The Rundown: What Mike Gundy Said after Oklahoma State’s Win against Texas

October 16, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — The Cowboys are unbeaten after a big win over a Big 12-defecting foe.

Oklahoma State beat Texas 32-24 on Saturday at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. Here is what Mike Gundy said after the game.

Opening Statement

“This was a really, really good culture win for us as an organization. We shot ourselves in the foot in the first half, didn’t really give ourselves a chance. Guys rallied back and coaches came up with really good plans at half, I was really proud of them. But team, they have a great culture, they care about each other, it’s important to them, and this win is a credit to that.

“In the fourth quarter, we were 170 yards offense to one (yard for Texas). So it’s a credit to Rob Glass, credit to our conditioning and credit to our players and their willingness to play right up until the end of the game. When you look at it, first time this year we averaged 4.5 yards per carry rushing the football, and that’s not counting the yards we lost, so it might have been more than that. It could have been 4.6 or something like that. You always have a chance when you’re averaging over four and a half yards a carry. Eighty-two offensive plays to their 60, so we were able to keep them off the field. My guess is that could have been an issue in the fourth quarter. We roll a lot of guys on defense to stay fresh, I think that helped us.

“We won the penalty margin and we won the turnover margin, unlike the last game where we were fortunate because we lost the turnovers. We won the turnovers here, and then obviously [Jason Taylor II], he just seems to be around the ball, and when he touches it he gets a chance to score. That was a great defensive play call by Jim Knowles. They felt like that was the route they were going to, and that call they had allows him to sit back and undercut the throw. So a lot of credit on that goes to Jim. And then obviously for [Taylor] for executing that play. At that time, we needed a lift. We had fizzed out and kicked a bunch of field goals weren’t functioning very well. So we needed a lift at that time. It was a big one for us. Six of 17 on third downs, we ended up getting better on third downs as the game went on, not bad playing down here on the road.

“Good win for us. Like I told the guys, they get a chance to enjoy this. They’ll be home in time to enjoy it with their friends, family and whoever else, and then we got to go to work tomorrow. We got another road game and they’re not easy. We got to get back to work. Unfortunately, after midnight, this one’s over.”

On getting the running game going

“We changed the direction we were setting the formation. You set it more to the boundary. His cutbacks as you can tell allowed us to rush the ball and get natural creases and cutbacks. It made a big difference. Obviously [Jaylen Warren] made some cuts. There were times they had a guy that and he made a cut and made a play. He had what, [193] yards rushing? So he made some plays, but mainly the way we were setting formations.”

On the defense getting better as the game went on

“They’re just playing good. I have to go back to, you know, their culture’s good, they like each other and the other thing is they’re very mature. There’s a lot of years and a lot of games and experience on that field. It makes a huge difference, particularly when you come into a hostile environment and try to play. They didn’t flinch. [Texas has] a good offense. They’re a really, really good offensive team. I felt like that we were going to have to score, I told Kasey (Dunn) this, it’s going to take a 31 to 35 (points) to win this game in my opinion, and I’m shocked that we could hold them to 24.”

On winning six of the last seven games at Texas

“Well, they’re not scared of anybody. We talk a lot about no fear, no frustration, no fatigue in everything we do, and not just here but anywhere. We have a lot of experience on defense. It doesn’t faze them, they just go play and that’s what you’re talking about right? They had one hundred grand here today, and we only had 82 players. So you have to be able to prepare them and let them prepare themselves to be in a hostile environment without being here. You have to give them credit, on paper, they’re better than us. That’s the way people grade it out. But they prepare well, they focus, they’re disciplined for the most part. I think we only had one procedure penalty right? Playing in front of 100,000. Pretty good. So, they’re just focused and they get it, they’re not fazed by much.”

On using “on paper” as motivation

“No, we talked about that in the press conference on Monday, how many of our guys have been offered a scholarship from them that are on our team, I still don’t think it’s any. I think the answer’s zero. I’m just saying on paper, it is what it is, you can call it like you want, that’s what people think, but they don’t worry about it. And I don’t use that to try to fire the guys up, I don’t think about it.”

On Spencer Sanders

“He missed some throws, but we didn’t protect him. It’s really hard to evaluate a quarterback when you don’t do a good job of protecting him. I didn’t think we protected him very good at all. So he missed a few throws. When you’re concerned about pressure coming consistently, which it was at times, it’s just tough to play. That part I know because I’ve been in that position and I know how to feel it. So he rushed the ball, he did a good job with decision making, in my opinion, most of the time. He made some throws when he had to and his numbers won’t look as good, 19 of 32 (passing), because of pressure.”

On Spencer Sanders’ toughness

“Yeah, other advantage you have when he’s playing is he doesn’t care about the way he plays either. It doesn’t make a difference to him. He just plays. He’s like the Tasmanian devil, he just keeps playing. He runs the ball, screws up and does it again, he’ll run and just keeps playing and people don’t faze him. He’s tough, he doesn’t worry about getting hit. He just keeps playing.”

