Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy and members of the team visited with the media Monday in Boone Pickens Stadium to talk about this week's game against Iowa State.
Kickoff is set for 11 AM from Stillwater.
Coach Mike Gundy
"After watching the tape from the game, what I had mentioned afterwards is what really happened. They were much more physical up front than our guys. We had practiced well. Defensively they played with more effort up front than we did on offense so we weren't very effective running the football, which forced us into a situation where we became somewhat predictable throwing the ball, and then at that point we didn't throw it very well. It was good that our defense was competing and played very well. Kansas made a nice change in the fourth quarter when they brought the other quarterback in and tightened down the formation and ran the ball effectively and were able to throw some misdirection passing. They had the long drive that was five or six minutes and score, and then we went out and were on the field for about forty seconds and punted back and then they scored again quickly. They had gotten us tired at that point. It was good to get out of there with a win, but we'll have to play much better this week in order to beat Iowa State."
On Iowa State:
"Iowa State is a good football team and everybody knows that. The thing that's interesting about them is they don't do anything flashy to get a lot of attention. They've only given up 17 points per game, 3.5 yards per rush and nine sacks. They just don't make any mistakes. They play good football and they don't turn it over. They're sound. From this season and even back into last season, you can see that they've competed against good offenses and played much better than what people would have expected them to. We're to the point now that everybody realizes that it doesn't happen by accident that Iowa State is a good football team and the consideration that they're getting. We'll need to practice well and play well to have a chance to win this game."
On Iowa State's defense:
"They may have the best crew inside and play as well together as anybody that we have in our league. They're experienced. Most of their guys are juniors and seniors and they've played a number of games. The experience and maturity is so important and they've got guys who've played a lot of games and it shows in the results."
On playing the ‘revenge card':
"I don't think that it goes unnoticed. I think most of that is overrated. I can't imagine that some players might not reflect back on that. They have to go out and play a sound football game. They have to be in the right spot and adjust based on whatever position they are in, offense or defense. If you get caught up in that then you won't play very well."
On the special teams performance against Kansas:
"Quinn Sharp did a really nice job for us. In the conditions we had, with the surface being wet and the rain, we were able to play field position. He had two punts over 70 yards and changed the field. He made a long field goal and was able to kickoff well. Charlie Moore was able to come up with a punt return for us. We were good on special teams. One play that shouldn't go unnoticed was Nigel Nicholas made a really nice play on a fake field goal, tackling a guy in the backfield. If he doesn't dive and make that tackle, they would have gotten six or eight yards and it was only about fourth and four. He made a really nice play on special teams."
On being a win away from breaking Pat Jones's school record for wins:
"What that means is our team is having success. My first concern is making sure our team is functioning the way they should, their attitude is good, the people that come to watch them play are proud of the effort and that they continue to get better each day and each game. That's really my concern and anything else that comes with it, we share as a staff and as a team. I really feel that way and I talked to Coach Jones about that and he understands the way I feel. It feels like I'm kind of carrying on what he started in the mid to late 80s."
Defensive Coordinator Bill Young
On revenge being motivation against Iowa State:
"Revenge and all that, that lasts for a couple minutes and then all the sudden you're in the game concentrating on the next play, and all that stuff goes out the window. No question we need to study our film from a year ago and we need to study what they're doing this year. The coaches are going to get a game plan together. That's really what we're doing today. We looked at film on them yesterday, but we spent a lot of time yesterday cleaning up the Kansas game and making corrections. Now we're moving on to Iowa State."
On getting crucial late stops against Kansas and how that builds confidence:
"We were really excited. We stopped them five times on fourth down. They had some issues with their field goal kicker, so we knew they were going to go for it. Plus, we had a 20-point lead there for a while. We also performed well on third down, which helped us get them into those fourth down situations."
On Josh Lenz's recent play, and how that affects game planning:
"He is playing really well, but some of the other guys are, too. We just have to play our defense. We need to make sure we know where he is, but we also have to take care of our responsibilities. We need a great pass rush because that always helps the secondary. It's an area we really have to focus in on."
