Aug. 11, 2013
STILLWATER - The Oklahoma State football team held its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday evening, a 120-play session that lasted approximately two hours and was held in the Sherman Smith Training Center. After the scrimmage, OSU coaches and players visited with members of the media.
Head Coach Mike Gundy
On tonight's scrimmage
"We had a good scrimmage. We had about a 120-play scrimmage. We had a great attitude. I'm really pleased with the effort and the attitude of our players. We used our indoor center--what a beautiful facility. It's the first time we've really used it in a setting like that and it was awesome being in there. I was pleased. There were good plays on offense, good plays on defense. We had some miscues, but for the most part it was a clean scrimmage. The QBs played well. The guys we expected to play well on defense stepped up and made plays. We made some strides at the defensive end spot, made some strides at the running back spot. I'm very pleased."
On the decision to play in the indoor facility
"Our first game is indoors, so there's an advantage in that. We should be in a controlled climate. What better arena than the indoor? It simulates being in a dome, and we didn't turn the fans on which kept it warm, which we needed. It still wasn't real warm because we were out of the sun. It worked out real well."
On the special teams
"Our special teams were good. We worked three-quarter-speed return game, and it was good. We kicked a considerable number of PATs and field goals, and those were good. The kicker's going to be the freshman [Ben Grogan]. Right now, he's the only one left. [Bobby] Stonebraker isn't with us right now, and Ben kicked well today. So after the scrimmage, he's our kicker."
Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich
On the mindset going into this week's practices
On tonight's scrimmage
"We feel pretty good after leaving, but at the same time there were turnovers and things and there's always room for improvement. Until I look at a tape, I don't really have any particular strong feelings one way or another."
"We scored on our first drive--that was really important--and then we came back and scored on our two-minute drill. So those are two positives that are very strong things to do and I'm really pleased to see that.
On the season opener against Mississippi State
"I'm looking forward to a victory. That's what we're all looking forward to. Just being able to get out there and compete and see our guys play fast and have fun and go against a great opponent. But the thing we're most looking forward to is getting a win under our belt, and they're a very, very good team, and they want to win as well. Just to get out there and get one under our belt is what we're looking forward to."
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On today's scrimmage
"I think for the most part it was good. I saw some guys make some outstanding plays and our turnovers were good. Also, I saw us give up some route combinations and we can't do that. I saw us give up a few big plays - that's why it's practicing. We have good execution on that side of the ball."
On playing on the defensive line
"It's so demanding because it's so fast-paced and they got lined up faster than us a couple of times. That's something they have to see on film to see how they need to care about it more. As far as physical play, we had good push in the pocket a lot. I've been pleased with how they ran against the pressure."
On who he has been surprised by
"Tyler Johnson has had a good camp. Sam Wren has been a really good surprise. He has a great lead and can really get on the edge fast. I tell them that it's just one day and then it's over. We try to go in every practice and get five turnovers every day."
Linebacker Shaun Lewis
On what will help the Cowboys reach a conference championship
"We've improved on a lot of things, but we still have a long way to go. There aren't too many specific things that I can think of, but I know we're ready for that first game."
On his feelings about the season opener at Mississippi State
"It's just another season opener. I feel like it's going to be a home game for us since we have such a huge fan base in Texas, so it will be exciting to go out to Texas and play."
Linebacker Ryan Simmons
On playing against a tough offense
"It's not about who's better or what circumstance you're given. It's about who's willing to get the job done. When you're on defense, you have to make sure you hold yourself accountable for what you're supposed to be doing. I have to have faith in my defensive unit that they are doing their own job."
On scrimmaging his teammates
"We love one another, and it's all in good fun. It's tough love, and being that younger brother sometimes you just want to beat them up and have that power over them, but it's all love."
On his preseason performance
"I still have a long way to go. There was so much from that scrimmage and so much stuff in the back of my mind to think about that I could have done better, but I'm doing okay."
On the help from veterans at his position
"It helps a lot. Those guys know what everyone's supposed to be doing and they can make up for a lot of plays just by what they know. I just take it on myself to know those plays and to play at the same level as those guys."
