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Cowboys Preview Missouri State Matchup

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and select Cowboy players visited with the media on Monday to preview the Cowboys' matchup with Missouri State:

Coach Mike Gundy

Opening statement:

“We had practice last night and worked out. Today is their off day and we'll be back at it tomorrow in preparation for Missouri State. I think it is important for our players to take responsibility in preparation and I think they did a really good job over the last four weeks and it needs to carry over into this week. We saw our team grow and mature a little bit, but we have a long ways to go and a lot of work ahead of us, but I like the focus and the work ethic and look forward to Tuesday.”

On what he's learned about the team:

“I wasn't really sure about how some players would react. I think we learned that they'll fight and compete. We were in a tough situation at one time, being down 17 points to a really good football team, and they kept their focus so I was proud of them for that. There has been a lot of talk in preseason about our team and the youth, but one thing I said that was fairly consistent is that most of them have been in a program or have been around a program that has won a lot of football games, and understand success. I was hoping that that would benefit our team, and I think it did on Saturday night.”

On how to let go of the loss:

“You tell them the truth: college football is a long season. We've got a lot of football games and three open dates. It's going to go on forever. You'll have a lot of big wins and some fun victories and then you'll have tough defeats. Either way, you have to come back to work Sunday night. It's always been that way here. It's never really been an issue with this team. I think the older players do a really good job of providing leadership to the young ones and I think last night's practice went about as clean and crisp as it could.”

On special teams miscues:

“One of the disadvantages of playing an opponent like we did on Saturday night is that if it's your first time playing college football, and you go out and make a mistake, you're on the big scene. You'd like to have a couple of games before that, to maybe identify those issues. We practiced 28 times, had over 200 live snaps in padded situations and not once did that ever happen. It's not the same as being on national TV, being on GameDay and playing the No. 1 team in the country in front of 65,000 people. That's the risk you take when you take a game like that on. Unfortunately it cost us.”

On the courage of the team:

“I think they have a lot of pride in themselves. I think they're a good group. I've said this from day one: they're very focused. The players that we have on this team that have experience in big games have been very good leaders, and as I said earlier, we've got a long ways to go. We probably compete and play a little better than we should at times because of the continuity we've had here for a number of years.”

On the defense:

“I was pleased with the way our defense played and I was pleased with some young players – the way they competed and were physical in their tackling – but for me to stand up here and say that I had an idea of how they would compete would be unfair. I hadn't seen them compete because so many of them haven't played much. You have to remember that with our defense, the first group has some experience out there, but you look out there at the third series, there are four or five guys out there at a time that have never played college football. So you start to get on the headsets and tell everybody to start backing up, don't let anybody behind you, don't give up any big plays, and Coach Spencer and the staff did a good job of playing our defense. At times it cost us a little bit, but if you consider the 71 plays that Florida State had in the game, I think it went really well and our guys showed some competitive spirit and some fire.”

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer

On the defensive effort against Florida State:

"It was a really, really tremendous effort. It all starts there, so we were pretty proud of them. One particular exceptional effort play I showed the whole defense as a group was the touchdown run off of (Jameis Winston's) draw play. Ofa (Hautau) sprinted about 28 yards like his hair was on fire, and that's a lot of hair. He's a 300-plus kid. That was an unbelievable effort. Out of all of the great plays during the whole game, I picked out that one to show them because if we can get everybody to do that, we're going to be OK."

On getting his young defense to move on to the next game after Florida State:

"That's our job as coaches, and we've got to get started on that. Last night we got started on that, and once we made the corrections on the field, the next statement was, 'It's over,' and we started showing them Missouri State plays. We've got enough core guys that have been around a lot that know that (the Florida State game) is over. It's all about next week. Hopefully, the core guys will get that message across and they'll get in today and watch tape on their own. They realize that in the world we live in, that if you're unsound, you're going to get ripped for a big play. Hopefully we, as coaches, can get that in their head."

On Missouri State:

"They're not a lot different than us, which is good. They've got an athletic quarterback and a lot of zone, zone read schemes. They want to see what you're in and they adjust, so I think they do a good job of coaching from the sidelines and putting their kids in position to be effective. They're going to spread the field. It's both a run scheme and a throwing scheme. We respect everybody we play and we realize that if our eyes are bad, you give up big plays."

On the defensive front's performance:

"They had a camp like that and played aggressive in camp. They played against some really good offensive lines last season. Those guys had a resume based on what they've done, not based on speculation. We had errors up there, but if we got out-gapped one time, the linebacker would make up for it. Most of the time, they did a nice job. I was pleased with how effectively everybody played. It's more than just the front. When you're playing well against the run, it's more than just the front. It's just a piece of the puzzle."

