the attitude and the morale and everybody. We’re in a society that chooses to find things that are negative than positive. We had a lot negative, so that’s a real challenge for me. That’s when my job gets ramped up in a big way.”
The post The Top 5 Quotes from Mike Gundy’s Pre-Cincinnati News Conference first appeared on Pistols Firing.