Richetti Jones: 'It's All About OU'

Sunday's teleconference with Mike Gundy was one of the shortest of the year, which was unusual considering the massive attention that is going to zero in on this edition of the Bedlam football series this week. The Big 12 South Division title will be decided on Saturday night in Stillwater in front of a national audience and as many OSU season ticket holders as possible pack Boone Pickens Stadium.

Despite all the hype brewing, Gundy was very grounded for the first day of the week of preparation as he was heading over to Gallagher-Iba Arena to help his players and other Oklahoma State coaches and student-athletes pass out Thanksgiving care packages to families in need.

I can tell you from personal experience that Gundy comes from a family that takes Thanksgiving very seriously. HIs family grew up sharing what they had with everybody in their neighborhood and anybody that they crossed paths with that was in need.

Thanksgiving dinner at the Gundy's is a special occasion. One thing that won't be discussed will be football as Judy Gundy, the matriarch of the family, won't allow it.

Football was discussed during Sunday's teleconference and Gundy gave a quick review of the win at Kansas.

"It was kind of what we thought (after watching video)," said Gundy. "The defense started slow and the reaction time was slow. Give Kansas credit as they ran some good plays and executed well.

"Quinn (Sharp) was really good for us on (kickoff) special teams and we made some plays on special teams, like the blocked punt. That was a big play, a turning point in the game. The defense played better in the second half and the offense was good overall, not great. We played average as a team but it was good to come out of there with a win," continued Gundy.

Gundy was asked if he will mention to his team last year's Bedlam game and the Cowboys run toward a BCS game that was ill-fated after losing to Oklahoma 27-0.

Gundy said that he wouldn't bring up that game and that he hadn't brought up any past games all season. This team doesn't really care about history. If they were to take a test on OSU football history, they might be short of a passing grade as they have never cared about past series or failures in the past.

A quick survey of the OSU locker room Saturday in Lawrence showed they didn't care about any past results with the Sooners, just the game and the result this coming Saturday.

"It's all about OU," said defensive end Richetti Jones. "It has to be. It was about Texas two weeks ago, last week it was about Kansas, and this week it is about OU. It will be about OU Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday it will be all about OU and then we will celebrate that."

"They have only been concerned with the next game and I really don't think that will change," said Gundy of his squad in more of a subdued style than Jones.

Jones is a good example of the leadership chain that has fostered this attitude and maturity on the team. Gundy explained it has been a work in progress and while no one predicted what has happened this season, Gundy could see the leadership coming along that helped make it happen and that it is place to continue in the program.

"I believe so," answered Gundy. "We will have to see how it pans out the next two or three years. The leadership that these players (Markelle Martin, Shane Jarka, Orie Lemon, Richetti Jones, Brandon Weeden, Kendall Hunter, etc.) have was learned by the coaching staff and the players over the past several seasons.

"Some of these guys were part of those classes. I think it has been handed down at a faster rate. I could see that when, if you remember, I said this summer that I knew we had good talent and I thought that our younger players would play better at an earlier rate. That (leadership) is an example of what I was referring to," added Gundy.

The Cowboys came out of the Kansas game healthy. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon has a slight ankle sprain that did not keep him from going back into the game and with treatment all week with head trainer Rob Hunt should be close to 100 percent by Saturday.

There are also the normal bumps and bruises. The only other player that had to be helped off the field was defensive tackle Chris Donaldson, a nervous moment with OSU's defensive tackle depth. But Donaldson simply had a minor muscle strain and is fine.

Everybody will be needed. This will be a team where offense, defense and special teams will all need to be sharp. It is a great test for a team that has passed so many this season, the most in school history with the 10-1 record going into Bedlam.

It is a team that knows what it wants and knows how to go about getting it better than any team in Oklahoma State's 109 years of football.

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