Mike Gundy and crew met with the media on Monday to preview the upcoming road trip to Kansas while also looking at positives and negatives from Saturday's 37-20 victory against Iowa State. Here's what they had to say:
"We got back at it last night at practice, just with getting back in the basics of all three phases. We had some guys that played OK in the game and some guys that played average, so we have a lot of work to do. We've got room for improvement in all areas and in our development. Each week is important to our football team, as we continue to get guys healthy and get guys that could have been in the last game, but had some bumps and bruises. Our overall team concept has to improve. We have the same plan as last week, we just have to travel earlier this week and head up to Lawrence."
On his concern for the team's rushing attack:
"Two things. The first thing is guys going in the wrong direction, and the second thing is it has to be much better. I mentioned to you guys a month ago that we don't run the ball effectively enough, we don't average enough yards per carry in the running game and we're not very explosive in that area. We have to continue to work up front. We were better than we were the week before with blocking up front, but we need to continue to get movement. As we go through league play, it'll get more difficult, and it is a concern, but we're not ever going to shelve the running game. We'll continue to work at it, develop the young guys and hopefully get better."
On transfer players like Tyler Patmon and Josh Furman contributing to the team:
"Well, you know Patmon is playing for the Cowboys now, so he's done very well. His transition was smooth, and he really contributed to our team. I'm hoping that Furman is heading in that same direction. He was the player of the game for us last week. He had seven tackles, a big sack, a tackle for a loss and some big plays. I think they're comfortable in our system. We have a player-friendly environment here, and they can have success early because we're not very complicated. We don't stress their body and their legs, and I think they're a little more comfortable in our system at an earlier time than they would be at a different school."
On Elliott Jeffcoat and what he's done to help the team:
"We have 50 players on our team that pay their own way, and we have 85, give or take a few, that we pay for. One thing that we have here is we treat all of them the same, with the exception that we can't pay for their school. They get academic support, and now they get food, which is awesome. They get the advantage of everything except for their room, board, books, tuition and fees. We draw attention to guys who work hard like that. We tell the players that there are certain guys out here getting a free ride and don't have to pay the price, but we have other guys that should get this assistance for busting their tail and trying to do it the right way. We make a point of that, and the players enjoy that. When we showed the tape on Sunday night, they got a big kick out of it. They were happy for the guy because they know he's paid the price. He has to put a lot of time and effort into just being a college football player, and then he has everything else on the side."
On Daxx Garman playing in the first road game of his career:
"I think he'll be fine. I really do. Once he gets out there in our system, I don't know that they know that there's any difference in where they're at. Nobody will know until it happens, but I think he'll be fine. When you're on the road and stadiums are different, the noise level is different and the wind is swirling, things can be different. When you have an offense like ours that throws the ball down the field, weather can be a factor at times. Not necessarily cold weather, but winds, precipitation and things like that can. We just kind of have to cross that bridge. I would think with as well as the ball comes out of his hand, that he should be able to cut through the wind. In most cases with guys like myself, the ball flutters some, and the wind can really be a factor."
Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich
On keeping the offense consistent:
"I think you learn as time goes on, but I think anytime you can minimize the package it helps. I think you have to break it down and make our packages as small as possible so we can maximize our reps in practice. I think that will help our guys out tremendously."
On if people are giving Daxx Garman too much credit:
"You know I don't really know what people are saying, because I try to stay out of it. I stay off Twitter, I don't listen to talk radio and I only watch the world news. I don't really pay attention to what everyone is saying."
On what changed with being able to throw the ball in the second half:
"Well anytime you're able to generate rhythm, it will help whatever phase of the game. Rhythm is critical to any offense."
On Daxx Garman's ability to make reads at the line of scrimmage:
"There's room to improve. It's something we have to work on on a daily basis. For the most part he's very good. The good thing, going back to last Saturday, is that he made some early mistakes, but he was able to rally and make good plays in the second half, which is a good sign to be able to make plays after a sluggish start."
