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Gundy Presser - KU has a decent quarterback and the run game needs fixed

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Gundy Press Conference.10.19.15

Coach came out today sporting the Cactus Bowl shirt and talked about the bye week, a little KU, Homecoming, Spencer and his defense, and described his personal football watching habits.

On the Bye Week

  • Opened with, "Everybody seems to be in good spirits and rested up."

  • On the importance of the bye week's timing in the schedule: "It was one of the thought processes going into it. But, you just have to see how the season goes. We've played a number of close games and I felt like our players needed a break. If they don't get away from us, they don't really get a break."

  • "I think it's pretty safe to say I'm very appreciative of where we are right now. There's close games all over the country and to win some late is what it takes to have a good season. We could be the same football team and be 4-2. We all understand that and we appreciate it."

Kansas

  • "They played much better last week (vs Texas Tech) in really both phases. So, there's some improvement going on there."

  • (Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis) "He's throwing the ball around. He's fairly accurate. There's just not a lot of plays with him since he didn't play until just recently. He looks like he's kind of given them a spark." Great - another sparking quarterback!

  • "Ultimately, the last three times we've played against Kansas, we haven't fared very well on offense."

On the Offense

  • Coach was asked about working on the run game: "Hopefully you'll see some improvement. But, I don't think you're going to, all the sudden, see us become a great running football team." Well, that's encouraging.

  • Regarding the number of receivers being targeted by Rudolph: "It's good if you have guys on both sides of the field you can count on to make catches. It should start to help the running game more because we can make people be aware of where our receivers are on the field. It helps him with the blitz - helps him to know if they're pass heavy on one side, he can go to the other side and not just rely on one person."

  • He was asked about the impact of the freshmen. On Jeff Carr: "He hasn't got to play as much, but our goal with him was to get him some reps and teach him...and then he's helped us in special teams."

Return Game Issues

  • "I haven't been real pleased with our blocking on kickoff returns. We've stressed that some this week. If we can fit people up better (whatever that means), Carr will look better returning kickoffs."

  • "McCleskey's giving us some plays; he's got speed, he's in there on punt returns and he's getting a little better."

Glenn Spencer and the Defense

  • Coach Gundy was asked about how Spencer has impacted this defense: "Some people have a unique ability to train young people, to teach and coach and get them focused on what really matters. It's one of the strong points he has as a coach - is to teach."

  • "We're not good enough to just show up and get wins. We have to get better every day and he (Spencer) has a unique ability to get players to see what's important at the end of the day."

  • "The 2nd half of this season will really be an indicator of how good we really are."

  • On a couple other freshmen, Darrion Daniels and Kenneth Edison-McGruder: "Darrion is playing better than I thought a true freshman would play in the defensive line. McGruder has been good for us on special teams and he's learning to play defense."

  • Asked about Markelle Martin as a GA (how did I not know this was happening?): "He's learning. He's got a long ways to go as a coach. But, he communicates with our players well. He's very intelligent. There's just such a difference in playing this game and coaching it."

  • On Jordan Sterns: "He has great leadership presence. He's a good tackler. He's a coach's dream from the standpoint...at the end of the game he still wants to be in on special teams. Late in games, he wants to be in there and his energy's at a high level."

  • And, it doesn't really fit here, but since leadership came up - there was this on JW: "He's a big part of our offense - big part of our football team. We need to expand his role as much as possible. It's just not as easy as people think."

Homecoming

  • "It's always a great day. It's the largest Homecoming in the country - give or take. 30-35000 people on the Walk on Friday night - it's a great atmosphere."

  • "You know a lot of people are going to show up because I get calls from 250 people asking for tickets and they all want 4! And that's a good thing. Bad thing is I have to tell them no - I don't have them."

Finally...

  • Coach was asked if he got to watch any football Saturday - a Gundy Classic: "Watched a lot of 13 year old and 11 year old. Didn't get too watch a lot of college."

  • When you do watch, is it as a spectator or like a scouting report? "Scouting report. Wish I had one of my boys here to give you the 15-second rundown. John's (Helsley, I'm guessing) got that Big Chief notebook there and his pen. I have one of those sitting next to the chair I sit in to watch games. It's usually 2 pages and I bring it in on Sunday to go over it with the coaches and it's probably the worst hour and a half of their week. I take notes on things that are good and bad and should be changed. That's how I watch the game and I don't know any other way to watch it."