Nov. 26, 2012
STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy and members of the team visited with the media Monday in Boone Pickens Stadium to give a final look back on last week’s Bedlam game and to look ahead to this week’s regular-season finale at Baylor.
Head Coach Mike Gundy
“We’re back at it. That’s the good thing about college football. You get the chance to get right back at it whether you feel like it or not. Our team came over last night and spent some time together and spirits were good by the time they left the facility last night. We’re looking forward to getting back out and getting to work tomorrow. This is a good football team we’re playing. It’s a team that’s played considerably different over the last three or four weeks. I don’t think I need to give any statistics on what they are capable of doing on offense. With the quarterback and their receiver - who to me looks like a first round draft pick - and the two running backs that have really changed their offense with them being so balanced, this will be a great challenge for our team and we’ll have to be prepared to score some points. Defensively, we’ll have to tackle better than we did in the last game and try to slow them down some. It’s another week in the Big 12. Should be an exciting game and I’m looking forward to a week of preparation and traveling down to play Saturday morning in Waco.”
On Baylor coach Art Briles:
“Art has done a great job. He’s an experienced coach who’s come up through the ranks. He was respected in high school and he’s worked his way up. He’d done a great job with that program. They have good skill players on offense. They’ve had them over a number of years. They had two guys last year who were really good. It’s a challenge in this league for everyone to slow those guys down each week.”
On the challenge of moving forward after a tough loss:
“I don’t think there’s any question it’s a challenge for us as coaches and players that we recover. It starts with us. We have to get over it first, and then we have to make sure our players understand, which they do. This is a mature group and they’ve been in enough games. If we don’t practice well tomorrow it takes about thirty percent of our chance away from winning on Saturday. There just really isn’t any option. I felt good about the team when they left the building late last night and I think they’ll come back and have energy and practice well tomorrow.”
On being a considered a player’s coach:
“My first concern is the young men that we ask to come here and pay a price for five seasons - I think it’s important that we do everything we can to make their stay here the best possible. Last night was a little different for us. We had comedy hour instead of practice, and they needed it. They needed a little bit of a break so we let them spend an hour and a half together watching comedians. Before it was over they were all laughing and we got back into our meetings and finished up and sent them home for the night.”
On tough losses like last week’s at Oklahoma:
“I never get over them. I’m going to wake up three years from now talking about or thinking about this game. Just like I do with the Holiday Bowl and Cotton Bowl, just like the Texas game from this year. So that never really goes away. For me personally, after the Kansas State game I was really disappointed because we played so poorly. This game, I was so disappointed because the players couldn’t enjoy that winning feeling in the locker room, but not disappointed with what happened during the game. At the end of the day, they played hard, gave good effort. In the overtime, our guys got tired, they knocked us down and ran over us and scored. They made the last play and that’s what it comes down to. Before I was home and on the bus I was okay with that. I don’t accept it or like it, but I have to be okay with it. That’s the only choice that I have.”
“Well they’ve been effective all year. They’re averaging 45 points and prior to conference play they were averaging about 50 points. They’re throwing for about 360 yards a game, rushing for 230 yards a game and averaging 45 points a game. Our plan is to slow them down. I don’t know that anybody has been able to stop them. They played TCU and turned the ball over six times in that game and didn’t score as many points. But other than that it’s been a track meet. Our players need to have a great week of preparation and have a good week of practice in order to try to slow them down.”
On The Strength of the Big 12:
“The questions come out about the strength in the leagues. In my opinion, you have the SEC that has a lot of teams in the top 10 in the country, which is very impressive. Then there’s some fall off between some of the other teams, in some people’s opinions. In this league, you have a couple that are way up there, and then you have the rest of the pack for the most part that we’ll find out during bowl season if the offenses are as good as people say they are. I’m excited about that part of it to find out if we’re really good on offense in this league, which I think we are because I watch it, or we’re not really good on offense in this league and we have a long ways to go to catch up, which makes for a great discussion.”
