OSU-Iowa State: Five Questions

Robert Allen answers the questions that Oklahoma State fans are asking after Saturday's loss to Iowa State.

1. What is the attitude on the squad following the loss?
Unbelievably good. The players say they are looking forward to Texas and they act as if they really mean it. The head coach says he is looking forward to it.

"The one thing I haven't had any problem doing is getting excited about starting again," said head coach Mike Gundy. "We're on a new week now, and I'm looking forward to getting back in the office tomorrow morning and seeing what was good and bad and fixing it. We had a couple of players injured today and see which guys we're going to get back and how we're going to overcome the ones we don't have and keep working. I'm excited about it. I love the way the players are giving great effort. If they will continue to I know eventually the tide will turn. You can really tell what a man is made of in times of adversity, and we have some adversity and we have to deal with it."

Players too, say they are ready to keep going strong.

"There's no quit in me and I know there isn't any quit in any of the other linebackers." said senior linebacker Paul Duren. "We have the number two team in the nation coming in here next week and that's an opportunity to make a splash nationally."

"I'm always comfortable because I believe in our offensive line," said running back Greg Gold. "I believe in our receivers and our quarterback. We just had some costly turnovers there in the second half that we are going to work very hard at eliminating this week. We're going to get it right, get us a win, get us three more wins and go to a bowl game."

2. What happened to the coverage units on punts and kickoffs?
There was no excuse on the kickoff - poor tackling and pursuit is a good blanket reason. On the punt there were some poor tackles, but credit Iowa State's kick block unit as they apply so much pressure or threat of pressure makes it tough on a kicker. The coverage unit, which is also the protection, had to hold those blocks just a fraction longer, and for returners like DeAndre Jackson and R.J. Sumrall an extra second is huge.

3. How could Al Pena throw four interceptions in a half for the second week in a row?
He did improve as two of those interceptions, the fade to D'Juan Woods and the corner route to tight end Brandon Pettigrew, where not Pena's fault. The pass to Woods was one-on-one man coverage and that is what you want - one-on-one with Woods where he can go up and get it. On the toss to Pettrigrew, the redshirt freshman hesitated thinking the pass was going to be short, and the safety Nik Moser got there for the pick.

4. Is there any good news in the midst of this four-game losing streak?
Freshman receiver Ricky Price had five receptions for 55 yards. The freshman from Houston is really coming into his own. He made at least one catch that you probably don't expect a receiver to make.

"We really needed another receiver to come through like that and he's done a great job." Pena said of his second favorite target.

"I think Ricky is a guy that is playing hard, and there is a freshman that has played seven games and has put himself in a position where he understands more and has a feel for the speed of the game," Gundy said of his freshman receiver. "You can fire the ball to him and he makes a catch and makes some plays. He plays hard and he blocks. He's a guy that is going to get better and better each game. He's a guy that is quite a bit better than he was seven games ago."

5. What was the complimentary part of the game plan to the quick hitch pass to the wide receivers?
The hitch to the wide receiver worked well early, but as the game wore on the corners and safeties were more in tune to it. The complimentary section of the offense on Saturday were deep throws. Oklahoma State had chances, but credit the corners and the safeties of Iowa State for staying at home and playing their defense, the way their staff intended it. It's pretty frustrating.

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