Defensive Tackle Calvin Barnett
On playing Mississippi State to kick off the season
"We're going to be excited. Since I've played Division I football, I've never played an SEC opponent. The SEC has a great conference, they produce great players year in and year out, so we're very excited to play in this game."
On if rotation is mandatory when playing quick offenses
"Of course it is, that goes for the offense and defense. They don't run as many plays, but nine times out of 10 you're not going to find a whole offensive line that's going to play that entire game. The only player who plays an entire game is the quarterback, and God forbid he gets hurt. Receivers will stay fresh, everyone stays fresh. No one's going to play the entire time except the quarterback."
On what he wants to see when watching film
"I want to see great effort, everyone doing their job and being accountable. Even if you were to bust an assignment or didn't give a great effort to the ball, things happen, just keep playing the next play. That's all I want to see."
On what makes him say "wow"
"What makes me go 'wow,' is the intensity and the effort that our defense has been playing with this past week since we've been in camp. We've been flying around to the ball real fast. We've come together as a defense pretty much.
Defensive Tackle Anthony Rogers
On where he wants to see the most improvement
"Probably my effort. Effort is something that you can't get enough of, and you can't maximize it."
On if this is the most talent he's seen at this position since he's been at OSU
"I'd like to the think so. We've got some really good guys, some younger guys who are going to step up eventually. And I feel like we're going to have a great defensive line for years to come."
On if getting passed up for starting position was hard for him last year
"It was more of a drive. I used it as a drive. Castleman, he's a great guy, and at the time he deserved it. I used it as motivation to fix what I was doing wrong and come back stronger for the next upcoming year."
On what specific things he worked on in the offseason
"Getting my steps right. When I need to go right, take the right step. It seems like common sense, but when you're out there on the field, it's like the left foot always want to move when you're going right. I just made it an effort to take the right steps and separate and shed blocks and do what defensive tackles do."
Linebacker Caleb Lavey
On people on the defensive line who have really caught his eye
"You know honestly, there's so much depth in the defensive line and defensive ends, it's really a great feeling knowing that those guys up front can keep linemen off me and makes plays. Calvin Barnett, James Castleman, I can list pretty much everyone in that locker room because everyone is doing such a good job. It takes a lot off my shoulders when the defensive line is doing that well."
On who has a motor
"The good thing about having the seniors that we do is that no one feels like they can't step up and be a leader. Ryan Simmons, he's a sophomore, he has a motor. Shaun Lewis has a huge one. Calvin Barnett, Daytawion Lowe, we're on a defense right now that there's so much excitement, we're having so much fun, there are so many leaders that it's not up to just one man to get everyone going. It's a defensive effort, which is great to have."
On Shaun Lewis
"When I say student of the game, when I hear student of the game, I think Shaun Lewis. He knows everything there is to know about a team we're playing. He watches more film than anyone I know, he knows what every position on the field does. It's not a coincidence that he's at the ball all the time. He's such a great athlete and smart player that he's going to be there every time."
Wide Receiver Austin Hays
On getting signed by OSU
"Coach Monken told me if something opened up they were going to offer me. Then at about 11 in the morning on signing day, I was sitting in accounting class and I get a call from Coach Monken offering me. When two-a-days came around I just wanted to be a guy that could catch the ball and run the right routes and stuff. I never wanted Tracy Moore to get hurt or anything but he did and it was unfortunate. So I got to step up and play some games as a freshman, which was awesome for me.
On his feelings during signing day
"All my friends were up there signing and I thought I would be there up too, but I wanted to play Division I football so I didn't. I got a huge adrenaline rush when Coach Monken called me. "
On choosing between baseball and football
"I was thinking about baseball for a little bit. When it came down to it, I wanted to play football. I told myself I was just going to wait it out with getting an offer."
On playing in games last year as a freshman
"It was awesome. To play against the No.2 team in the country (Kansas State) at their place and playing Texas here was just a really cool experience. "