On the talk of bowl projections:
“There are always games that are fun for us in bowl game preparation. I haven’t really looked at that and only know about it because discussion grows as the end of the season draws near. They talk about the three bowls we could be in. A bowl game is a reward for the team’s hard work for the year, for their families, the coaches and for their families. They’re saying Dallas or San Antonio or Phoenix. You can’t really go wrong there, I’ve been lucky to coach in all three bowls and you can’t really go wrong. We’d like to win the last game and wherever they send us is where they send us. We’ll be excited about that and support it. Past that, I think for us it’s a waste of oxygen because they are all great opportunities and great bowls.”
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
On facing Baylor's struggling defense this week:
"They've had some injuries, especially in the back end. It's always tough to judge with what we do and what they do. You have to kind of go by yards per play and what you see on film. In today's day and age, it's really tough to judge a defense because they're having to play so many snaps."
On recovering from the Bedlam loss:
"It took just yesterday. You have to watch the film with your players, so you think you're beyond the game. Then, you go back and watch the film. Some other stuff ticks you off. It always stings. It's never going to be like any other game. It wasn’t like any game I have ever had here. That one's going to sting a whole lot more than others, but it's time to move on. We weren't good enough, and we didn't get it done. Now we have to turn our attention to Baylor."
On Clint Chelf's performance:
"He threw it fine. I'm sure he probably wishes he could take back a few throws, but his performance really wasn't that different than the other few weeks. Every team presents different challenges, whether it's the front end guys or the back end guys. It's our job to kind of figure it out. At times we did, and at times we didn't."
Defensive Coordinator Bill Young
On the defense not making big plays at the end of the game:
"You can't let one play affect your next play. You can't have one game affect the next game. That has always been our philosophy, and it still is. We will get over this, but we're still in the mourning process as coaches. The players, I think, have pretty much moved on."
On dealing with Oklahoma's Landry Jones:
"You always want to try to keep the ball in front of you, obviously, but it wasn't our plan to give up 10 to 12 yards per snap. That's 10 plays for a touchdown if they take it in their own end zone. We have to do a much better job. I'll take the blame for most of that. I needed to call better plays and rely on players to execute the plays that were called."
On keeping the players motivated through the last game of the year:
"I don't think it will be that difficult. Coach Gundy did a great job with them last night with telling them how things were and what we need to do. We met with our defense, and we talked to them about how hard we need to work to get this game and put ourselves in the position to get into a good bowl game. We told them that we need to just work and get things behind us, and then good things will happen.”
On the defense not playing up to its previous performances:
"There were so many things and situations that we could have made better. They scored right before halftime, and we let them score at the very end of the game. Those are just killers and that was the difference. We would be happy and giddy right now if we had stopped them in one of those two situations. One thing I think you have to take into consideration was that their quarterback was sensational. He was on fire. He played as good as anybody I have ever seen along the way. You can't blame that on just the secondary or the linebackers though because it also has a lot to do with the pass rush."
Offensive Lineman Parker Graham
On the Bedlam game:
“With a big game like that and losing in overtime hurts, but you have to have a quick recovery and get back at it the next week. It was really tough to go in there and play your heart out like that. It’s hard to take that loss, but we came back yesterday in our meetings and saw what happened and what we need to do to correct it to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
On preparation for Baylor:
“We had a lot of things we could have done better. After looking at the film, we had a lot of blocks that could have been better. There were a lot of plays that we want to tweak, and we’re going to use that and hopefully, have a better game on Saturday.”
Linebacker Alex Elkins
On loss to the Sooners:
“It’s always hard to take a loss like that, but when you look at our overall season, it isn’t defined by one game. It’s going to hurt, especially since it was the Bedlam game, but that’s the game we play. It’s college football. It’s going to happen sometimes. The only thing we can do now is to look onto our next game against Baylor.”
On the quick turnaround to play Baylor:
“You don’t want to have a bye week and let all this set in. I’m very appreciative to play a game this upcoming week.”
