Gundy: We Expect Improvement

A day later and with the advantage of looking at the video tape, first-year Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said Sunday his team's 15-10 win over Montana State was about what he thought it was with his view from the sidelines.

"It was what we thought," said Gundy. "Bobby Reid ran the ball well and was effective with the ball in his hands. Donovan (Woods) missed on some throws downfield that had we hit on those would have put us in a different situation in the game. Donovan executed well and was tough, ran the ball well in the first half, but we didn't run him much after that."

Stopping right there we'll speed up to address the most likely, most asked question by Cowboy fans - will there be any change at quarterback going into Thursday's quick turnaround game against Florida Atlantic at Dolphin Stadium?

"I don't think there will be much change the rest of the season," said Gundy. "Both guys are capable of helping us and there will be opportunities for both of them to do that."

Now with the rest of the review of Saturday night.

"I thought our defense was effective because they ran to the ball and really hustled to make plays," Gundy said of the defenders that shutout Montana State in the second half. "We had the lowest number of lack of efforts (reviewing the video) that I've seen out of a team in 15 years, and that shows us that our players have a good attitude and they are playing hard.

"I thought the running backs ran hard. Julius Crosslin and Mike Hamilton played about like I thought they would and I was proud of their effort. They need to quit dropping their hips and looking for tacklers in the open field. That was something that reminded me of Tatum Bell as a sophomore, when he would be in the open field he would look for defenders. He grew out of that and then in the open field would make a move and go score. We need Crosslin and Hamilton to do that.

"I thought Matt Fodge was effective for his first game as a freshman. He went out there and punted the ball well and really helped with field position."

There were some laments, mostly on the part of the head coach. It was a whole new view for Gundy, who has almost always been in the press box. A big change was his cheerleading role on defense.

"I'm watching the defense and trying to get those guys to play hard, coaching attitude," said Gundy. "In the past I would never see the defense, I was drawing up plays and working on the next (offensive) drive."

Gundy said looking back he might have kicked the field goal on the second half drive that landed the Cowboys in a fourth-and-one at the Montana State goal line.

"I wanted to go for it," said Gundy. "I want our team to know we're going to play aggressive, but most coaches might have kicked the field goal. That was the conventional thing to do and go up by eight points, I know that. I came in this morning and told the staff that we should have kicked it and they said, no, we needed to go for it on the one-yard line."

Gundy also said at the end of the half he takes the blame for trying to clock the football and get a field goal attempt. He said in retrospect that two seconds wasn't enough to do that, a team really need four seconds and that they should have run the field goal team out there and tried to kick it off the official marking the ball for play.

He feels the offense will improve off the opening game, and the combination of a new offensive scheme with so many young players playing for the first time in a game led to mistakes, mistakes that will be corrected.

"Anytime you are playing young guys you are going to have mistakes," said Gundy. "I was concerned not only playing so many freshmen but also playing so many guys out there for their first time in a game. Paschal Smith, Brandon Pettigrew, Ricky Price, Michael Hamilton, David Washington, 60 to 70 percent of the offense were out there for the first time. You have to decide how much they can do, but you also want to scheme and run the things that give you a chance. You do too much and you make a bunch of mental errors and you are back to where you were."

The Cowboys start the short turnaround for Florida Atlantic, which lost at Kansas 30-19 on Saturday night, with an 8:30 Sunday night practice preceeded by meetings throughout the day.

Gundy was so impressed with what he saw out of Florida Atlantic on tape that he mentioned that since the game is in Miami that the Owls ought to be favored.

"Their offense is similar to what we have been the past four years," Gundy said of the Howard Schnellenberger-coached Owls. "They run a pro-style (offense) with two backs, tight ends and use sprint draw, iso, sweep. I was real impressed with their quarterback. I'd hate to see the one they had last year because this guy (Danny Embick) was making plays off his front foot, back foot, scrambling. He's a good quarterback."

Embick, who is a transfer from West Virginia, finished the game against Kansas completing 20-of-28 passing with no interceptions and three touchdowns. He had 299 yards passing, including a 66-yard touchdown to Thomas Parker (6-2, 188) who beat KU's preseason All-American candidate Charles Gordon on the play. The Owls only rushed for 70 yards in the game to finish with 369 yards of total offense against a Jayhawk defense that was pretty good last season and returned most of their starters. Running back Di Ivory Edgecomb led the Owls in rushing with 19 yards. Embick was sacked by the Jayhawks three times for -22 yards. Kansas also ran for 201 yards on the Florida Atlantic defense.

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