Gundy Says Cowboys Need To Get Better

My overall thought is that most fans are in the same boat with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy. They realize that this team is better than a year ago, but the Cowboys have more improvement to make. In hindsight, which Gundy discussed in his Sunday conference call with the media, watching the tape you discover a variety of aspects from the game.

"It was difficult," Gundy said of watching the video. "It's what we do as coaches -- playing the thing back. You see things you'd do a little differently, but for the most part we had it schemed proficiently and we'll show that to the players. We got better. We were better than the Houston game."

Both sides of the ball and special teams could have made a play late that would have sealed the 10-point lead the Cowboys had with 4:32 left in the game when Kansas State started the first of two drives that led to the comeback win.

The offense had a couple of chances to pick up first downs that would have led to running out the clock. After the Wildcats first comeback touchdown the kickoff return team could have handled the pooch kickoff better and given the offense better field position than its own 10-yard line.

However, much of the discussion in the Sunday conference was on the defense on K-State's final two drives.

"The last four minutes of the game," Gundy said in being asked to review what he saw in that time frame in reviewing the video. "It was really the last three minutes because the first several plays we forced them to dump the ball underneath and we tackled them. They came back and hit passes, big plays and we missed tackles. It's that simple. It was the linebackers and DBs both. They dropped coverages and missed tackles. They didn't get to where they were supposed to be in time and then when they caught the ball we missed tackles."

There was no conspiracy, it was that simple. If the defense had made even one play it could have kept the Cowboys on top by the three points at 27-24. Again, just a play away.

On the offense, Gundy said he didn't see any changes and thought that Mike Hamilton would start because he is further along overall in the offense than Toston. But he said if Toston continues to play at the level he played on Saturday he will get the most opportunities in a game. Gundy thought Bobby Reid played well. He said he could have run the ball better, but he handled the passing game well and didn't throw into bad situations instead tucking the ball and running.

As for the slow start in the first half, Gundy thought there was a simple answer to that as well. He also corrected the media by explaining to them that K-State was not stacked to stop the run in the first half as they thought. The Wildcats defense was in cover two almost the entire first half.

"We needed a big run or a big pass to get us going," said Gundy. "We kind of flopped around. Then in the second half we had some of those plays and started to get in rhythym."

Finally, there is no quit in Gundy. He was up early working this morning and he is ready to push ahead to Kansas. And while he knows his players are hurting he also knows they will get going again as well.

"It's easy to keep them going," said Gundy. "It's what we do. Would you rather be a team that had five turnovers and lost 48-16 or a team that was in position to win and just didn't finish. If I'm a race car driver and I finish second by a car length as opposed to finishing 58th, I know I have to come back and race with that same engine next week. But if I tinker with it and find a way to get a little more power out of it then I have a chance. We need to find a way to get a little more effort and make a few more plays.

"As long as they are giving you effort, are trying hard and learning you can't beat them down," added Gundy. "Younger players need to continue learning on the run and veteran players need to finish."

Gundy wouldn't buy into it, speculation. But this is a better and more talented team that a year ago. If they can get a win soon they could be good enough to get on some sort of a roll. The first huge road block to that is Texas in November. The concern is there are seven games left and you'd like to see them give themselves that opportunity sooner rather than later.

GoPokes Top Stories