No. 3 Oklahoma State arrived in the Phoenix area at 11:20 a.m. Monday morning, as they prepare for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against No. 4 Stanford on Monday, January 2.
After his team arrived, OSU head coach Mike Gundy met with the media at Phoenix's Sky Harbour Airport.
Below is the transcript of that press conference, courtesy of the Fiesta Bowl:
"On behalf of Oklahoma State University, our coaching staff, our players, our fans and everybody involved, we want to say thank you for the opportunity to be in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. I want to congratulate Stanford and Coach (David) Shaw for their accomplishment and their great season. It's great to see the yellow coats. They are so familiar across the country and when we were out here before. We are so excited about being here. I don't know if there is a better bowl location in the country. Our fans, our families and our team have been very excited about coming to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and competing in the Fiesta Bowl. I know we had to be out here on the 27th but everybody wanted to get here on the 26th. The weather is beautiful and we are looking forward to a great week, all the festivities and being around the people in this community. We know how special it was when we were out here before. We are very, very excited and we appreciate all the hospitality."
On how practice went over the past week:
"We had really good practices. When you win and have as much success as we have, win the conference championship and finish in a big game, the players were excited. We gave them a couple of weeks off and they came back and practiced very well. We let them go home on the 23rd and spend some time with their families, so the majority of them will meet us out here at the hotel later on today. A very good attitude, excited about practice. We've had longer practices than we would have had during the season because we gave them a few weeks off and wanted to get them back into it. We were able to condition them some. I thought it went very well and the players finished strong before we let them go home."
On what it means to take his alma mater to the Fiesta Bowl:
"Personally I am excited for the Oklahoma State family. I have been involved with Oklahoma State football for almost 25 years, off and on, obviously growing up in a suburb of Oklahoma City and then playing there and graduating there. My wife is a graduate of Oklahoma State. It means a lot for us to have success for all the Oklahoma State people. Oklahoma State is a special place. On game day we put 60,000 people in our stadium and the majority of them are second and third generation graduates, their sons, their grandsons, their great grandchildren have gone to school there. Because of that, I am very excited about what we have been able to accomplish. We have done a lot because of the generosity of Boone Pickens, who built our new facilities. I've got a tremendous coaching staff. They have made a very strong commitment. We are very proud of what we have accomplished and we are looking forward to the game."
On how the players have responded to not making the BCS Title game:
"There was disappointment for the first 30 minutes, 45 minutes or so after the announcement. And we would want it to be that way. We started the season with a goal of competing and playing the best we can every Saturday, the opportunity to win a Big 12 championship and then play for the National Championship. So when we came up short by percentage points, there was disappointment. If there wasn't, it would have disappointed me and our team. But once we got over that, our players are players are extremely excited about being here. We talked about it as a team. The opportunity to play in a BCS bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, from that point on it has not ever been mentioned again. Their preparation, as I told you earlier, has been very good. You'll find that when you spend a week with our players, they are very enjoyable to be around, very well mannered, they have a lot of character, they are good people, they will work very hard and they are very gracious for the opportunity to play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl."
On the challenges the Stanford offense present as opposed to the Big 12 offenses:
"I think that this is the best football team that we've played. They are very good and we are all aware of what Andrew Luck brings to the table and their offense. I mentioned this early after we heard who our opponent would be in the bowl game, but their defense is very good. Statistically they are 25th in the country, they are in the Top 10 in sack opportunities, they force a lot of negative yard plays. They play very intelligent. I think they are very well coached and are always in the right place at the right team on defense. Offensively, they are going to run the ball. They like to run downhill, they're going to play with the tight ends and fullbacks. They're going to run power, they're going to run counter, they run play-pass. Andrew does a great job of getting the ball in the flat to his fullbacks and dropping the ball off to underneath coverage. He's obviously very efficient. There's a number of their players who are really good players that don't get as much notoriety because of Luck. It's the same thing that we have with our team. We have several players on both sides of the ball that people across the country don't know about because of (QB Brandon) Weeden and (WR Justin) Blackmon. They are a very good football team and they won 11 games last year and they won 11 games this year. You don't win 22 games in two years without being a pretty good football team."