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OSU Football: Gundy Reflects On Homecoming, Previews Texas Tech

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STILLWATER -

Mike Gundy was candid and reflective on Monday as he met the media at his weekly press conference at Boone Pickens Stadium. Here's what the coaches and players had to say.

Head Coach Mike Gundy

Opening statement:
"We got the players back yesterday, went through our meetings and had a good workout last night. We'll have the day off today. We were fairly accurate in what transpired in the game, with some improvements and downfield throws from a defensive standpoint. We ran the ball a little bit better than what we had earlier in the year. We still have a long way to go, but we're looking forward to a good week of practice. I think it's really important. Our players understand that we need every day, every meeting and every individual team period in order to get better as the season moves on. We'll hopefully have a great week of practice, and we're looking forward to playing out there in the afternoon in Lubbock."

On Texas Tech's struggle against defending the run game:
"They've given up some rushing yards. I'm not sure that our match-up in that area is as strong as it has been with some of the other teams they've played. Each week is different depending on what the strengths and weaknesses are with both teams. We certainly want to get better with running the football, and we'll keep working to make those improvements each day."

On if the team will reach out to the victims involved in last weekend's accident:
"We have opportunities for our players to be involved with the families that were affected. We have given them information they might need if they want us to be involved, and some of them have already reached out and made contact with the victims of the crash and their families. I know that our guys have the day off today, and some of them want to use that to be involved with the situation. They want to go and support and help those people as best as they can. I don't think there has been any set agenda, but I know that we have a pretty large number of players that are going to be involved with the victims and their families later on today. That could go on. One thing that has happened with our players over a number of years, is that they have made contact with people who need help. Because of social networking, phones and the resources that we have nowadays, they've been able to build relationships and continue those over the years. There's a chance that could happen again with some of our players, which is what you want. Ultimately, I thought that the community, the conference and the University of Oklahoma were tremendous in their support for Oklahoma State. That's what we should do as Oklahomans and as a football family. We've had a large amount of support and support people come in from across the country. At this time, that's the direction we should go."

On if he expected the spike in productivity seen from OSU's receivers this season:
"We felt like they would be the strength of our offense, mainly because of the number, the depth and the experience. From an availability standpoint, we felt like we had at least six or seven guys returning that would be able to have success. We had a very good feeling that they would be productive for us this year. Numbers wise, it's hard to really tell what you'll get from players, based on how defenses play. They have competed, played hard and made plays for us. We certainly will need them this weekend."

On Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh splitting the quarterback role:
"The reason that we're able to have success with both of those players to this point is because they're both great human beings. They're unselfish. They're team players, and they put the team first. There are young men who say that, but they're really not. These two guys are. If we felt it was necessary to have that conversation with them, the one thing I would address to them is that a lot of these players have the dream of playing beyond college. They come to Oklahoma State to get a degree, better themselves and then move on to play at the next level. Those guys at the next level, for the most part, could care less about statistics. If you can play, they're going to find you. That's why you see players show up on Sundays from schools we may have never heard of. We haven't had that conversation. They've been tremendous. I think that we need to give the offensive staff and Coach Yurcich some credit. It's not easy to game plan and to be as diverse as we are at times. You guys follow football. You know that, if you do too much, then you're not any good at anything. They have done a good job of trying to play to the strengths of both quarterbacks. We need both of them, and we're fortunate that they've both played pretty well up to this point."

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer

On Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes:
"He creates things. He doesn't get shaken up. They've got talent spaced out all around the field, so he's got a lot of choices. I think he's smart and a dangerous kind of guy. As he's scrambling, he can look for an open guy. I think he does a good job to see what you're in pre-snap."

On Mahomes’ performance against Oklahoma:
"I think you have to look a little closer when you're talking about interceptions. A couple of his were tipped balls, so to say he threw four doesn't mean he's making bad reads. Things happen. The defense did a good job of getting their hands up. I look at all the yards he's putting up and how he's moving the ball up and down the field. I look at how they created mismatches and how they moved the ball."

On the defense's health:
"It is what it is. I wish everybody was totally healthy, but that's not the truth. I wouldn't think about that. If we have a guy or two out, then the next guy is playing. Nobody really cares. Obviously you want all your starters healthy, but that's not happening at any club in America. It is what it is. I'm just worried about getting that next guy ready."

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On Texas Tech:
"They're a team that moves around a lot. They have a lot of different blitzes, stunts and line movements, so we have to be very careful with the amount of plays we put in because of the amount of defenses, looks, stunts and schemes that they give you. They're a very active group and they like to be disruptive and they have overall good speed on defense."

