Oklahoma State held its first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday at the new Sherman Smith Training Center indoor practice facility. The scrimmage lasted 120 plays and took roughly two hours. Coach Mike Gundy and several key defensive players and d-coordinator Glenn Spencer talked about the scrimmage afterward.
Coach Mike Gundy
His take on Saturday night's scrimmage
"We had a good scrimmage. We had about a 120-play scrimmage. We had a great attitude. I'm really pleased with the effort and the attitude of our players. We used our indoor center--what a beautiful facility. It's the first time we've really used it in a setting like that and it was awesome being in there. I was pleased. There were good plays on offense, good plays on defense. We had some miscues, but for the most part it was a clean scrimmage. The QBs played well. The guys we expected to play well on defense stepped up and made plays. We made some strides at the defensive end spot, made some strides at the running back spot. I'm very pleased."
On his decision to hold the scrimmage at the indoor facility
"Our first game is indoors, so there's an advantage in that. We should be in a controlled climate. What better arena than the indoor? It simulates being in a dome, and we didn't turn the fans on which kept it warm, which we needed. It still wasn't real warm because we were out of the sun. It worked out real well."
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On the challenges of playing on the defensive line
"It's so demanding because it's so fast-paced and they got lined up faster than us a couple of times. That's something they have to see on film to see how they need to care about it more. As far as physical play, we had good push in the pocket a lot. I've been pleased with how they ran against the pressure."
On who he has been surprised by thus far in camp
"(Defensive end) Tyler Johnson has had a good camp. (D-end) Sam Wren has been a really good surprise. He has a great lead and can really get on the edge fast. I tell them that it's just one day and then it's over. We try to go in every practice and get five turnovers every day."
Linebacker Shaun Lewis
On what he believes will help OSU reach a conference championship
"We've improved on a lot of things, but we still have a long way to go. There aren't too many specific things that I can think of, but I know we're ready for that first game."
On the season opener against Mississippi State
"It's just another season opener. I feel like it's going to be a home game for us since we have such a huge fan base in Texas, so it will be exciting to go out to Texas and play."
Linebacker Ryan Simmons
On playing against a high-octane offense
"It's not about who's better or what circumstance you're given. It's about who's willing to get the job done. When you're on defense, you have to make sure you hold yourself accountable for what you're supposed to be doing. I have to have faith in my defensive unit that they are doing their own job."
On the help from veterans at the linebacker position
"It helps a lot. Those guys know what everyone's supposed to be doing and they can make up for a lot of plays just by what they know. I just take it on myself to know those plays and to play at the same level as those guys."
Defensive Tackle Calvin Barnett
On playing Mississippi State to kick off the season
"We're going to be excited. Since I've played Division I football, I've never played an SEC opponent. The SEC has a great conference, they produce great players year in and year out, so we're very excited to play in this game."
On if rotation is mandatory when playing quick offenses
"Of course it is, that goes for the offense and defense. They don't run as many plays, but nine times out of 10 you're not going to find a whole offensive line that's going to play that entire game. The only player who plays an entire game is the quarterback, and God forbid he gets hurt. Receivers will stay fresh, everyone stays fresh. No one's going to play the entire time except the quarterback."
On what he wants to see when watching film
"I want to see great effort, everyone doing their job and being accountable. Even if you were to bust an assignment or didn't give a great effort to the ball, things happen, just keep playing the next play. That's all I want to see."
Defensive Tackle Anthony Rogers
On if this is the most talent he's seen at this position since he's been at OSU
"I'd like to the think so. We've got some really good guys, some younger guys who are going to step up eventually. And I feel like we're going to have a great defensive line for years to come."
On if getting passed up for starting position was hard for him last year
"It was more of a drive. I used it as a drive. Castleman, he's a great guy, and at the time he deserved it. I used it as motivation to fix what I was doing wrong and come back stronger for the next upcoming year."
On what specific things he worked on in the offseason
"Getting my steps right. When I need to go right, take the right step. It seems like common sense, but when you're out there on the field, it's like the left foot always want to move when you're going right. I just made it an effort to take the right steps and separate and shed blocks and do what defensive tackles do."
Linebacker Caleb Lavey
On people on the defensive line who have really caught his eye
"You know honestly, there's so much depth in the defensive line and defensive ends, it's really a great feeling knowing that those guys up front can keep linemen off me and makes plays. Calvin Barnett, James Castleman, I can list pretty much everyone in that locker room because everyone is doing such a good job. It takes a lot off my shoulders when the defensive line is doing that well."
On who has a motor for the new aggressive approach on defense
"The good thing about having the seniors that we do is that no one feels like they can't step up and be a leader Ryan Simmons, he's a sophomore, he has a motor. Shaun Lewis has a huge one. Calvin Barnett, Daytawion Lowe, we're on a defense right now that there's so much excitement, we're having so much fun, there are so many leaders that it's not up to just one man to get everyone going. It's a defensive effort, which is great to have."
On the leadership of linebacker Shaun Lewis
"When I say student of the game, when I hear student of the game, I think Shaun Lewis. He knows everything there is to know about a team we're playing. He watches more film than anyone I know, he knows what every position on the field does. It's not a coincidence that he's at the ball all the time. He's such a great athlete and smart player that he's going to be there every time."