Gundy Likes How His Team Is Handling Success

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy knows his Cowboys are in first place in the Big 12 South. He knows they control their own destiny from this point on. He didn't need his middle son Gunnar to inform him of all that. Gunnar usually does, and Gundy said after a weekend spent at his cousin's house that her expects Gunnar to greet him when he gets home from practice later Sunday night.

"He'll be there to catch me up on all of that. I usually see him when I get home on Sunday night," said the head coach.

The Cowboys are in that position because of the record-setting 55-28 win on Saturday over previous Big 12 South leader Baylor. The Cowboys racked up 725 yards in total offense, quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for a single game school record 435 yards, and Weeden also completed a single game record of 34 passes.

However, it was the defense that Gundy spoke about first in his day after review.

"It was very simple, the defense played extremely well," said Gundy. "They limited his (Robert Griffin) ability to run with the football and they played well over the top and prevented them from making any big plays on offense. They tackled well.

"On special teams the cover units were really good and then we had that return for a big play. It was one of those days on offense where everything worked. The execution was good. Weeden played well. The running backs and wide receivers were all making plays. In the first half the turnovers were huge and then it was downhill (meaning easy) from there."

Gundy was asked about Kendall Hunter as the star running back had just 14 carries for 66 yards after averaging 25.8 carries the last five games. It is actually a good thing as Hunter has had to do a lot of work lately.

"We thought the other guys could carry the ball and it fit into the game plan," explained Gundy. "Jeremy (Smith) and Joe (Randle) did a good job and were making plays. Sometimes Kendall has to carry the ball 25 times and that is part of the game plan."

Gundy said he likes the fact that his team is playing physical football.

"To me it is still a big part of the game," he said. "We want to be a physical blocking team, be physical in pass protection. We want to tackle well on defense and special teams. I really believe that you have to be a physical football team to win."

Speaking of winning, the stakes keep getting higher as the Cowboys prepare for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium against Texas on ABC television.

Gundy was asked it he had talked to his team about being first in the Big 12 South. He said he had not and that he assumed that they knew. I think that is real strong and correct assumption. As far as this game with Texas being more of a mental hurdle than a physical challenge since OSU hasn't defeated Texas since 1997, Gundy wasn't buying that either.

"Not really, I don't put much stock into that situation," said Gundy. "I think it comes down to the preparation that starts tonight and goes on through the week."

Gundy said he likes the fact that his team operates on a strong team concept where players deal into an accountability and trust factor that outweigh outside influences and opinions. It is that attitude among the players and that radiates throughout the program that caused Gundy to say he thinks the program is the strongest it has been right now at this point.

He feels his older players are not distracted by any outside influences and that his younger players, especially the freshmen, may not have put it all together yet, and that is good too.

I'm thinking that some of those freshmen have just bought into the attitude and mindset of the older players and that list may be growing each day. As that list grows so do the opportunities for this football team.

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