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OSU Football: Cowboys Talk Texas At Weekly Presser

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Oklahoma State coaches Mike Gundy, Glenn Spencer and Mike Yurcich and select members of the team visited with the media Monday in Boone Pickens Stadium to preview the Cowboys' Big 12 opener at Texas.

Head Coach Mike Gundy

Opening statement:
"We felt like we improved a little bit last week in some areas where we really wanted to show signs of improvement. As I said afterwards, we seem to be in good shape right now. We're a healthy football team, and I like our attitude. We got the players together last night and had a good workout. It's an off day today, but I'm getting ready to prepare for a week of practice before we travel down to Austin. Obviously, it will be the most competitive game that we've been in up to this point. They'll be the toughest and most talented team that we've played. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, and we're looking forward to the game."

On his plan for Texas dual-threat quarterback Jerrod Heard:
"It changes your rush lanes and your contain lanes a little bit. At times, you have to have somebody responsible for him. He's obviously very active. We haven't gotten that far, though. We just got started. By the middle of the week, we'll have a plan in place. We'll do everything we can to try and contain him and try to limit some of the big runs and big plays that he's been able to get."

On Jordan Sterns' performance this season:
"Jordan has been a steady player for us. He gets a few more reps than what we would want him to. He plays one of those positions where, if he doesn't have a fumble or an interception, you don't hear a lot about him. He had 61 plays in the last game, so he's been reliable. He has tackled well, and he has been a great leader for us. He's a physical player."

On the interaction between Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh:
"They have a good relationship. As I mentioned before, J.W. has been tremendous for Mason, and they've worked well together. Eventually, J.W. wants to be a coach, and he'll be able to coach. He's been through it. He has a good mentor in his father, and I think he's getting great training by playing at this level. Even with Taylor [Cornelius], they've all got great lines of communication. They understand the game, and they understand our system. They help Mason out a lot during those times."

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On the running game:
"It's what we thought it would be. We did a nice job of improving ourselves from a fundamental standpoint. Our guys have been blocking hard all year. The safeties weren't as close to the line of scrimmage as they were the first two weeks. That was a big factor, but we are making strides upfront. Our guys did a great job. Coach Adkins deserves a lot of credit. He did a great job of coaching those guys."

On Raymond Taylor's run making the team's enthusiasm even higher:
"It's good to see the guys who sacrifice a lot get some playing time on Saturday. They are part of our program and it's good to get the guys that aren't part of the first couple units some reps. It's very gratifying."

On Mason Rudolph's performance:
"He was very consistent. You got to give credit when you're consistent in the passing game. You have to share responsibilities from receivers, offensive line in protection, tailbacks in protection and route running by the tailbacks, but he was good. He took what the defense gave him, didn't force the ball downfield, his decision-making was good and that's what we expect from him every week."

On the Texas defense:
"They do a lot of good things on defense. They run defend really well, have some good young talent with some experience blended in as well. Physically, the fronts are big, strong and they give you multiple looks and coverages. Because of that, we'll have to prepare well this week and get ready for what they have to bring on Saturday."

Glenn Spencer, Defensive Coordinator

On what his seen out of his defense through non-conference play:
"I think they're playing really hard. We made a lot of mistakes. This game last week was probably the worst game we had technically, so we have a lot to look at, but we're playing hard and playing for each other."

On facing a dual-threat QB:
"What's scary about this situation is that you could have it all right, you could have that extra guy, but it's always tough to have that extra guy. If you're trying to have an extra guy for the quarterback, than you're giving up something else. There are no guarantees that you can make a play, which is scary. The guy can beat you at any time. He could make you look foolish."

On what you learn from your defense when facing a dual-threat QB:
"Yeah, you learn a lot because it's a tremendous test. You're going against a guy that broke the record for most yardage in a game. He did better than Young and McCoy ever did. It's a tremendous challenge, we got our hands full. Guys are going to be excited to play against him, but they also know that their hands are full."

On how Jerrod Heard looks more comfortable:
"Of course he's more comfortable, just by reps and competition. There's some things he does really well. He's going to get better at reading coverages every week."

