Mike Gundy addressed the media yesterday to talk about the Iowa State game, player progression, and preparing to take the team to Lawrence to face Kansas on Saturday.
Gundy recognizes that 3.9 yards per carry isn't going to get the job done especially against the remaining school on the schedule. They need to get better
"We don't run the ball effectively enough. We don't average yard per carry in the running game, and we aren't very explosive in that area."
Most of the running game woes fall on the offensive line. Without a consistent push the backs aren't going to find a lot of space. We've seen the last two games that the offense struggles when line struggles. Yurcich been able to make the needed adjustments in the game, but right now it's basically putting lipstick on a pig. The good news is they will continue to get better with each week.
Tyreek HIll is a special player, and Gundy realizes they need to find more ways to get him the ball and more production on offense. One way they wont be using Hill though, is as a decoy.
"We're not ever going to use him as a decoy. He's too valuable if he touches the football."
Basically what Gundy is saying is they aren't going to intentional use him as a decoy. If teams leave other players streaking down the field in busted coverage because they were worried about HIll, then that's on them.
Most of Hill's offensive "struggles" is for two reasons One, teams key on him right away. Two, the offensive line isn't getting enough of a push. As fast as Hill is, I've noticed that all the defense has to do is get an arm on him. He's got such a small frame he isn't going to run through many tackles. Not like Roland will. He has the speed to get to a hole, but they need to be just a little bit bigger, and it's goodnight.
The Michigan transfer came out of high school as a LB before he was moved to safety in Ann Arbor. Since being in Stillwater Furman as flourished back at his natural position.
"He was the player of the game for us last week. He had seven tackles, a big sack,and another sack, I call it a sack whatever, tackle for a loss, and made some nice plays."
Furman has been a pleasant surprise for the Cowboys in a year they needed someone to step up and make plays in the secondary.
Garman got off to a shaky start against Iowa State. Gundy spoke a little bit about his development, and decision making.
"We ask our quarterbacks to do a lot. We're fairly simple, but our quarterbacks do a lot. He had 34 key reads, and he was good on 28 of them, and that's not bad. He certainly needs to avoid turning the ball over. Some of his throws Saturday that were intercepted weren't necessarily him, because he's going to throw the ball on time, and when he does we need our players to be in the right spot. So there's kind of a two-way street there, but he has to learn and progress."
I think as a fan base we tend to romanticize Weeden a little bit. We forget there were times he opened up a game and didn't look good at all. It would take him a little bit to get going. Daxx is a kind of the same way in that there are time you cringe a little bit early, but once he gets going, he looks fantastic. Garman also does a tremendous job of putting the mistakes behind him and not letting them get to him. Something else Weeden did a fantastic job of.
Gundy was later asked what happens if Daxx loses his helmet on a play, and it's clear they really don't want to give up Mason Rudolph's red shirt.
"You know, I don't have to cross that bridge right now. We've taken that into consideration, but we haven't had to cross that bridge. We've put a double chin strap on him." Gundy Replied.
"We haven't had to cross that bridge yet." Gundy said again.
Preparing for Kansas
We are just about to the halfway point of the season and this will be the first true road game for the Pokes.
"Well I'm concerned in every game with these young guys. There's not a game that we've gone into that I don't have concern, and our players I think understand the importance of preparation. Even though they're young, most of them have followed us, or been around us enough to know." Gundy said. "If you watch their game tape defensively, they slow people down. Teams aren't going up and down the field on them. They're hitting a big pass here of there, they're breaking some tackles they're getting the big run, but just consistent drives down the field on their defense is not happening."
Gundy is pumping Kansas up a little here, but so far this season the Cowboys have played to the level of their opponent, which is a sign of a immature team. So there are no true gimmies, but Kansas is about as close as it gets. Gundy knows this, but he can't afford to let the team relax. If they do it could very well cost them.
Gundy Almost Cut Dan Bailey
Yes, the same Dan Bailey that's setting all kinds of kicking records in the NFL.
"You know when Dan first showed up here, in his first year, we almost cut him, because he was not very good at all. Very seldom could he make field goals in practice. There's always guys walking on wanting to try to be a kicker and a punter. He got a little better, but for a while we almost just moved him on. We said need to get someone else in here and try them, and then something kicked in and he kicked good here. Obviously now he's unbelievable."
Wow, So Gundy almost ran off Dan Bailey and Brandon Weeden. It just shows you how much has to go right in order to have season like 2011.