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OSU Football: Talking Points Looking Toward Texas Tech

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Oklahoma State suffered its first loss of the season last week but the Cowboys still have high expectations for the season. The first step is a road game at Texas Tech, where kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Here's what coaches and players are saying heading into the matchup.

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich

On Texas Tech:
"They're a much improved defense. They are running. They're making plays. They're creating turnovers. For us, it's about playing to our strengths, obviously. We want to do that. We want to play with great speed. We'll get a good game plan together. We looked good today. It was a fun, energy-filled practice, and we've got to make sure that we're focused on the fundamentals of our offense and of our individual skill and that's securing the football and getting it in the end zone."

On OSU's focus after Saturday:
"I'm focused on Texas Tech. Our players are focused on beating Texas Tech, so that's where our minds are right now – to improve this practice just like we tried to focus on improving on last Tuesday's practice."

On Texas Tech's defense:
"It's obvious. They're flying around. They're making plays. They are playing with a passion. Whatever they did to spark that, they did it. They're doing probably less schemes than they ever have. I see fewer fronts and I see there are still a lot of variations in the coverages, but for the most part I think they've dialed it down and they've simplified and allowed their players to play with less hesitation. I really don't want to try to get in the mind of what they're telling their guys. I'm just concerned about what we're telling our guys. With their front they're going with more of the three down and putting their defensive tackles in the B gap, and they're playing with bigger bodies than what they did a year ago from a personnel standpoint."

On how the team has reacted to its last game:
"When we had our first unit meeting everybody's body language was very good. The guys were obviously upset but focused. There's no bad body language. There's no bad attitudes. They respond very well to any adversity. The effort today was great as well, and all of those things are good signs."

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer

On bouncing back:
"I think I said it after the game, you have to treat every week like it's a life of its own, and I think we've done that well in the past. Like today, we had a great practice."

On Tech and its similarities to OSU:
"These guys give us fits. They give everybody fits. They know we're in for a fight. We're going into a swarm down there. [They have] experienced receivers, a couple different runs, maybe running the ball a little bit more. A lot of that depends on what you give them, what kind of space you give them to run the ball. I think they're balanced. A lot of weapons. They've got their guys that make big plays. They've got guys that can do different things. They've got a guy that's got an unbelievable catch range – 14 (Dylan Cantrell). Then they've got 2 (Keke Coutee), the slot that can beat you a lot of different ways. They've got 11 (Derrick Willies), the wide open guy that'll double move you ... very similar to us. They've got different guys that give him a lot of different weapons. Wish it wasn't as talented a bunch we're about to see because we've got our hands full. A lot of similarities in both the offenses."

On Texas Tech's quarterback:
"They've got an experienced guy. He's been around there forever even though he hadn't had a ton of snaps. He's like a seasoned vet even though he's had an all-pro guy in front of him probably. He leads well. He's got his progression. He knows who to go to fast. He knows where his hots are at. There's not a lot of bad throws. Very accurate. So it's not like he's a first-year guy, not in my book. If you study the reps he did get, he was always effective during games. He just had an all-pro guy in front of him."

Quarterback Mason Rudolph

On whether his leadership style changes after a loss:
"A little bit. I think you've got to be consistent in your approach and your work ethic and the example that you set for everyone from the bottom up. At the same time, you kind of got to rally those guys and set the record straight going into the week and I think I did that Sunday morning. And just consistent effort, not only me, it's a lot of guys, and positivity. We turned this thing around as soon as we got back in the weight room Sunday morning and Rob Glass kind of made sure of that. So we turned it around, we're positive, and we'll get back on track this week and hopefully get back in the win column."

On what he told the team Sunday morning:
"It's just the way you carry yourself. Everyone coming, moping around – that doesn't do anything for you. It's over. Just the way you work out and the example you set and just conversations with guys. It's not a 'Rudy' speech you're trying to hear in the locker room. You're not jumping up on the chair. Just the way you carry yourself and make sure guys are believing in you and believing in our team and what we can do."

On last year's bounce back from early losses:
"I think just the experience. We don't plan on losing another one, so it won't be a couple. There's a lot of guys on this team that were there last year and understand being able to finish and continue to fight even after a hiccup early in the season. There's experience. There's leadership. There's carry over from last year, which I guess you could pull from that a little bit. It's a new season. It's a new team. I think the leadership we have this year and the approach is 10 times better than it was last year, and guys have shown me that we're fired up to get back after these guys."

Linebacker Chad Whitener 

On the day after the TCU game:
"It was frustrating to see the little mistakes we had on film and knowing that they are easily correctable. We are just coming into this week ready to roll."

On reading the TCU offense:
"The way he was playing, it was hard to come off your guy because you didn't know if he was going to run or not. By doing that he was able to buy himself a lot of time and space. He had a great game last week. Tt was hard to defend him."

Offensive Lineman Teven Jenkins 

On rotating in at guard and working on playing tackle:
"I have been getting tackle reps for about two to three weeks, but just knowing that it is my primary position we felt solid that I would be able to play right tackle also. It will be great for me to work at guard even though my main position is tackle."

Wide Receiver Jalen McCleskey

On Coach Yurcich and learning new plays:
"He is very patient with us and that is what I like because we get it pretty fast. He teaches it to us, we get it and within that one practice we have it down."

On Coach Yurcich's creativity with play calling:
"Very creative. Every week we always have something new and something that he just brought up during film. All of the coaches, Coach Gundy and Coach Dunn, always bring something together in the run game and the passing game."

On the interaction between Coach Yurcich and Coach Gundy:
"They interact very well. In practice we will have a walk-through session and Coach Gundy will say some things that he saw. Coach Yurcich will say some things so they will work together to either fix it or see what they can do to make it better."

Safety Tre Flowers

On bouncing back:
"I never like losing. I feel like I've battled through so much. I wanted it so bad, but I always take things personal … You know we've got to make plays and give our offense the ball."

On getting the secondary ready for Texas Tech:
"I just told them to watch the games before. Just prepare hard. Just make plays on the ball in practice and it comes easy in the game."

On Texas Tech's offense:
"You got to be ready for everything. Coach Kingsbury is a great coach. They keep finding these great quarterbacks to get people the ball and I applaud them and their system. They make things work. We just got to be a little better."

Cornerback Rodarius Williams 

On how to generate turnovers while tackling:
"We were told to secure the tackle first and then go for the ball. So hopefully we can get a lot of turnovers this game. That's what we're aiming for."

On Texas Tech's offense:
"I see them trying to get little short passes and then lull you to sleep and throw it deep. So we're going to stay on our toes and play our man."

On TTU's quarterback: 
"I've seen that he can adjust and make plays out of no play. So that's why we have to stay with our wide receiver because the quarterback, he can scramble and throw the ball."

Kicker Matt Ammendola

On if he's superstitious:
"Not really, no I'm not. Ben (Grogan) was more superstitious. How I do in practice and how much effort I put on the practice field I feel like is going to reflect how well I do on the field."

On what he learned from Ben Grogan:
"Just to go out there and if you miss a kick just forget about it. It's not going to change. You can't go back and relive it. That's why I kind of look forward, ahead, and make the next kick."

On whether he has to have an edge as a kicker:
"Not really. It's different for everybody. We all have our own superstitions and mental factors of what we have to do to prepare for the game, but for me it's just the way I practice and how much effort I give in practice and on the field and how many mental reps I'm going through in my head. I feel like it's going to reflect on the field."

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