Gundy addresses the media in preparation for Big 12 play. He talks about getting the team ready for next Thursday's game against Texas Tech, player development at different positions, and the health of J.W. Walsh.
Gundy was asked about the status of Walsh's injury, and whether or not he is out for the season.
"He's out for a few weeks for sure", Gundy said. "He could very well come back at the end of the year"
This may be another case of Coach being vague with the media, but I wouldn't be surprised if they really don't know.
Daxx Garman has stepped to fill in for Walsh, and Gundy addressed how he's been performing.
"He throws the deep ball pretty well. His accuracy seems to be improving" Gundy said. "He should improve each week."
There was bound to be rust on Garman's cannon of an arm after sitting on the sidelines for 5 years, but after some bad throws in the first quarter against UTSA he seemed to settle into the game. Daxx has been a highly touted player since high school, and I think it's safe to say he will only get better from here.
"He's been really good once the ball's been snapped. He's fired a couple out there that we weren't excited about, but he's also done a good job of getting to a third and fourth receiver a few times.", Gundy said. "Very few people did that in this program other than Weeden, and that's because he was sitting back there and the Green Bay Packers were protecting when he was here."
I've said it from the beginning of the season, the biggest issue for the Cowboys is the offensive line play, specifically the center. This season will be defined on how well they can come along.
"I don't know that they'll be a lot better. I think they can be a little better." Gundy said. "It's going to take a while for them to get to where the lines we played here the last three or four years. They're not anywhere near being in the same capacity as those lines were."
The good news is Oklahoma State has already gone toe to toe with the defending National Champion, and I don't think anyone believes they lost the game because of the O-line. The bad news is they struggled to get a push against UTSA. Oklahoma State's ground attack will likely depend on the health of Desmond Roland. The Cowboys need his physicality. If defenses don't respect OSU's ability to rush up the middle, Tyreek Hill and Rennie Childs will have a much harder time getting to the edges.
"We need Des in there for two reasons. One, he's experienced, and two, he pushes the pile and he moves downhill.", said Gundy. "We just weren't able to get him in space like we did last year, because we don't block good enough right now."
The playing against UTSA was a little frustrating. It felt like Yurcich's game plan was run up the middle, and four verticals. Even though it wasn't pretty it worked. Which lead me to believe that the Cowboys were treating the game more as a practice, and working on blocking assignments more than anything else.
According to Coach Gundy though, it's more about the limitations of a young team than anything else.
"We don't really have the luxury to open up the playbook. We have a quarterback that's only played two games in his career, and we have three young offensive linemen, and teams we compete against know that. " Gundy said. "There's not really any reason to hide that."
Something tells me Oklahoma State's offense is a little more flexible than Gundy let's on, but don't expect too much variety on Thursday night.
Gundy was asked if he needs to "rediscover Tyreek Hill".
"The punter hung the ball up so high we couldn't get a return." Gundy said. "When you're relying on special teams you can't always say he's going to get to touch the ball. We need him to touch the ball. Some games will be more than others, but we'd certainly like it to be at least twenty times a game."
Let me first say that I am impressed Gundy even gave a response to this question. He could have as easily said, "Are you freaking kidding me?". I wouldn't have blamed him either. Teams are going to plan for Tyreek Hill, and they are going to do everything they can to keep the ball away from him. I actually thought UTSA did something pretty smart. They didn't try and get cute and over think it. If the Pokes didn't bring pressure, I noticed the UTSA punter would hold the ball as long as possible before sending it downfield. It's simple, allow your coverage as much time as possible to get down and cover the return.
As a fan, Thursday night games are not so great. There's no tailgating to speak of, and getting down I-35 in time for kickoff is a perilous affair. Gundy doesn't like them any more than we do.
"I don't like any change. I would rather play every saturday and have one open week a year, but television and money dictate otherwise." Gundy said. "We get on a plan setup for a Thursday game and we start and work our way backwards like we would on a Saturday."
The defense has been a bright spot of the Cowboy team. The line has been as dominant as OSU fans hoped they would, and the secondary seems to be coming together. The job Glenn Spencer is doing is phenomenal.
"We are encouraged by the youth, and the direction on that side of the football."
Preparing for Texas Tech
To say Texas Tech looks susceptible to the run, is an understatement. Last week they gave up 438 yards on the ground to Arkansas, but that doesn't necessarily the Cowboys would have the same success.
"Arkansas is a completely different system that what we have." Gundy said. "Arkansas is going to play with two tight ends and a fullback. I'm going to guess they practice those play a lot. So it's a different scheme for us than what Arkansas plays with on a week to week basis."
Just before the press conference news broke that Texas Tech's defensive coordinator had abruptly resigned. Gundy was asked how that may affect the Pokes gameplan.
"Our coaches will have to make that decision in the first quarter. Based on what they are going to try and run on defense, or they may just stay the same, but I doubt they're going to tell us."