On the biggest offensive play of the second half

“The other one was the roughing the passer. At that time, that would have been in the third quarter. We didn’t make that play, but that was a big play. Because at that point we were just kind of blah. And they gave us that and that kind of ignited us a little bit, but that draw that [Jaylen Warren] ran was huge, just to get us down to where we could convert.”

On OSU’s trick plays in the fourth quarter

“Those are plays that we talk about, but (Kasey) Dunn came off with them. The reverse was really good, should’ve been better. We had two guys for two guys, we need to execute that better. Then we practiced (the throwback) 50 times, and BP has thrown that ball accurately. We would’ve had a big one there, and we didn’t get it executed. Those are just common plays for us that we’ve run quite a bit over our career here.”

On Tanner Brown

“He’s been really good,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “So, as of now, his times are good. His elevation has been good. At the end there when he’s trying to kick for the lead, there’s a lot of pressure, and he’s executed so far.

“Our snaps have been good, Tom (Hutton) has been good with the holds, our protection has been good and so moving forward, he would be the guy based on the success he’s had at this point.”

On the key to slowing down Bijan Robinson

“You would have to ask Jim (Knowles) the details. I would hate to speak for him to the details they made adjustment-wise. He’s gonna get his yards. He’s a good player, but we minimized it in the second half. They did a couple things up front, and I know they had one adjustment on the second level, and you would have to ask him. It’s over my head on that side of the ball for me to talk intelligently about it. I know what it is, but he would probably give you a better idea.”

On Brock Martin’s stops in the fourth quarter

“The play he made at the end, I saw it, I think he submarined the pull guy, blew the whole thing up. His arm is back to normal, but it’s still sore. It’s really painful. He’s one of those guys that loves to play. He’s coming back next year. He’s gonna play again next year. Then he’ll donate his body to science. Brock loves to play. He’s gonna continue on with his master’s degree, and he’s gonna come back and be a heck of a leader for us. That was a huge play, and him coming back is gonna be a big deal. 

“I’ll tell ya, the other one is, there was an important time when (Collin Oliver) got a sack, too. I don’t remember the situation, but in my brain, I just remember, ‘This is a big deal.’ That’s pretty good for a freshman down here like that to beat a guy and make a play like that.

“Then obviously Tanner (McCalister) securing the ball. I was trying to tackle him myself before they did. I was wanting him to go down. He told me he knew what he was doing, but I told him I’d recommend him not know what you’re doing and go down. It made me nervous because you always see the strip and the other team gets it, and you’re like ‘Wow.’

“Things went the right way. They chose to let us score, which at that time we had a thought that they were gonna do it, but you gotta score. They could’ve used their timeouts and forced us to kick a field goal, so now you’re only up by 4. People say, ‘Well, yeah, take a knee on the 1 and run it in.’ With the two timeouts and all that, that’s great if you run it in. If you don’t run it in, it’s not good.

“Then we have to have faith in our defense. Our defense has proven to us that we should have faith in them.”

On if the defense got stronger as the game went

“We felt like that if we could withstand the blows to the latter part of the third and fourth quarter that we could get back to … They’re bigger than us on both sides of the ball. We felt like if we could get to the middle of the fourth quarter and be in the game, that we could start to even some of that out.”

On the offense not losing its composure on a rough first half

“It’s frustrating. The one thing that I’ll say that I’m fairly certain of is coaches get frustrated with discussions, and the players get frustrated with themselves, but they didn’t show anger and frustration, which affects you as a team. They didn’t do that. It’s not like during that time that there’s not frustration. It’s just a matter of when it’s done, it’s done. There’s nothing we can do about it. We need to just move forward. That’s where we’ve done a really nice job, coaches and players. It looks good in the appearance, but on the headset, it’s frustrating. And it’s frustrating with the players, but they don’t take it to the field, and that’s where we’re making our strides.”

On if he envisioned Jaylen Warren being this good

“I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t play on Sundays. That’s just my opinion. He’s 220 pounds and he’s humble. He’s unselfish. He loves his teammates. He’s durable. Coach (Rob) Glass has improved his speed and side-to-side to where he’s become a serious threat. You don’t see a lot of 30- and 40- and 50-yard runs in the NFL. Most of those backs are trying to get 8 to 18, and he can do that. We’re fortunate that he’s a part of our program. Plus he brings a toughness and an unselfishness to our offense. He’s tough, and he’s unselfish. The guys like that. That’s what he brings to the table.”

On if they stole one after settling for so many field goals

“We did because we struggled offensively. When you play good teams or teams you’re somewhat equal to, kicking field goals you’re probably gonna lose. Or if you had the turnover margin like last week, you’re probably gonna lose. We got fortunate from that standpoint, but we put some things together in the second half and were able to rush the ball and get a couple touchdowns late in the game, which is good. And they didn’t. We did, and they didn’t later in the game. We made some adjustments rushing the ball that allowed us to score. They just kind of found a way to make it happen. I felt like our pass rush was much better in the second half than the first half.”

On if he has ever given a coordinator a raise in the middle of the season

“We’ve got a fantastic president and we have a fantastic athletic director that understand the importance of football. The guys on our staff are going to be well taken care of. They understand how important football is.”

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