What Mike Gundy Said Monday in His Week 3 Radio Show

September 14, 2021

Mike Gundy on Monday night held his weekly radio show from Rib Crib after his team’s Week 2 win over Tulsa and ahead of a pivotal Week 3 nonconference finale against Boise State on the road. In it, he recapped the TU game, previewed the Boise game and talked about myriad topics of interest. Below are the highlights of his appearance.

• “We ran the ball better than we did in the first game. We still need to be more successful running the ball. We need to be around 4, 4.5 yards per carry. We’re not quite there yet. Spencer’s ability to run the ball helped us. It opens up some different ways to move the football based on his threat to keep the ball.”

• “If we had protected [Spencer], he would have looked better. Jaylen [Warren] came in and did some nice things running the football for us. We’re playing the young receivers and Jaden Bray made a couple nice plays. Green made a nice catch in the end zone. What you get from these freshmen is you see a glimpse of they’re going to be good players, but you also get drops, they get beat in blocking, line up wrong, different things like that.”

• “I think we’ll get Hunter Woodard back this week. We’ll see if he practices [Tuesday or Wednesday], but it’d be nice to get him back.”

• “Defensively we played well. We’ve been aggressive. I’d like to be able to find a way to get a couple turnovers in this next game. We did give up one deep throw [against Tulsa]. Our pass rush middle of the third quarter to middle of the fourth quarter wasn’t very good. First two-and-a-half quarters and latter part of the fourth quarter it was excellent. We didn’t do a good job. We were high, weren’t using our hands. Once we cleaned that up and made an adjustment, we started to put pressure [on the QB] again and all of a sudden we were better on defense. Our tackling was good, not great. Missed some open field tackles. Missed a couple more than I would have liked.”

• “I thought we coached pretty well. Offense got thrown a curveball late in the week so they tried to recover and do what we could scheme-wise. Then with Tay Martin, I thought he might be able to play a little. But [we didn’t really get much from him]. So that’s another curveball. But they recovered and found a way to score enough points.”

• “We understand where we’re at. We know who we have, what our personnel is. Our job as coaches is to find schemes and ways to give our players the best chance to win with what we have available at this time.”

• “LD Brown’s experience allowed him to score on the kickoff return. When he crossed the 50, the kicker was there, and instead of allowing the kicker to squeeze him into the sideline, once he got the top of the numbers he straightened back up, went back to the north and squared the kicker up. Then he went to the sideline and cut back up.”

• “Jaden Bray, we hit him on the man coverage route and he dropped it. We came back to him later and he got it. Then you saw him make the great touchdown catch. Then we hit him twice on third downs on slants when he looked like Justin Blackmon on those plays, just reached his big paws out and grabbed it, and he was almost scored, almost gone. I was standing there thinking ‘This is gonna be good for the next three years now.’ Because that’s what he looked like — he reached out with those big paws like Blackmon used to and he’s rolling, he’s one cut from being gone. So that’s exciting, so that’s what you get with him. He’s got reach. His arm span is 6-foot-4-and-a-half.”

• “There’s no fast forward button on gaining experience. There’s no substitute either. That’s kinda what we’re going through [with the young receivers].”

• “[Cole Birmingham] started slow because he missed practice, he was sick during the week. He played in the first game [in 2020] then broke a bone in his leg. Only played three games. He’s brand new. He got better as the game went on. And [Preston Wilson] did OK, competed, gave us a chance.”

• “This team we play Saturday moves a ton. Their front guys move before the snap and after the snap. In fact, their defense, if you swap jerseys, their defense looks almost identical to ours. They don’t stand a guy up like we do over the guard. They don’t put a guy right off the line. But their concept on their back end and the way they move around is very similar. 50% man, 50% cover 1.”

• “Somebody has to stay back side for [Spencer Sanders] on defense. Somebody has to be accountable for him in every defensive structure, I would think. Different than, you know, if you’re playing Tom Brady. Spencer’s fine with pulling it and running it 20 times a game. He doesn’t care. He loves running the ball.”

• “[Taylor Cornelius] was good at running the ball. The running game [with the QB] is an equalizer.”

• “Boise State’s offense is very similar to [what OSU saw] in 2018. They use tight ends, bunch set, multiple formations. They’ll get under center, be in the gun, run power. Different things. They look very similar to what they’ve always done offensively.”

• “Boise State’s staff has a lot of the same principles we have. They take pride in getting the maximum out of players they recruit. They take two-star, make him a three. Take a three-star, make him a four-star. They take pride in being tough, intelligent. They have a lot of similarities [with Oklahoma State]. I can speak for us, and that’s what we believe in.”

• “I was watching Dallas the other night. They were introducing themselves, the players were. There was two Boise guys. That’s pretty impressive. They must take a lot of pride in, like we do, trying to find guys with a big heart. Guys who may be a little light, 10-15 light, inch or two shorter, step or two slower, but they know how to play football and develop them.”

• “Oklahoma State in my opinion from a budget standpoint is sound for four to five years. The other thing is from a recruiting standpoint we have a lot to sell here. We’ve won a lot of football games here. We’ve graduated 375 players. We run a first class operation. Good place to go to school, good community, good place to live. But our fear was that if we didn’t have a destination, conference-wise, it’d take a hit on you [by signing day]. How much of a hit we didn’t know. But fortunately we’ve been good for a long time, we’re fun and exciting so that helped us. The way [realignment] fell, I think it strengthens our conference in a big way.”

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