"What I said last night was accurate," Gundy stated during his Sunday tele-conference with the beat reporters. "I didn't think we gave our best effort. In every game, even the losses other than Houston, I felt we gave a good performance. Last night we didn't give our best effort. We had penalties we haven't had, Bobby (Reid) didn't play very well, we didn't defend the ball on plays like I thought we should. We didn't go down there and give our best effort."
Gundy, who plays close attention to it, said the players played hard and didn't quit in the game. He didn't want to take anything away from Texas but he was adamant about the poor performance.
Before moving on to Baylor, which Gundy didn't anticipate the team having a problem doing, the corrections must be made on Texas and Gundy addressed some of the major issues.
Oklahoma State came in with the fewest penalties the Big 12, averaging only four a game. The Cowboys had four in the first couple of series. The first two illegal proceedure penalties were on wide receivers hinting that the noise and environment created by 89,036 fans was a factor. Gundy thought it was and credited Texas and its crowd on the adverse conditions, but he didn't make it an excuse. "Our guys need to be able to handle it," said Gundy.
The most damaging penalties were those that gave Texas first downs, and there were four of those including a second quarter roughing the passer penalty on a first down incompletion that helped kick start the Longhorns first scoring drive. In the third quarter a roughing the kicker penalty on a third-and-11 also helped Texas on a touchdown drive that made it 30-10 and went a long way to sealing the deal. Both times the guilty party were defensive ends. Marque Fountain on the roughing the passer and Nathan Peterson, just inserted into the punt block unit this past week. Both times the players were trying to make a play, but better judgment has to be emphasized. It has been a staple for this team most of the season.
On Reid, Gundy thought that his quarterback was pressing early in the game and that caused him problems in the first and into the second quarter. He did feel that Reid loosened up and played better the rest of the game, but by that time Texas was up and applying more pressure with the blitz. The scoreboard also took the run game out of the equation and it was much more difficult for the Cowboys to run their offense.
"The first quarter and half of the second he didn't play well," Gundy said of Reid. "That point on they put a lot of pressure. I can't speak for Coach Chizik and his play calling, but up by more than two scores you can apply a lot more pressure."
On the three touchdown passes the Cowboys allowed Gundy felt all three could be corrected.
"Perrish Cox thought he had his guy covered, but he didn't turn and make a play," said Gundy. "I thought on one that Jacob Lacey could have outjumped the receiver and should have made the play, and on the other he didn't play the ball very well."
There were other mistakes in other areas and all will be addressed, but when asked a bottom line question about whether the program as a whole is as far along heading into game 10 of the season as he expected it would be back in the spring Gundy was hesitant to answer. Gundy, who complimented young players like linebacker Patrick Lavine, offensive tackle Russell Okung and cornerback Perrish Cox for how they played as true freshmen based on who, where and when they were playing, has his own guage of grading and evaluating the program. It is based in part on knowledge that outsiders, even close observers, wouldn't completely know.
"I'm always tentative in discussing how I feel about the program because of areas that only those inside the program understand," said Gundy. "I do think we are further along at this time than last year I would have thought we would be."
All of the outsiders and close observers on the outside will be eyeballing that this week. A year ago Oklahoma State went to Waco and turned the ball over eight times and lost to Baylor, despite a furious attempt to comeback, 44-34. Now Baylor comes to Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday having lost its last two games, three of the last four, and having to play a redshirt freshman backup quarterback after losing their senior starter to a season-ending knee injury.
The Cowboys are looking for their sixth win which would make them bowl eligible and give them the opportunity to better their position in the final two games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma. This would appear to be a good barometer game that will definitely influence outside opinions.
Gundy Disappointed In Performance
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