Sunday Chat: Gundy Seemed To Be In A Bad Mood

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy talks with the beat media on a conference call each Sunday during the season. Gundy answers questions about the game the day before and takes a peek ahead at the next game. That is where these Sunday recaps are derived.

It's hard to gauge a person's mood over the phone sometimes, but this Sunday Mike Gundy didn't seem to be in the best mood. That is easily explained by the fact that his team lost a hard fought game in which they came back from being three touchdowns down to have a chance on a final drive to tie or win.

Or it may have something to do with the fact that he is dealing with several injuries. He has a linebacker (Pagitte McGee, knee) that may be out for most of or all the season, and two other key players (linebacker Lawrence Pinson, ankle, and quarterback Bobby Reid, foot) that could miss Saturday's game at Texas A&M. There are several other players that will need to get over nagging injuries from Saturday. Those are all legitimate reasons to be less than happy.

I believe there may be a third reason. If Gundy opened his Sunday newspaper he found yet another in a line of stories projecting "doom and gloom" for the OSU program. It is one thing to report facts, but columnists inject their opinions. Many have had negative thoughts in recent weeks on the Cowboys. The latest entry was Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman with her column, "OSU Could Land on the Bottom - And Stay There." More on that thought later.

The injuries are more important and Gundy said he won't know anything about Reid, who suffered a foot injury on a fourth quarter sack and had to be carted to the training room for an X-ray, until Monday at noon.

Reid was wearing a protective boot when he came back to the sidelines. Reid said after the game said he wouldn't know until later from the doctors what his situation was for Saturday's game at College Station, Texas.

"In order to play you have to practice on Wednesday," Gundy said. "We won't know more on that until Monday at noon. If they can practice on Wednesday then we can see how they hold up at practice, and make the determination om whether they will play."

Asked if Reid could not go what the plan would be at quarterback, Gundy said he wouldn't talk about it. Why let A&M know? Just let the Aggies guess.

Gundy did say he liked what he saw out of backup Al Pena, who led OSU to one touchdown with a touchdown pass to D'Juan Woods on the fade on fourth down.

"Without looking at it on tape I thought he played pretty good," said Gundy. "He made a throw or two, and he knows what he is doing, having been around a couple of years. He functions well in the offense, having run a sophisticated offense in high school, and he understands coverages."

How confident was Gundy in Pena and the offense? He revealed that a decision had already been made that if Pena had led the offense to a touchdown on that final drive to bring the Cowboys within 38-37, instead of throwing the interception, that the Cowboys were going for a two-point conversion and the win.

Gundy said the staff had already discussed it and he had decided to go for two and a play had been picked out. He took into account the way the game was going and that he felt at the time Missouri's defensive line was tired and his offensive line was going good. At the same time he was dealing with a defense that was beat up and injured and trying to stop Missouri quarterback Brad Smith.

Gundy said he had yet to meet with the defensive staff so he was not aware of what defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and his staff were thinking on how to deal with injuries in the defensive lineup.

He was asked about his team's mood. "They put a lot of work and effort into that game and they are dejected," said Gundy. "We play to win the football game, so I know they are disappointed."

He was also asked how he thinks his players will deal with Kyle Field this Saturday. "Hopefully, let's go out and play," said Gundy. "This will be a good experience for them as players – not to get caught up in all the game day atmosphere."

Truth be told – and now we're getting back to Carlson and the media outlook of doom and gloom – the next two weeks on the road may not be as imposing as one might have thought. A&M was blasted by Colorado 41-20 on Saturday night in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the score would inidcate. That will likely temper the enthusiasm in Aggieland. Iowa State, the opponent a week down the line, lost at home to Baylor and has to go on the road this week to play Missouri.

"It's hard to tell about the Big 12," Gundy said. "It's like I've always said, it's a week to week situation. You can quit comparing scores (because) it doesn't matter. It's all about matchups and how your fullbacks match up with their linebackers and your wideouts with their corners. It's hard to figure. I think Texas must be a pretty good team, but my point is it is a week to week situation."

OSU has six more weeks to go match up.

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