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OSU Football: Cowboys Set Their Focus On No. 3 TCU

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STILLWATER -

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy met the media at Boone Pickens Stadium for his weekly press conference on Monday. On Saturday the team faces its biggest challenge this year in a battle of unbeatens with No. 3/5 TCU. Here's what the coaches and players had to say:

Head Coach Mike Gundy

Opening statement:
"We're back at it, obviously. That was an exciting win for us last Saturday. We got the guys back together last night and refocused on this week. I don't think that we necessarily need to talk about TCU and the type of football team they have. We'll have our work cut out for us this week, but we're at a point where we're really excited about the game. There's a lot of preparation that we need in order to be successful on Saturday. We should have a great day and a great crowd, and we're looking forward to a great week of preparation."

On Michael Hunter and Ramon Richards' performance against Texas Tech:
"Hunter played pretty well, and I thought Richards played well. As they get into the game more, they give us a little more depth. It's a big advantage when we have four of them, for a lot of reasons, mainly being the number of plays, the speed of the game and having to chase down receivers and quarterbacks. I'm hoping that we'll have all four of them for Saturday."

On being able to put up big offensive numbers in Big 12 play:
"I thought we played really well on offense [against Texas Tech]. I thought our coaches had a terrific scheme, and our players understood the plan. You would hope that you don't have to score that many points to win a game, but in this league, with the quarterback play that you're seeing, it's very similar to four or five years ago when we had several NFL quarterbacks in this league. You're going to see some numbers that are considerably higher than other conferences in the country. That's just my opinion. It's based on great quarterback play."

On the defensive effort against Texas Tech:
"I thought we came out flat because we didn't tackle well, but I also think Texas Tech is pretty good on offense. I think 11 is a good player. I think the quarterback is throwing the ball well, and he's running the ball. In their system, based on the number of plays in the game, which is usually close to 95 or 100, they're going to score some points. Would we have liked to have played better? Sure, but I think the answer would have been to tackle better."

On if OSU's number of close games will help the team against tougher competition:
"Mentally, yes. Physically, it's more wear and tear on their bodies. We're concerned about that right now with our team, but they at least know that they can fight back and win if they're behind. You'd like to not be dealt that hand as many times as we have, but it is what it is. We put a lot of preparation in from Sunday to Friday, and we go out on Saturday and play. We've been playing some good football teams, and the ball's not round, so it's going to bounce different ways. We've just got to keep playing."

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer

On Emmanuel Ogbah:
"He understands leverage, he's got powerful hands, his first step is quick and his hips are good. All those things I think that they look at as a guy that can play the run and a guy that can affect the quarterback, he's got it."

On Ogbah this season compared to last season:
"I've been asked that a lot, if there was like an 'oh wow' moment, but it's kind of been just a steady improvement for him. He's developed himself in the weight room. He's studied. I think kids these days, a lot of them don't know how to critique themselves. They think they've arrived and all they look at is the good, but I think he's really analyzed himself and the bad that's happened. That doesn't show up on the stat sheet, but I think he has that ability to critique himself and to be tough on himself."

On stopping Trevone Boykin:
"He creates a lot of issues. It doesn't take long on film to see that he can throw, he can elude the rush, he's got an unbelievable release and he's a tremendous running back with the ball in his hand. He's got great vision. They do a great job of game planning for him and creating plays for him. Even when it's not there, he'll create something for himself. I don't think he gets tackled much, he just runs out of field. I don't have the answer on how to slow him down yet, and who knows if we'll have it on Saturday? We're going to do some things to hopefully slow him down a little bit, but guys like him have great games and we just have to make timely stops throughout the night and affect him."

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On the offense maturing:
"I think it's a mark of a mature offense to play each play as its own entity and not worry about things that are uncontrollable. You just have to keep on chipping away. You can't get caught up in the scoreboard, who you're playing this week, whether you're on the road this week or at home. Whether all those things are uncontrollable, that's what we always talk about. Coach (Gundy) does a great job of addressing those things to the team and our guys now understand that so they can put their focus where it needs to be."

On if the offense made a significant jump last week:
"I think so. There's been improvement across the board. We continually say this, 'We need to improve in every facet, such as quarterback reads, receiver routes, blocking on the perimeter, protections, running back routes and everything else across the board.' And I think you're seeing an overall improvement in each area of the offense. I don't think there's really one specific thing that we need to improve on, we just need to continue to improve and keep getting better as an offensive unit. Each practice has a purpose, we're not just out there because it's Tuesday and the schedule says there's practice. We're out there because it's an opportunity to get better and I think our guys are understanding that philosophy and trying to work hard each and every day to get better at what we do."