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On getting the team to put the loss behind them and move on:

"It's all about preparation and trying to improve. Whether you win or lose, the next day is an opportunity to get better, so that's our outlook and that's what we try to do. The focus is on a great effort and a positive attitude. We're going to try to go out and get better, and Tuesday is our next opportunity to do that."

On installing new wrinkles in the offense with all of the weapons:

"I think you're always trying to balance yourself up. Regardless of what package it is, what you're trying to do is complement yourself and take it to the next stage. At the same time, there's a fine line between overloading people and trying to do too much to where you're taking a step back and guys are having to think and re-learn. You don't want that, so you've got to be careful on the amount that you put in and make sure that what you do put in is complementary. That's really important. It is fun to have weapons around you. Tyreek Hill is not the only one. I think we're playing as a whole and as a unit, and that's really important."

On J.W. Walsh's performance:

"I thought he was pretty good. I think he did a nice job managing the football game. He got us into some good plays and got us out of a few bad plays with his audibles at the line of scrimmage. He understands the game very well. He has to secure the ball at the end of the game, obviously. He knows that. For the most part, I was very pleased with his competitiveness, his leadership and great effort."

On how he's seen J.W. Walsh improve:

"I think there is that overall leadership ability that he's always had, but the mindset and the confidence has really come through."

Offensive Lineman Paul Lewis

On the team's biggest strength against Florida State:

"Our effort, overall, throughout the entire game. From start to finish, we were giving it our all. Even though the first quarter didn't go how we expected, we finished the game with the kind of intensity our coaches want from us."

On first-game jitters:

"I didn't really get too nervous until we got there for warm-ups. I got my stuff on and it was like, 'Wow, we're finally here. August 30th. Florida State.' It got better throughout the game, though."

On when the offensive line began to mesh against Florida State:

"I want to say it was about halfway through the second quarter. After that, we did our job on getting the team in field goal range before the half. Once we got some confidence, we knew we could play with those guys. We got into a rhythm, got up on some linebackers and started pushing their line back more and more. It just started to click."

Receiver David Glidden

On his 55-yard touchdown against Florida State:

"It was kind of a big turning point in the game. It picked up a lot of momentum for us, picked the rest of the offense up and really got us going. It definitely helped us get into a rhythm."

On what impressed him most about the OSU offense:

"We've got a lot of things to work on, and we had our mistakes, but there's obviously a lot of talent. There are a lot of guys who can play the game of football pretty well. When they have the ball in their hands, they can make a play. Our offensive staff is going to do the best job it can to make sure those guys are getting the ball and the rest of us are helping them out."

Linebacker Seth Jacobs

On the defense's strengths against Florida State:

"There are still some things that we need to work on, but we just wanted to come out there and play aggressively. A lot of us have played this game for a long time, so we just did what we were capable of doing."

On the team's intensity throughout the game:

"It definitely picked up more and more. Overall, it was a great atmosphere in a great facility. We played with great effort, and we played for one another, so we did a great job of playing as a team."

On how the team slowed down Jameis Winston:

"We were able to disrupt him, get in his face and challenge him. We were aggressive, and we fought hard."

Quarterback J.W. Walsh

On facing the Florida State secondary:

“They are a very good defense. To open up the season with them and to be able to face guys like that will help our offense be a much better team this year because of it."

On facing Missouri State after facing the No. 1 team in the country:

“We've got to prepare like every opponent is the same. We've got to make sure we stay focused and treat them like any other team."

Defensive End Jimmy Bean

On the defensive line's performance against Florida State:

“I feel like we did a good job, with them having all seniors on the offensive line. The defensive line did a good job of putting pressure on Winston.”

On the key to getting to the quarterback:

“Our mindset was the key. We can't approach them being the No. 1 team. We have to approach them as being any other team.”

On Emmanuel Ogbah's performance:

“I kind of expected this because he has been working real hard since last offseason and during last season. His hard work is paying off.”

Safety Jordan Sterns

On how Coach Spencer prepared the defense for the game:

“He is tough on us. He expects us to go all out all the time. If you miss tackles, you are doing up-downs. If we don't have a certain amount of turnovers at the end of practice, we've got to run. He does a good job of instilling in us the importance of flying to the ball and not being lazy.”

On the influence Spencer has had on him:

“You can tell he knows what he is doing. It makes you want to learn more about the game, which I have. I've learned a lot from him and what he has taught about defenses. He's a great coach.”

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