On the OSU game plan:
"So far, it's good. It's still midway through Monday, so everybody goes on their own and we meet midway through the day today. It'll be interesting to see what ideas our other assistants have. Our other assistants do a good job of game planning. They give a lot of input when we meet and try to formulate the game plan."

On the OSU wide receivers' productivity:
"It speaks volumes of practicing and staying with the plan and getting better. With time and gaining more experience, you're going to have more productivity and I think that's what that is."

On what it takes to win on the road:
"Leadership. You need character because there's going to be adversity and ups and downs. You need guys who have confidence in themselves. When players look at one another, they need that feeling of confidence that you get from the togetherness. It's very important to have that as part of your program. Experience is key. Guys who have been there and done that in hostile environments before, really help with that leadership."

Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah

On challenging games ahead:
"This is what we've been training for, all of the practices throughout the fall and spring, for moments like this. We're ready to take it on."

On where the team is at now:
"There's a lot of work that goes into what we do. I feel like we're well-prepared and ready to take on whatever team comes next. Coach Spencer gives us a good game plan and we come ready to play."

On facing top passing teams:
"This is a very big challenge for us, so we have to have the right mindset of start fast, finish fast. We have Texas Tech this week. They run a fast, up-tempo offense, so we're going to take them on as they come."

Linebacker Devante Averette

On scouting Texas Tech:
"I watched some of the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game late last night and (Texas Tech) is a good football team. We always have to have our game plan and execution down."

On playing on the road:
"It's going to be a crazy atmosphere, especially with it being Halloween. We're just coming to play the game."

On Walsh's productivity:
"He's a trick of all trades and hard worker. No matter what system or what play you give him, he's going to make it work. We saw it in training camp. He would come in first almost every time we ran stadiums, while I'm coming in last. It's amazing how his motor is, and his passion for OSU and Stillwater."

Quarterback J.W. Walsh

On where the team is at midseason:
"We're very confident in who we are as a team. Moving forward we are excited. I don't think we're as good as we can be right now, which is a good thing. As far as talent and coaching goes, we're right up there with the best of them. If we can put together a game plan, execute and play the way we know we're capable of, we can be very good."

On his first reaction to hearing about the tragedy:
"I was devastated. It was a day that was supposed to be one of the best days for the OSU campus. It went from being an unbelievable day to a terrible day. You don't know how to process it. When you hear something like that, you can't believe it happened here and to us. It speaks to who we are with not just how we handled it as a football team, but also our campus and town. Everyone is coming together. It's very sad that we're having to go through this."

On moving forward:
"It is a big responsibility, but luckily there are guys on the team that are just as good of leaders who have the same role that I do. We'll go through it together as a team. Stillwater has our backs and we have theirs. We're going to try to make this season a little bit more special."

Receiver James Washington

On Saturday's performance against Kansas:
"I'm happy with my performance, but there were spots where I could've been better. With the coaches' evaluations and watching film, I thinking this week those areas will be perfected."

On making big plays:
"In the moment, I don't think of it except for just helping my team win, but looking back, they were big plays. If I didn't land those, the game definitely could've been different. It gave my team momentum and kept us rolling the entire game."

On opponents underestimating him because of his size:
"At times, I see a look on their face like 'I have this guy,' but I have to keep my composure, stick to what my coaches have taught me and use my God-given ability against them."

Cowboy Back Blake Jarwin

On running through the middle against Kansas:
“I like to run through the middle like that. Of course, when you see defenses like that, it’s always a go-to route. Mason (Rudolph) did a good job on putting the ball right where it needed to be in order for me to catch the ball.”

On the efficiency of OSU’s offense:
“Both quarterbacks we have are pretty versatile. They do a great job just doing what they do best. J.W. (Walsh) can run the ball a lot so that helps open up the run game a little bit, and then Mason throws a pretty ball, so they both do a good job. Every time I see them, they’re smiling whenever the other one makes a play and that’s what you want to see in players like that. They put out a sense of confidence for the offense.”

On competing on the road:
“We need to have energy in the locker room. We travel 70 players, and that’s the biggest thing. We have to get prepared mentally for the game knowing that we’re only going to have 70 instead of 60,000. I think we do a good job of just staying focused throughout the week and just doing what we need to do right during practice to be ready and successful.”

Receiver Chris Lacy

On his performance against Kansas:
“It’s definitely boosting my confidence in catching the ball and getting used to being out there.”

On the wide receiver corps:
“We have so much depth. We are probably three receivers deep at each position, so every week it’s a competition in practice. We all just work hard and push each other.”

On having two quarterbacks:
“It says that we are a very unselfish team. Both of those guys root each other on when the other one is in. It just says that we’re very unselfish.”

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