On having no more bye weeks:
"It's going to be so good to get into a routine. Obviously if we have players that are bruised or banged up, you don't have time for them to recover as much, but as coaches and players alike, I think we're happy to get into a routine now."
Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken
On what Iowa State's defense presents:
"They're a team that's built around juniors and seniors that have played a lot of football, so nothing really fazes them. They play hard and they tackle well. I think their coaches do a great job. They did a great job against us last year. They do what they do, they keep it simple and they're really good at it."
On whether the revenge factor as motivation is overrated:
"Yes, it's overrated. A lot of the guys, especially on our side, aren't even here anymore. I was watching when we started the game last year and eight guys on offense that started that game are gone. We have three starters back from that game. That's over, they beat us and that's the way it is. We have to move on and find a way to win this year."
On how Saturday's performance at Kansas impacts the offense moving forward:
"No matter who your players are, especially in situations - whether it's goal line or third downs - you say ‘do we have the right package for who we have?' When you have injuries here or there, you have to refigure out the puzzle. When your quarterback is that guy, we have to give him the best chance for success. As the game goes on, you get a feel for how he is playing and the team is playing. There was really never a flow. It was choppy. I do think there's times when you reassess what you're doing weekly as every team does. Not to go away from your core, but what you can do for the players you have that gives you a chance to win and move the ball."
On how the struggles in the running game affected the offense against Kansas:
"We didn't run the way we like to run it, so we have to come up with a different way to get us in space. It handcuffs us a little bit, but it's one of those things where we have to be able to run the ball and be able to run the play action so J.W. Walsh can be successful. It didn't help that we didn't have Jeremy Smith or Desmond Roland. I think all players are better when they have someone to spell them a little bit. I think we'll play better at home. We'll find out. We're playing a good defense this week, but we have to find a way to move the ball and score points."
Quarterback J.W. Walsh
On what the film from Saturday's game at Kansas showed:
"We did a lot of good things and we did a lot of bad things. You're going to get that with any game. That's the beauty of film, we can look back on it and make corrections."
On how the weather impacted the offense:
"It made it difficult to be successful in our offense. That's no excuse for what we did, but it did make it tougher for us to move the ball. That's what practice is for and we will work to get better in those conditions."
On preparation in an uncertain quarterback situation:
"I don't think about it. Each week, I just think that I am starting and I prepare that way, that way whichever one of us is playing will be prepared and be able to help the team the best we can."
On how last week's injuries impact the team moving forward:
"We have lots of talented young guys that can come in, step up and make plays. We have full confidence in those guys to come in and help us so we expect it not to hurt us at all."
Offensive Lineman Jonathan Rush
On whether this week's game vs. Iowa State is a "revenge game":
"I wasn't there. I didn't play. This is my team, but I don't have that taste in my mouth. I'm just going out there to play."
On the offensive line play at Kansas:
"I wouldn't say we played our best. That's for sure. Coach Wickline being the stickler that he is for perfection, we weren't particularly up to standards."
On correcting errors from last week:
"We're going to grind. That's the only way I can say it. We're going to go out there and correct every single one of those details that we were lacking. You know, it's not really a bad thing. It may sound like it's bad, but in the end, it gets it done. It gets you crisp and ready to play."
Linebacker Alex Elkins
On the mindset of the defense coming out to make a defensive stand at the end of the Kansas game:
"I was already on the field, jumping up and down, screaming and hollering. That's what I play for. I want the opportunity. It's not basketball, but if I did play basketball, I would want the ball in my hands for the last shot. I was actually excited about it, and I knew that if we got out there and had the opportunity to stop them, we would do it. I wanted the opportunity to do that myself."
On playing a close game on the road:
"Any time we have to go out there and compete while it's a close battle, it's always going to be good experience for us. There's going to be adversity. Having the opportunity to face it and then overcome it will definitely be good experience for us."
