Everything Mike Gundy said before Oklahoma State football’s first practice

just me I do not know. I wish I knew. We were at 41-41-3 — 41 offense, 41 defense, three special teams. We still have three special teams. So, then we went 38-44. It gave us a chance to add a couple defensive linemen and then a cover guy. Just the number we came up with. I say me because offensive and defensive coaches don’t want to give up numbers, so that’s when I have to say, ‘This is what we’re doing,’ and walk out. No more discussion.”

ON IF IT WAS A HARD CALL TO MAKE SINCE HE IS AN OFFENSIVE-MINDED COACH:

Not really because as I’ve said for a number of years now, certainly I’m raised an offensive guy but I’m for defense stopping people first.”

ON IF THAT HELPS SPECIAL TEAMS:

“Sure. Yeah, because those guys that we bring in can help us on special teams. All those safeties and cover guys, certainly. We have some of the defensive linemen protect in punt and things. Our LEOs can cover in punt and do some things in punt return, so they give us some advantages from a number standpoint.”

ON ADVANTAGE OF HAVING LONG SNAPPER MATT HEMBROUGH BACK:

“Well, nobody ever thinks about snappers and holders until you don’t have one. People just take for granted that it’s all going to just function and be smooth. That’s not true. Those questions never come up until something happens. Then the question is who’s going to do it. We’ve been very lucky here to have for years and years and years deep snappers and holders who are very disciplined. They train themselves essentially. They work out on their own. They go over here during practice and they have their own drill work. Nobody watches them.

“Hembrough’s been fantastic for us. So, we’re in a great situation with our special teams. Snappers, punters, holders, those guys, kickers, we’re in a good situation with those guys.”

ON IF THERE IS A COMPETITION AT KICKER:

“It will be interesting to see what happens in August. We’ve got two good kickers. Alex had an unfortunate situation a couple years ago and Tanner comes in and kicks well and Alex didn’t really feel comfortable last year, in my opinion . From what I’ve been told, he’s had a really, really good summer, so we let them kick. They kick the same number of kicks every day. We let them kick and we’ll see what happens.”

ON HOW KICKER ALEX HALE HANDLED ADVERSITY:

“Alex is very disciplined and very mentally tough. He’s the same all the time. He’s a very unique person. He was some kind of a national award winner in skateboarding or surfing or something — some kind of surfing, slalom or something. Then he got into another sport — some extreme sport — and was good enough to play at a national level. Then he gets into kicking and he does it. So, he’s very disciplined and very mentally tough.”

ON WHAT HE SEES FROM QUARTERBACKS GUNNAR GUNDY AND GARRET RANGEL:

“Well, they’re gonna go and get their reps and compete. One thing that we’ve done here since COVID, what COVID taught us, what the importance of everybody getting the same number of reps. In year’s past, ones and twos Got work Ones got the most Twos got 80% Threes got maybe 10% When COVID hit, we didn’t have any idea who was gonna be able to play, so all three units got the same number of reps after August camp, I realized, ‘Wow, all of our young guys have really improved by getting the same number of reps as our ones.’

“So, they’ll switch off and rotate and get reps, and they’ll get the same number of reps for preparation for the first game.”

ON IF HE WANTS TO PLAY AT A SIMILAR SPEED AS THE SECOND HALF OF THE FIESTA BOWL:

“Well, we always wanna play fast. We’ve done it for a long time. That’s what we want to do, but we also have to consider what situation we’re in. Like early in the year last year, we were playing “Freshmen wideouts that were just trying to get lined up, so speed became a nonfactor. Then fatigue becomes a factor when you have young kids. Our maturity level at positions gives us good numbers and then up front our health is good, Spencer can play fast “That’s the advantage we have with him. He’s become a magician with our offense over his number of years. Playing fast is the responsibility of the quarterback. If we stay healthy, it gives us an opportunity. Now, sometimes we take into consideration who.” we’re playing and what we think matchups are, different things like that, but we would like to play fast.”

ON HIM THINKING THE TEMPO ACROSS THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE WILL PICK UP:

“That’s just me guessing. I don’t have any documentation, that’s just me guessing. [OU offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby] wants to play fast. [Texas Tech offensive coordinator Zach Kittley] wants to play fast. I’ve been told Kansas State is playing almost now. That number is going up. If that’s true, we’re circling back like we do all the time to the way it used to be four, five, six years ago, where there was a lot of track meets. Now, defenses in this league have gotten better at stopping those guys, so we’re gonna find out how it’s all gonna pan out. The last two or three years, nobody really played fast in this league other than us from what I remember. Tech did a little bit. But if these teams that I think are gonna try to play almost all the time, it’ll be interesting to see how the defenses in this league adjust.”

ON IF THE TRANSFER QUARTERBACKS IN THE CONFERENCE PLAY A FACTOR IN TEAMS MOVING FASTER ON OFFENSE:

“It could be. What do is tell you, you can’t. If you don’t have the right guy and you’re trying to play fast, it won’t look good, in my opinion. The coordinators, the guy and then Tech, with what they’re doing, the guy they brought in [Zach Kittley], I think is from Western Kentucky. That’s kinda what they do. So, it’s more so that guy than the quarterbacks. Our history at Oklahoma State, and I can only speak for us, the quarterback could prevent you from doing that real quick.”

ON ALL THE NEW TRANSFER QUARTERBACKS IN THE BIG 12:

“It’s kinda what I was talking about. It’s circling back based on some experienced guys that understand. But this is the future. The future is quarterbacks migrating from one team to the other and how fast you can implement him into your system. There’s just not a lot of patience at that particular position to develop based on what the latest fad is with movement, transfer portal.That is the position that started this if you go back and look.I forgot the young man’s name that was at Georgia and went to Ohio State five, six years ago now [Justin Fields]. He’s in the NFL somewhere probably. That kinda started it. He filed for a waiver, got a waiver, went up there and then they started bouncing around. Well now it’s just common. You see it all the time. You’re gonna see that like crazy. I think eventually in your top 40 schools in the country, you might have as many as 12 to 15 quarterbacks who were at a different school the year before that are playing a considerable amount of time at a new school. Guys don’t want to stay at an organization if they think they’re a backup. They don’t want to stay there.”

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