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OSU Football: Gundy, Players Address Media

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Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and selected members of the football team visited with the media Monday in Boone Pickens Stadium to preview the Cowboys' next game vs. Kansas State. Their comments:

Head Coach Mike Gundy

Opening statement:
"As a follow up to the last game, after watching the tape, we were pretty accurate in our postgame conference. The defense played very well and made some big stops. We all know that. I thought they did a good job of containing the quarterback. He was very elusive, and he's obviously going to be a good player in this league. Offensively, we actually ran the ball a little better than what I thought. We had three plays where we got hit behind the line for a yard or two. I guess that kind of clouded my image of the plays where we had six, eight or 10-yard runs. I felt a little bit better about that situation. I thought Texas had a really good game plan, defensively. Our quarterback had four throws that, I would say, were not as accurate as he wanted them to be, which is still fairly common. On one of the interceptions that he threw, we had an issue with the route, not necessarily just the throw. We were fortunate that Ben Grogan was excellent for us. To go on the road and win in conference play, we were pleased about. We're back to the real world, and we'll get ready for the next opponent."

On winning four-straight games in Austin:
"We're really pleased with our team and our organization. I mentioned that to our players, especially the guys that have been around here for four or five years. They're still a really talented team. They can run around and make plays, and they're improving. To go down there and win and play in those conditions and that environment is always a plus. I think you're going to find that in the league this year. There's a lot of parity, and there are a lot of teams that can play well. Each week will be a battle."

On Ben Grogan's two clutch kicks at the end of the game:
"We've got a lot of confidence in Ben. When he gets it off before the clock goes off and hits it, it shows that he's a pretty good player. I thought that his body language was really good. When I watched him on the sideline getting ready to go out and kick, his demeanor was easy-going and low-key, and I think that's a positive. We were very proud of him. You have to have the snap, and you have to have the hold, and I think that's one thing that people forget out there. The center has to throw it back there, the holder has to put it in the right place and you've got to make the kick. It was very well-executed."

On what he has seen from Kansas State on film:
"I've watched some, but not all of it. They could very well be better in their front seven than what we saw this last week. Not that I wasn't anticipating seeing that, but I'm very impressed with their defense so far. They've got experience at the cornerback spot, and it's seems like those guys have been there for 10 years. Their interior seven seem to be very good football players. I haven't watched the other side of the ball yet, but I have seen some tape. Their schemes are the same, for the most part, as what they've done since I played against them out here in 1989. Our perception is that (Bill Snyder's) consistency there is really the same as it has been each year."

On Kansas State having an open week to prepare for this weekend's game:
"It's always concerning when you play a team that has had an extra four practices to prepare and rest their team. We all go through it, though, and it's part of the game and the season that we can't control. So we continue with our routine, get our players ready and go out and play on Saturday."

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On the Kansas State football program:
"You've just got to give credit to the former and current players. They've done a great job as a whole."

On Mason Rudolph's condition:
"He's fine, just little bumps and bruises, really. He took a couple hits, but nothing serious. He came back strong and had a good practice yesterday."

On Rudolph's second half against Texas:
"He's a guy who has a lot of confidence in himself. He's a guys who bounces back and has a short memory. He learns from his mistakes. I have tremendous confidence in him and his ability."

On Kansas State's defense:
"They're big and strong. They defend the ball well. They're very disciplined. They don't make many mistakes. They play very strong and aggressive and are very good against the run. They're a defense that really understands their schemes and are very disciplined."

On the Kansas State defensive front:
"On the interior, they've got some good size. They have the ability to take on other teams and wear them out. They're good against the pass rush as well. At the defensive end position they've got some guys who can contain you pretty well."

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer

On the defense's performance against Texas:
"Obviously, we had a lot of big stops. It wasn't a great tackling day, but (Texas) had a lot to do with that. We got them down in some crucial times. I thought the effort was good."

On the team's attitude in the fourth quarter against Texas:
"There wasn't any panic or pointing fingers. If they can just stay focused on each series, we'll be fine. If anything else comes in their mind at all, it's a distraction. That's what I was proud of. They did their jobs."

On facing Kansas State:
"They don't change. It doesn't matter who is there, they're not going to change. They're going to give you great issues with stopping the quarterback in the run game. They do run/pass options all the time. You have to have an extra guy accounting for that."

Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah

On Ben Grogan winning the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week award:
"I call him clutch city. He's a great special teams player for us. He's a clutch kicker. Thank God he's on our team, so he can help us with field goals."

On being named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week against Texas:
"I had to go out there and do my best for the team. This award should go to the whole defense not just myself." 

On the defense building off the win against Texas:
"We just need to go out there and compete because Coach Spencer is going to have a great game plan for us. We got to go out there and contain this other quarterback because he can run at times. So we have to do a great job of containing him."

On preparing for Kansas State:
"We've watched a little bit of film on them, but we still have a lot of work to do. We just need to keep watching film and see what they are really about."

Linebacker Ryan Simmons

On how the defense held themselves vs. Texas:
"When you think about all the circumstances that went on in the game, coach not having the headset and not getting the opportunity to get another look. (The defense) being able to adjust and hold (Texas) to such little yardage in the second half is a major confidence boost for us. I just feel great that we finished, and we're able to get the offense the ball back."

On the defense playing for each other:
"That's how it has to work. You can't ever think selfishly, you have to stay within the defense and know what your job is. When you try and do too many other things, then stuff starts getting out of whack. Just making sure that everyone does their job is what everybody holds themselves accountable for."

On the Kansas State offense:
"There are more blockers. Sometime they will call quarterback runs, that's probably their top play. And they will have a fullback, running back and a puller coming. So you have to have people running and getting a good read before the snap happens. We're going to get locked in and we're going to make sure we do our best job possible."

Kicker Ben Grogan

On his winning field goal:
“It’s definitely exciting. Thanks to my teammates who helped me achieve that. It was a good way to cap off the win.”

On his confidence:
“I think now that I’ve been in that situation, it was probably the highest pressured situation I’ve been in all season. Having that under my belt will help going forward, and will help my confidence as well.”

On his progress through the season:
“I didn’t really change a whole lot. I just worked on fine tuning a couple of things. It wasn’t really anything major. Stuff like strengthening and technique. I think I was in a better rhythm after working on those things.”

Quarterback Mason Rudolph

On J.W. Walsh and David Glidden:
“Both of those guys are veterans and they’ve been through it all. They’ve had ups and downs and they have that knowledge and insight. They were just letting me know that I need to keep playing and try to stay calm. They’re doing a great job of encouraging me and helping me along.”

On Kansas State:
“They are obviously a well-coached team. They’re always going to be in the right place at the right time. I’ve seen some film and learned a lot about them last year and was able to see them go through the game plan there. They’re well-coached, very athletic and a high energy team. It’s going to be great to play at home in front of a good crowd and take the next step forward.”

Receiver David Glidden

On Kansas State:
"They're a very disciplined team and that's what a typical K-state team is with Coach Snyder. You have to give them a lot of credit for what they do. One of our coaches told us earlier in the week that over that past three years, they've given up the least amount of plays more than 25 yards, or something around that, out of everybody in the NCAA. That shows how sound they are in what they do, their defensive base and how they're structured."

On Kansas State special teams:
"They've been the best team overall in the Big 12 over the past five years or since I've been here. You have to give them a lot of credit. You can tell that they spend a lot of time preparing special teams and take a lot of pride in it. They play with effort and that's what special teams comes down to. You have to give their coaches and players a lot of credit for playing that hard."

Defensive Tackle Vincent Taylor

On creating turnovers:
"We say in the locker room that we not only need to keep getting turnovers and continue to do that, but also start scoring off of them. I think we need to keep doing what we're doing each week and start getting points."

On Ogbah's performance:
"He had a great performance. I think he had two sacks. He made some plays and a lot of sacrifices for the defense. He did great this past week."

On learning from Ogbah:
"When he makes a play, I try to learn from what he does and then go make a play myself. He was the Defensive Lineman of the Year in the Big 12 last year, so I try to follow him in his footsteps."

On who else helps lead the defense:
"I think one of the people who stepped up this week was Ryan Simmons. He kept telling us to get stops and we fed off of that."

Cornerback Kevin Peterson

On Jordan Burton:
"He's super athletic. He played safety at a JUCO and he came here and started playing at linebacker. We get guys like that a lot of times, but they're often not as athletic as that or as smart either. He understands coverage and concepts really well. He knows when to fill the gaps and when to drop back and help the secondary."

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