Sunday Rewind: Gundy, Staff Evaluate Offense

Mike Gundy

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was not claiming to have all the answers just 24 hours after the Cowboys first loss of the season that dropped them from 11th in both of the major polls to number 20 in the USA Today Coaches poll and number 21 in the Associated Press poll.

The reasons that Oklahoma State lost 30-21 at West Virginia in the team's Big 12 Conference opener had not changed from Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening when Gundy took part in his weekly teleconference with the media. "No question," said Gundy. "We talk about it a lot. Coaches know turnovers, big plays, kicking game (mistakes). We were poor in the kicking game and then we turned the ball over. When you do those things, especially on the road, you have to be much better than the other team in order to win.

"We were on the road and we gave up 20 plus points on those things a lone. We had a 13-yard punt and I don't know what the other one was, what a 17- or 16-yard punt and that's like going for it on fourth down (and turning the ball over). It all added up to 20-plus points (for West Virginia)."

There were lots of reasons but Gundy most wants to examine if it was a flaw in the design, a mistake or mistakes in the way the game plan was assembled and put together. Gundy has always prided his staff on coming up with plans that give the players a chance to succeed.

"It was more execution," said Gundy when asked about the plan.

Gundy said that he was relieved that it was more execution. He explained that the offense had problems up front. Our review of the game on video revealed that each position in the offensive line had a mistake or two but Chris Grisbhy and Travis Cross at the right guard position let several players loose including some blitzing linebackers and safeties that assaulted the "A" and "B" gaps.

"We had some problems up front (on the offensive line), cuts by the backs, bad throws, and we had some drops. We had some drops late in the game that if they were catches would have made a major difference in the game," said Gundy.

Gundy said the offensive staff met Sunday morning for more than three hours going over each play and looking for the reason they did not succeed.

"We've had it happen in games before but I don't want to have a plan that is flawed and the players never had a chance to succeed," said Gundy.

The Cowboys coaching staff spent considerable time going over and making corrections on some of the other issues the Cowboys had in the game.

Gundy wasn't sure and had not heard from the Big 12 Conference on whether there was any additional punishment for cornerback Justin Gilbert, who was thrown out of the game for unsportsmanlike behavior.

"I usually hear from the conference on something like that by noon on Sunday, so I would assume he is good to play," added Gundy.

Receivers Josh Stewart and Jhajuan Seales were both injured with blows to the head late in the game. Stewart's head bounced hard off the turf and Seales dove for a pass and had a player coming through collided with the back of his helmet.

"Both of them were at meetings today," said Gundy. "Now anytime a player gets an injury where he is dinged in the head then they have their testing they do Tuesday morning and then (the sports medicine staff) lets me know about them."

Gundy said that no change is planned at kicker and punter. He said they made the decision to go with freshman Ben Grogan and transfer Kip Smith. He said he saw no change in practice last week and even felt good about all of Smith's other punts in the game besides the two in the teens.

Gundy was also asked if they ever considered using Clint Chelf in the second half or late in the game. He said, "not really." He explained by saying the offense did come out and drive right down the field in the third quarter and then had the drive down to the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead.

He felt Walsh was going to get it done. Walsh had his share of errant throws but he also had some key drops by receivers as Gundy mentioned.

Now the important job this week is to try to piece it all back together and get the offense, defense and special teams all playing together when Kansas State comes to Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday.

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