On the TCU defense:
"Well, they're extremely well-coached. They adjust to every single thing the offense does. They are a defense that makes every adjustment known to man, so they're very well-coached. Their front is very good. They're stout and have great experience. Their linebackers have some youth. They move some guys around, but they're so well-coached that they overcome a lot of things with their ability to scheme and understand the game of football very well."

On what went on with TCU's defense vs. Kansas State and Texas Tech:
"We didn't watch a whole lot of Kansas State film yet because they are so much different in what we do offensively, but we will look into that game. Tech is an explosive offense with a lot of playmakers, as we found out last week. It's just guys making plays and that's a lot of what it is." 

Receiver David Glidden

On the TCU defense:
"They're very well-coached and very disciplined. They've kind of done the same thing every year since I've been here and we've played them. They've been battling injuries this year, but now they're starting to get a few guys back. They fly around with the ball, they're relentless and I think it all goes back to Coach Patterson because of how well coached they are. You can tell how much film they watch and how much film they study and I think it's really paid off for them."

On the motivation of last year's game in Ft. Worth:
"It'll probably get touched upon, but this is a whole new year. It's a whole new situation for us now and we're really focused on what we can get done this year."

On the focus going into the latter half of the season:
"It really does stay the same. Coach Gundy does a good job of putting that in our heads and we just go out there and do our jobs. We just have to win out in practice every day and that's all we can do. You study film on your own, do all the little things that you can do and in the end it's going to give you and your football team an advantage. I don't think there is any added pressure to this because we knew going into the season that November was going to be a difficult stretch and if we could make it to this point, we'd have a shot and that's really all we could ask for."

Cornerback Ramon Richards

On halftime adjustments at Texas Tech:
"Just fight and finish. That's what we worked on all year long and that's what we do in the winter and the summer. Coach Gundy always talks about focus and fighting after the pain sets in. That's what we did."

On James Washington:
"I go up against James Washington every single day. He plays on the right side of our offense and I play on the left side of our defense, so I'm going up against him every single day. He gets me better than I get him."

On what makes James Washington so good:
"He's a great athlete, he's got good ball skills and he can jump. It just seems like he gets faster the farther he goes down the field. His downfield speed is tremendous."

Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah

On the upcoming showdown against TCU:
"Every game is a big game for us. We're taking it one game at a time. TCU is one of the best teams in our conference right now. We're both 8-0, so it should be a good battle against the best player in the country, in my opinion."

On Trevone Boykin:
"I feel like he's a very smart player because he avoids pressure a lot. When they're pressured, he always escapes and makes the big play to Josh Doctson, so a key part of us stopping him is keeping him contained and make him stay in the pocket and not scramble for first downs."

On paying attention to award watch lists:
"People have their opinions on who they think should be on those lists. You can't really control other people's opinions, so I just have to do the best I can for myself and my teammates."

Running Back Raymond Taylor

On playing the undefeated Horned Frogs:
"TCU is a good team, well-coached and will be well-prepared. We have to come ready to play. Whatever the play call is, we're going to make the best out of it."

On handling extra attention:
"I just stay focused on preparing for the next game. A couple of my friends like to give me a hard time, but I have to stay focused."

Quarterback Mason Rudolph

On overcoming adversity:
"We try to keep calm. We know that we're capable of putting up a lot of points in a short period of time, so we weren't worried or bothered by being down 17 points. We knew we had to rally back and keep fighting. With offense, defense and special teams all together, we're going to have a combined effort and get the job done at the end of the day."

On OSU’s offensive mindset at Texas Tech:
"I feel like the entire game we were confident that we would come out on top and that's how any team is going to think. From the get-go, we know that there's going to be adversity that we have to fight through but we're going to end up victorious."

On TCU's defense:
They're an athletic group with guys who have played well all season as a team. It's going to be a great test for us and we're looking forward to Saturday. We watch film a couple of hours a day as a quarterback group. On our own, we try to watch an hour to hour-and-a-half each day."

Safety Jordan Sterns

On playing three ranked opponents at home:
"It's good for us, being able to have all of the support in Stillwater at these next few games. I know the fans are really excited. It's hard to do our job without the constant fan support that we get. Having everyone out there supporting us is going to give us an advantage."

On changes in the game plan:
"Our coaches do a great job of making adjustments. Coach Spencer and the defensive staff comes together and figures out what we need to do to make stops. On Saturday, there was a sense of urgency. We went into the locker room, got our adjustments and started executing. That's why we had a better third quarter. It's the little nicks and knacks to the game that help us stop them from making plays."

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