On playing Iowa State this weekend:
"We have to get the 'W'. At all costs, we have to win this game. Other than that, there's nothing else to think about. We have to get the win."
Wide Receiver Charlie Moore
On last week's game at Kansas:
"The intensity wasn't there like it was with Texas. There is no reason to make excuses about the weather or the delays or being in Lawrence. We just need to figure out a way to bounce back from that and get our intensity back."
On wide receivers being hurt:
"The good thing about this team is that we have a lot of depth. We're Oklahoma State and we're going to have guys that will step up. It's sad when guys like Tracy Moore and Isaiah Anderson are hurt. They're great leaders and they help us out a lot, but it's going to be fun to watch the younger guys step up. As long as they're out, I'm going to do all I can to help this team and make plays when my name gets called."
On the homecoming experience:
"Homecoming is such a big deal here. It's a really cool part of Oklahoma State. We don't get to do walkaround, but the atmosphere at the games is always a packed house. I'm excited for it. We're excited to be playing Iowa State, but it doesn't really matter who we're playing. We want to be 2-1 in conference with a win this Saturday."
Defensive Tackle James Castleman
On the defense making adjustments for this weekend's game:
"I think we're just going to go about it normally and attack it like we do every week. We're going to try to keep their quarterback inside the pocket and not let him scramble outside. We're looking to get a couple of sacks if we can. We can't let our ends get too far up the field or let our tackles get stuck inside the gaps. We have to contain them. I think it was important that we stopped Kansas on their last drive since they had gotten within six points of tying the game, but we can still work on it."
On if there is a revenge factor from the Iowa State game last year:
"I don't think there's that big of a revenge factor. I feel like we're just going to attack it like we normally do. It's just another game on the schedule."
On the 11 a.m. start:
"I like the early starts because then I'm not just sitting there. I don't like to be antsy. I feel like it's going to be a good atmosphere, a good quiet morning and we will eventually get it going."
Offensive Lineman Parker Graham
On the OSU quarterback situation:
"It doesn't matter who's behind us. If it's J.W. Walsh, Wes Lunt or Clint Chelf, we have to play our best game and with that, we'll win the game for sure. We have to keep our quarterback clean, and hopefully, that will translate into us winning."
On the morning kickoff against Iowa State:
"I like them more, honestly. I like waking up, having breakfast and playing right off the bat. It's better than waiting around all day.
On how the team feels coming out of last week's game at Kansas:
"Mentally, we're fine. We've watched a little bit of the film so far, and we're going to come out, make our corrections and try to do better this week."
Safety Shamiel Gary
On the Iowa State game:
"It's not a revenge game. It's another game on our schedule that we need to win. I didn't play last year, so I really don't know. I saw it, but it's another game that could put us closer to our goal of a Big 12 Championship."
On the close nature of the Kansas game:
"After the game I thought that the score was a little bit closer than it should've been, but at the end of the day, a win is a win, so I'll take it how it came. We just need to learn from the things we did wrong."
On preparing for Iowa State:
"There's nothing too different in preparing from Kansas to Iowa State. We've got to turn on the film. Iowa State just played Kansas State, so that will be a good game to watch. We need to try to watch the tendencies they have and formations that they run, and pick up the little things that they do to try to help us on Saturday."
Defensive End Tyler Johnson
On the weather delay against Kansas:
"The delay gave us some extra time to prepare. Once we started a little bit, as a defense we were able to go over what we saw in the first quarter."
On how long it took to bounce back from last year's Iowa State game:
"It sat in my stomach for a little bit, but once it was over, for me, I just kind of dropped it. Once the game was final, there wasn't much we could do about it. The most important thing was to look forward to the next game."
On pulling out a tough win on the road:
"Anytime you get a win in general, it says a lot. Regardless of who the opponent is, the main objective is to get a win. We were able to do that. We've done a lot of good things. As a team, we're just going to continue to get better."