Sunday Rewind: Savage Impresses Gundy

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy wasn't over complimentary of any phase of his team or any individual following Saturday's workmanlike effort in defeating Sam Houston State 39-3 on Saturday night. In the retrospect that comes with watching the video tape on Sunday, Gundy seemed to change his mind about one player.

"Dantrell (Savage) made some pretty good runs," said Gundy when asked if anything or anyone stood out on the video. "He made an impact in the game. He can do some of that (stop and start and make people miss)."

Savage finished with 115 yards on just 15 carries for an average of 7.7 yards a carry and he also took a screen pass from Zac Robinson on his only reception for 18- ards and his first touchdown scoring catch of his career. During his night he had runs of 11, 18, 17, 14, 22, and 11 yards.

The best thing about Savage and the performance of the Cowboys against the Bearkats was they won the game 39-3, and they did it in a fashion with a strong third quarter that allowed most of the starters to sit and watch in the fourth quarter.

"There were 62 plays (out of 78) for the (first team) offense and 72 (out of 79) plays for the (first team) defense," said Gundy. "It was good after all the plays we've had at Troy and with Texas Tech to get them out some, but the defense still had to play almost a full game. We have been over 80 on both sides of the ball, but we had it under control."

The Cowboys could use the rest because this week comes a very different challenge on both sides of the ball as they visit Kyle Field for a battle with the ground troops of Texas A&M. After seeing teams for the past four games that very much fancy themselves as more of an air force in style, A&M is a husky run-oriented team on offense and a big, physical defense that has struggled some in giving up passing yards. The A&M defense is 75th in the nation, but Gundy sees a pretty strong unit that includes former OSU defensive coordinator Bill Clay on their staff.

"I don't see their defense as suspect," said Gundy. "You look back and they are not giving up many points a game. They had that overtime game (Fresno State), but they gave up 7, 14 and 10 (Saturday to Baylor). I see some similarities to what (Bill Clay) did here. Like everybody they are using more zone pressure, but there are some similarities because they are an eight-man front."

Zac Robinson, according to Gundy, had an average game and mad some ill-advised throws that resulted in his two interceptions. Gundy feels Robinson will continue to improve with experience and the Aggies are the team in which he had his coming out party last season when he came off the bench for an injured Bobby Reid and played well enough for the Cowboys to win in an overtime loss.

With the size of the Aggies up front on defense, the offensive line, following the injury to David Washington, will be challenged differently than they have been so far.

"I hope so," said Gundy when asked if the offensive line is ready. "They don't have a choice. They need to step up and make some plays."

The Aggies, led by veteran Red Bryant at defensive tackle, average 6-4 1/2 and 291 pounds from end to end up front. They also have MIsi Tupe and Mark Dodge that are aggressive play-making linebackers.

The Oklahoma State defense will still need to be concerned with stopping the pass, but a lot less. The Aggies are going to come right at you with the combination of bulldozer Javorskie Lane (6-0, 263) and speedster Michael Goodson (6-0, 200, 4.45). Quarterback Stephen McGee is an advanced version of Zac Robinson who is jet quick and very effective on the option and zone read.

"There's a change in that they'll come right at us and run the option and make us play assignment defense," said Gundy. "We have to be ready to step up."

Stepping up is a theme. The Cowboys have to step up in play and they need to step up on the road. The program has simply not had as much success as they need to playing away from Boone Pickens Stadium in recent years. It might be best if Gundy just advises his player to take the attitude he had as a player.

"It didn't really matter to me. I didn't pay much attention to where it was (being played)," said Gundy when asked about his attitude as a player in road games. "You just play. It's like (the movie) Hoosiers, drop the tape and measure from the rim. It's the same as it is anywhere."

It sure needs to seem the same the next two weeks for the Cowboys because a lot is to be decided starting Saturday in College Station.

GoPokes Top Stories