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On recovering the kickoff against Iowa State:
"Yeah we got a possession stolen the other way, which doesn't happen very often. That was big. Then for our guys to go down there punch it in, that was a big time statement."
On Kevin Peterson's play rubbing off on the younger players:
"Hopefully what's rubbing off is his approach to practice. He does the same thing in practice, so it shouldn't be a surprise when it happens on Saturday. That's what I hope rubs off on them."
On Peterson playing at a high level:
"He gets tested, and he makes plays. Hopefully we're saying that this time next week."
On Ramon Richards play the past two games:
"He's played really good. We've played a couple of different defenses just with him in mind. As the ball game went on we said, ‘Alright this kid is playing pretty good, let's let him play.' He's responded well."
Receiver Jhajuan Seales
On if he was surprised that it took Hill five games to return a kick for a touchdown:
"He's always able to take one to the house every game, it's just always one block or missed assignment not allowing him to take it back."
On the importance of not taking Kansas lightly:
"They have their backs against the wall, so they are going to give it everything they got to go out and get a win."
On Daxx Garman's intermediate passing developing:
"It's very good. He and J.W. are always working together, as well as Mason Rudolph, so they get going with their quarterback drills and improve each day."
On J.W. Walsh's role:
"He's still there. He's still a great leader. He's still giving advice to the quarterbacks telling them what they can do. He's still motivating us."
Defensive End Emmanuel Ogbah
On what he saw on film from the Iowa State game:
"Well what I saw was that we started slow. We need to work on that because the teams we play are coming out faster and better. We still have a lot of stuff we need to work on. We aren't where we need to be yet."
On if a light early schedule, excluding Florida State, gives them a chance to get their legs under them:
"We have a lot of young players that still need experience. They've gotten to play a lot and gain valuable experience."
On Ramon Richards starting at cornerback:
"Ramon has come a long way. We needed him to step up, and that's what he's doing for us."
On if it is surprising to see Richards play cornerback:
"Ramon is an athlete. He has good work ethic, so I expected to see big things out of him. I thought he could be a big contributor right away."
Safety Tre Flowers
On competing on OSU's track and football teams:
“I really got talked into running track and the coach said he'd look out for me and help me get better on the football field."
On coming from an athletic background:
“My dad was athletic, so was my mom. I guess it just runs in the family.”
On playing sports at a young age:
“I've played sports for as long as I can remember. I've always had some sort of object in my hand, whether it was a basketball or football.”
Linebacker Ryan Simmons
On preparing for Kansas:
“They do a lot of speed options and misdirection plays. You never know in the Big 12. It's conference play, so anybody can come win a game. It was proven last week, so we just have to focus on what we can control and stick to our game plan.”
On being a college football fan:
“I watched every game last weekend. I just sat in my room after our game and watched all of them. It was a good thing to see all of those upsets.”
On Saturday's upsets boosting OSU's playoff chances:
“I'm not going to lie, it's always good to see that, especially in our conference. To see the underdogs win those big games like that, it's just always good to see. It's a good opportunity for us as well.”
On his favorite uniform combination:
“The holographic helmet by far with the all black. All black anything will be my favorite.”
Offensive Lineman Paul Lewis
On off-the-field conditioning:
“It's mostly off-field mentality when it comes to playing offensive line. It helps to be strong and bench 500 pounds, but it's really your mentality.”
On teaching the younger offensive linemen:
“It helps to have a Daniel Koenig, a fifth-year senior. He brings that toughness to us with a little bit more experience.”
On starting the game strong:
“We've got to come out fast. We can't come out sluggish like we did this past game. We should just come out playing to our game plan.”
On players who have had an impact on the offense lately:
“There is a list of guys who have come through. Daxx [Garman] has been big for us, Brandon Sheperd, Jhajuan Seales, Marcell Ateman and all of the receivers, basically. They're younger and have come through. Having Desmond Roland back there is obviously a big plus.”