On the bowl possibilities:
“It doesn't even cross my mind. I don’t even think about it. I’m not worried about it because all I’m focused on is getting a win at Baylor this week.”
Offensive Lineman Lane Taylor
On bouncing back from the OU game:
"It's just something that we have to put behind us. This year we've done a great job of bouncing back after Arizona, Texas and Kansas State. This team has already dealt with this situation, and we’ll be able to put it in the past."
On preparing for Baylor:
"We have to execute. We can't go out there and turn the ball over. They'll beat us if we go out there and do that, so we just need to go out there and play well."
On Clint Chelf's performance:
"He's played well. He's played great. I'm sure he shocked everybody with the level he's playing at. I'm glad he's back there."
Wide Receiver Josh Stewart
On bouncing back from the tough Bedlam loss:
"My mind is already off it. I know that we have to move on. We know that if we dwell on that loss, it's just going to turn into another loss. We're just going to have to move on like we already have and just focus on Baylor."
On preparing for Baylor:
"We're preparing just like we would prepare for the best team in the nation. We're just going to take it play by play and see what they do. Then, we’ll just go from there and listen to our coaches. We're going to try to make the plays that they teach us how to do so they transfer over to Saturday. If we can just be coachable, we'll be okay."
On what has contributed to his high level of play recently:
"I'm just trying to do the best for my team. I'm practicing hard so it will transfer over to the field on Saturdays. That's really all I can say that I've been doing. Just practicing and working hard."
On his role compared to last year:
"I'm just trying to be the best I can for our team. I feel like now that I'm a starter, I have to make plays. I can't be like I was last year and only make some catches, I have to catch everything that's thrown to me. That's been the mindset I've had this season."
On personal season:
"It's been tough with our losses. It's tough when you put everything into something and don't come out on top. It's been a fun year being able to do more for the team. The guys look to me to make plays, and I like that feeling. I think it's been a pretty good year for me. I just try to make plays for the team, and it's turned out pretty well."
Linebacker Shaun Lewis
"I knew they would come out with a balanced attack, but we came out and did a good job of stopping the run, making them one-dimensional and getting more pressure on the quarterback. We want to do a better job of getting in the quarterback's space and making them one dimensional."
On his personal game against OU:
"I wish I could have done a little bit more to help the team win. There were a couple times where I could have been in a better position to limit them scoring."
On the final play of the game:
"It really hurt because it was one of the simple runs that we've stopped a hundred times over the season and in practice. So that really hurt."
On moving forward:
"We'll go out and practice tomorrow. That's really the only way we can bounce back. It's behind us, and there's nothing else we can do about Saturday's performance. We have to go out and practice with a purpose. We only really thought about it on Saturday and Sunday. We can't do anything about it, so we won't focus on it."
"Challenges with Baylor are going to be the same as it's been the last few weeks. We've been playing some of the top offenses in the country the past month, and the expectation is the same. We want to limit the run game and make them one-dimensional. We know coach is going to come up with a great game plan this week.”
Running back Joseph Randle
On moving forward:
"That's what we do. We're football players. You win some, and you lose some. We just have to move on to the next week."
On team's mentality:
"We focus on the same things every week, win or lose. They don't stop coaching us if we win, and they don't stop coaching us if we lose. Losing does bring up some things that we could have done better, it magnifies it. But we just try to go out there and focus on the stuff that means something, the basics."
"I haven't looked at them much, but we'll look at them this week and figure them out. We respect what who they have on their roster."
On bowl projections:
"We want to win because we want to play in a good bowl game. We're always trying to win the game because that's our brand. That's what we do here at Oklahoma State. We just want to win this game. That's our mindset every time we go out there. We try to win and we'll be motivated to win."
On playing on the road for consecutive weeks:
"It's definitely a factor. When you're team is older, it's not as much of a factor, like it was last year. This year, it is a little bit of a factor."