Offensive Lineman Zachary Crabtree

On entering Big 12 play:
“You still have to win. It’s still football that you’re playing. Every game is treated the same way, but at the same time, week in and week out you have opponents that are a lot better. You just have to be ready for the grind. Coach Gundy talks about how this is the long part of the season right here. You have to be ready to go and you have to be ready to embrace it, fight through adversity and things like that.”

On Texas:
“It’s still the University of Texas. Whoever we play in the Big 12, every one of those teams can win week in and week out. I don’t know if it matters that [Texas] is down. When you look at the past, they still have athletes, they still have good players. I’m from the state of Texas, about two and a half hours from Austin. I got boys down there playing that I know, and they’ve got a lot of guys down there.”

On the improvement since last season:
“We’re a completely different offensive line. We’ve got a good guy in that room that’s coaching us and that’s leading us. He’s put us in positions to be successful. When you do that, it gives you a chance, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Safety Tre Flowers

On Texas:
“I watched the Cal game after our UTSA game, and I noticed that they move the ball a lot so that’s one thing we have to stop. The quarterback is really good. It’s going to be a great week.”

On preparing for a fast quarterback:
“I just try to get a lock on my man to give Emmanuel (Ogbah) and Jimmy (Bean) enough time to get there. I know that if they get a hold of him, he’s not going to be moving that fast at all.”

On OSU’s progress:
“I think we get better every game. I think we get a lot better every game. We’re just trying to build on that for the fourth one. We’ll see.”

On playing on the road:
“For me, I love being at home. The atmosphere at Boone Pickens is great, but silencing 100,000 would be even better.”

Linebacker Devante Averette

On preparing for different types of quarterbacks:
“We try to prepare for any kind of quarterback, whether it’s first, second or third string. We always have to come out with the mentality that if one of them goes down, we have to know what the next guy is like and his tendencies. You always have to prepare for the best and the worst.”

On Texas’ running game:
“You have to go all out. I’m the type of linebacker that isn’t afraid to go head up. That’s just me, but I know all 10 of the other guys on defense are willing to do the same. One guy is going to grab his legs and the other one is going to try to get the ball out. They’re great players and they’re going to make plays, but we are going to try to limit those plays.”

On last week’s performance:
“It gave us tremendous confidence. We just hope that we have that momentum going into conference and having those turnovers. It was all hard hitting plays and Jordan Sterns came down and laid some hard wood. That’s the type of play we want to have.”

Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah

On playing in Texas:
“It feels like a homecoming. I have a lot of family in Texas that are coming to see the game. It will be a great game for us because I like playing in front of my family and it’s a huge stadium with 95,000 fans. So it should be a good game.”

Quarterback Mason Rudolph

On OSU’s performance last week:
“Different teams are going to run different styles of defense. One week they were packing the box so we threw the ball down the field. This week they kind of played off us and we handed it to our backs, and our offensive line did a great job of creating holes for us.”

On the crowd at Texas:
“It’ll be a great challenge and a great atmosphere. I try to have the same mindset going into every game. It is a challenge. It’s fun to play. It’s what every quarterback wants to do is to play in front of a big crowd. It’s obviously going to be a hostile environment and we’ll see how our guys will adapt to that. I think it’s going to be a tough road game.”

Quarterback J.W. Walsh

On going back to play in his home state:
“I think the fact that it’s the Big 12 opener and we’re getting to go to Austin is pretty exciting. You don’t get many opportunities to start the Big 12 season off with a big road game, and when you win that, it’s a huge spark to your season. We have an opportunity to start Big 12 play off with a bang. This is as good an opportunity as ever.”

On OSU’s recent success in Austin:
“The times we’ve gone down to Austin and won, we had very mature teams. It takes a mature team to win on the road, especially at a place like that. I hope our team now can understand that. We have a very mature football team, and we have a very talented football team. We can go down there and have a huge week. It’s starts today with preparation so we need to make sure we’re locked in.”

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