Sept. 23, 2010
STILLWATER, Okla. - Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy and selected members of the Cowboy team met with members of the media Thursday at Boone Pickens Stadium to preview next Thursday's Big 12 opener against Texas A&M. The highlights:
Mike Gundy, Head Coach
"We're in the middle of a week's practice in preparation for next Thursday's game. We've had a couple good days already and we'll go out to practice early today then coaches will be on the road recruiting and we'll let the players have a couple days off. We'll come back and start our early week next week on Sunday night which is a little different for us but it works out well. Everything has gone well and we're looking forward to a Thursday night game against Texas A&M. In our opinion they're very similar to what they were last year. Jerrod Johnson makes a lot of plays. They've got those two backs, Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael, they are good players. The wide receiver makes a lot of plays. I would expect them to try to pound it at us and run the football and keep the ball some. They have the capability of doing that. They run with some power and do different things out of different sets. Defensively they blitz a lot and it's a different kind of pressure. They still have Von Miller who is a good pass rusher. It'll look different for our group because we haven't seen a lot of blitzes."
One the break with the off week
"Hopefully it gives the players a chance to relax, concentrate on their books and catch up a little bit. It's the same thing with the coaches. It gives us a chance to go home in the evenings after practice and be with our families. We'll all go out on the road tonight and come back Saturday or Sunday. It'll give us a chance to catch up and recruit."
On differences in preparing for a conference team versus and non-conference team
"It doesn't change anything. Our practices stay the same and the times stay the same. We try to get our players to commit to the preparation Sunday through Friday, or in this week's case Sunday through Wednesday. Preparation is just as important as playing on game day."
On preparing Brandon Weeden for a team that blitzes so much
"He saw a lot of that in pre-season. We put him that situation a number of times going against our own defense. He has seen a number of those blitzes. It's obviously different in a game but I'm confident he'll handle it well. I'm confident in our system and I think we'll move the ball well."
On Justin Blackmon
"He's played well up to this point. He has been very committed to our program the last six months. More so than when he first arrived, which is pretty traditional for a true freshman. He's into the weight room, he studies tape, he works hard running routes and he practices better than he did. If you put all those together you're generally going to have a good season. He has some ability. He has really good body control, good hands and he's faster than what people think he is."
On what Hubert Anyiam brings to the team
"Maturity and experience is one. He's played in games and he's played in the league. When you play a conference game it makes a big difference. The last couple of weeks he's looked considerably better in practice than he did during the first six. He had a tough summer. Most of our guys get their conditioning in the summer and he had to play catch up. Hubert likes to play football. He played very hard for us last year in crucial situations, he blocked for us downfield and he brings a lot to the table. I think he feels healthy. If you ask him he'll say he feels pretty good."
Bill Young, Defensive Coordinator
On facing Texas A&M in College Station each of the last three seasons
"I've been there three straight years. I went there with Kansas, Miami and now here. So we're excited to have them in our place this year playing in front of a home crowd."
On Texas A&M's explosive offense
"Well A&M is one of the top offensive teams of the country and they have almost all of their skill players back. So we expect to go against a stellar offense."
On the game being on a Thursday night after a week off
"It gives us an extra couple of days to prepare for A&M, which we need. It also allows us to rest some of the players who are banged up and bruised and also get some players back who have been on the injured list."
Dana Holgorsen, Offensive Coordinator
On the schedule getting more difficult in Big 12 play
"Each week gets harder. That's just the way this game works. We're looking forward to playing Texas A&M. We're looking forward to the challenge. We're going to try and be consistent with our offense and be able to compete at a high level."
On if he is pleased with the Cowboys ranking among the nation's better offenses
"We don't care about stats. We try to worry about things that matter like third-down conversions and turnovers, redzones and stuff like that. That's what we work on and talk about in practice."
Justin Blackmon, Wide Receiver
On if being the No. 1 receiver in the nation has changed anything
"I go in and do the same thing I always do. I go to practice, work hard, watch film. I do everything I have always done before, nothing has changed."
On the Tulsa game
"It was really fast paced. But that is how the offense is supposed to be."
On starting Big 12 Play
"I don't think you have seen the best, but we will just see what happens. We know Texas A&M is a good team. We aren't looking at the Florida International game. We know they are coming in here to beat us and we just have to have the same mentality."
Hubert Anyiam, Wide Receiver
On playing Texas A&M
"We don't take anything for granted. We know that we started off low-ranked and no one expected us to be good. Now we are 3-0 and getting into Big 12 play and feeling really good about playing Texas A&M. Where we are is good. We don't want to put our stakes too high or too low."
On his performance against Tulsa
"It makes my confidence high. Throughout the spring and throughout two-a-days I have been trying to get healthy. The first two games I was just working on getting back into rotations and doing what I can to make the offense better. Just having the chance to be back in the rotation and being healthy feels good."
Andrew McGee, Cornerback
On Texas A&M's offense
"They are pretty much the same team they have always been. They are going to work hard, they are going to throw the ball. Jerrod Johnson is a big guy and likes to run, so their offense is going to be high-powered and they have a lot of good receivers."
On Jerrod Johnson's performance against Florida International
"We watched tape from the Florida International game and we saw what they did to him, but you never know, he could have had a bad game and could come out on point against us. So we don't want to go by what we saw against them. We are going to expect them to do well and just prepare for that."
Levy Adcock, Offensive Lineman
On Texas A&M's defense
"We have to be able to get into the backfield faster. Troy was fast, but Texas A&M will be faster, so we have to get back and get set faster."
On Von Miller of Texas A&M
"He led the nation in sacks last year. He is going to be the best. We will just have to be able to pick up the reads and get back and get set faster."
Chris Donaldson, Defensive Tackle
On his beard
"I had it, but then I cut it. This will be an all season deal as long as the coaches let me. Coach Young made me cut two inches off for Fan Day."
On his injury
"My ankle is fine. Rob Hunt did a great job of getting me in rehab and getting me back quickly. It is great because I didn't have to miss any games or practices or anything."
On having Shane Jarka back for Texas A&M
"That helps out a lot. His presence makes me feel more comfortable. He has been playing with me since I got here. It is always me and him out there on the field, so we have a pretty good bond."
Nigel Nicholas, Defensive Tackle
On gaining weight for his position
"I was 245-247 pounds when I first got here. I go to a hard practice and then come up to training table and eat all that I can. That is basically my diet now. Now I am 282 pounds. I never thought I would get this big and I am trying to get more comfortable with that."
On Texas A&M
"We watch film and have seen other defenses have success against them. We aren't copying them, but we are seeing what they are doing and we put that into our scheme and go out there and play football."