Mike Gundy held his weekly radio show on Monday with the great Dave Hunziker from Rib Crib as they looked back one final time on Kansas State and looked ahead to this weekend with 4-0 Baylor coming to town. Here is what Gundy had to say.
• “We played well again as a team. This has been an unusual season from what we’ve had traditionally. I mentioned to the players and coaches that we would really have to play well as a team. Once the injuries started at the receiver spot, then it really became important to play well as a team. We did that Saturday night. Offensively we were rolling in the first quarter, defensively we were good not great. We forced them to kick field goals. . . for us to play well as a team right now, we need to play well on defense and not give up big plays, which we’ve done, be good on special teams, then find a way to score a few points offensively.”
• “We lost the special teams battle, lost the penalties, but didn’t have the turnover issue. We made up for it in that area. We were fortunate because we have to be a more disciplined team because of who we are right now. I was pleased with the effort we got, the guys played hard. Jaylen Warren continues to rush the ball well, Spencer was really good, our protection was better, offensive line play was good not great, then defensively, Bernard only gave up two catches and they went after him. He stayed very patient, mature player, highly intelligent. Got really good play out of him. We didn’t give up big pass plays.”
• “We’re getting there. We’re not a finished product. We have a good group of unselfish young man, humble, lot of character, grit to them. It’s fun to coach them. It’s fun to see them improve, support each other. These guys fit the culture and character of our team. As a coach, an old guy, it’s encouraging to see young men do things right. They’re getting good results. They’re doing the right thing.”
• “Muhammad is getting better each game [at corner]. That position really improves with experience. He’s getting valuable experience along with Korie Black. The experience Christian Holmes and Bernard have is important. They’re going to get challenged.”
• “Justin Gilbert and Jacob Lacy were high school quarterbacks who played cornerback. Those guys that played that position have a mental approach that’s different than other players.”
• “Austin Jarrard is just not far enough along yet. So when we lost [Logan Carter] in middle of July, we have Cassity, who is playing good, but his body is not allowing him to take the punishment that Jelani Woods or Blake Jarwin took. So I asked them to move Silas [Barr] to move over. He’s 290 pounds. He’s got a lower trunk that’s thick and he’s aggressive. He’ll provide some force at Cowboy Back. Moves his feet pretty good. We’ve asked him to work on the juggs machine. We’ll see. What if he is playing at 270 and he can run a little bit and catch? Veatch was at 265. We’ll see what he does.”
• On Alex Hale, Gundy says, “He works with himself. Those guys essentially coach themselves. They have videos and send them to kicking coaches. That part of the game, kicking and punting, is as technical as hitting a golf ball. Then you try to keep it from going right, you kick it and it goes left, then you are all messed up. The good thing with him: he’s tough mentally. He understands his problem, he’s working on fixing it. . . he is a very confident young man. He was a world-class water skier, then turned around and was a world-class skateboarder. Not talking about average, talking about competing worldwide. He just said he wanted to slalom, then wants to skateboard, then wants to become a kicker so he starts kicking. So he’s fine. We’ll support him. Nobody wants to make ’em more than him.”
• On Baylor: “This team is playing better than anyone we’ve played up to this point. Baylor in all three phases is playing better than anyone we’ve played up to this point. They’re balanced on offense. Quarterback playing good. They have big play receivers, their running back, number one, is a good player, he’s a homerun threat, now. He can go the distance. He’s a special teams guy for them too. Then they are much more competitive up front offensively than they were last year. Defensively they will look like our defense. Will blitz you, play some quarterbacks, will play some man. They’ll be in four-down more than three-down, but they can do both. They do a lot of stuff. Have a lot going on.”
• “[Baylor], they are an attacking style defense that is playing pretty good up front. Their disruption is causing problems for teams. Can’t just throw it, can’t just run it. You have to be balanced against them. We’ll have to be really sound in our gameplan. Quarterback has to be able to run some, have to hit some throws, have to have some change of direction to offset what they’re trying to accomplish.”
• “Jaylen Warren runs physical like [Chris Carson] does, but he’s surprisingly a little more elusive than people think. So I’m thrilled for him. LD got beat up a little bit, so [Jaylen] is thrust into a role where he’s going to be carrying the ball more. Very humble, unselfish, high character young man. You want good things to happen for young men like him. He’s physical, he’ll run through you. We’re fortunate to have him.”
• On Dez Jackson: “Hopefully we can get him back later in the week. Maybe suit him up Saturday, we’ll see. I hate to extend myself because you never know. I think we’re going to try him and see how he does.”
• On Dominic Richardson: “He’s really young and inexperienced. He played in, what, two games last year? Other than that, he probably played 40 snaps the whole year. Hasn’t been in very much. He’s going to try and run through you, he’s physical, tough. Another young man who loves to play football, he’s unselfish, high character. Can’t get enough guys like him. Good things will come for him. He’s doing the right things.”
• “Israel Antwine is coming off that injury. We’re getting a little more from him each week.”
• “[The 2011 team] is a once-in-every-so-often opportunity with a team and the players. It’s awesome they’re bringing them back [this weekend]. I still think we were the best team in the country. We would have played, I guess, LSU. At that time LSU was scoring maybe 20 points a game and was happy with it. There’s not anyone that could have kept us from scoring 25 or 30 points. I just don’t see it happening.”
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