Gundy, Cowboys Getting Respect

Mike Gundy won the best dressed coach award for Day One at the Big 12 Media Days. The Oklahoma State head coach was well attired in a plaid grey suit with a light purple tie and purple pocket square. It was a good look even though Gundy deviated from his usual orange tie and appointments.

His attire was not the reason, but Gundy said he definitely noticed and so did his players that they were getting plenty of respect, you know street cred, from the media representatives around the Big 12. Gundy said that just means the Cowboys have lots of work to do to live up to the new and improved billing.

Gundy gave an overall update of where the Cowboys are just a week away from reporting. They will actually report for duty next Tuesday, August 4.

"Our football team is finishing up school this week and going home for a few days," said Gundy. "I noticed the excitement, just being around them in the last week and also listening to the players that came down with me today on the airplane about the upcoming season.

"We're healthy. We've got a number of players on the offensive side of the ball that everybody's aware of; that we're really excited about what they'll do this fall. Even more so, on the defensive side of the ball. Our new coordinator Bill Young and our defensive players Andre Sexton and Perrish Cox and Derek Burton and Pat Lavine and those guys are excited to improve defensively and play better football."

Gundy, quarterback Zac Robinson, offensive tackle Russell Okung, star linebacker Andre Sexton, and defensive backs coach Jason Jones took turns talking to print, television, and radio.

One constant question was about whether the defense would hold up its end of the bargain with the offense and special teams. If the change to Young and some added experience on that side of the ball would add up to more notoriety for the defenders. Could that improvement also be the needed addition to beat Texas, Oklahoma, or both, and win the Big 12 South?

"Quite honestly, we've been more athletic as a group on that side (offense) of the ball, and we've had players that could potentially play in the NFL, which makes a big difference," answered Gundy.

"Defensively, we've acquired more speed, more athleticism, and our leadership that we're getting this year from Perrish Cox, Andre Sexton, Derek Burton, Pat Lavine and those guys helps to alleviate the split between an offense and defense.

"We're hoping that our special teams play ... will be very good this year. Joe DeForest does a great job for our special teams, and the team chemistry we have narrows the gap over the period of years in this league, Big 12 and what's happened in the south with Texas and Oklahoma. Both can be very good.

"Unfortunately, we're one of the few teams that can be in the top 10 in most polls across the country and be third in our division. But we have a goal, and our goal is to put a team on the field that has a chance to win every Saturday. We'll work hard to accomplish that."

Gundy was well received, so where his players, and Oklahoma State is on course to prepare for what could be the most memorable season in Cowboy football history.

"To kind of sum it up, there's a lot of excitement right now in the state of Oklahoma," said Gundy. "Stillwater on campus for Oklahoma State football, and we're just finished to move into our new facility. We're thrilled about that."

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