Q&A: Cale Gundy

For the Oklahoma Sooners to be successful on the road they are going to need to establish a powerful running attack to take the pressure off of RS freshman Landry Jones. SI caught up with OU RB coach Cale Gundy to discuss the state of the Sooner rushing attack.

On the state of the running game
We need to be a little bit better and run the football a little bit more physical, break some more tackles, make some bigger plays, and I think we'll start doing that.

On how the down and distance improving in the second and third game impacted the run game
Oh, there's no doubt. We did a lot of things better in this third game than we did in the first game. It's a positive sign that the line is headed in the right direction in the system [for what] we're able to do, and if the kids understand what we want to do, it's just the improvement through more reps, and then the line starts getting a little bit more continuity, I think it's really going to help us.

On DeMarco's progress
Again, I think he's made improvement. I think it's a little bit like last year. I'm a firm believer [that] anytime a guy gets hurt and he's out for awhile, it kind of takes him awhile to kind of get back in the swing of things. So, but he's been healthy as you've seen him out there, and I know [the starters] haven't played much in the third or fourth quarter the last couple games, so I think both he and Chris are very healthy and ready to go for Miami.

On Jonathan Miller and possibly playing him more as the season moves on
Well, I'm going to play the best guys. That's how we do it here, and that's how I do it. That's obvious. As you guys know, I like to play two guys a game and sometimes three guys a game. You know, I like to keep people healthy and keep them fresh throughout the course of the game and also throughout the course of the season.

On if Sam's injury has been a distraction for the team
Not for me. I don't know [for the rest of the team]. You've got to ask the team. I'm upstairs in that office in that staff meeting all morning long and all night long, so I don't think so. Kids are kids. They're 18, 20, 22-year-old kids that come here. They're focused, and I think the great thing about it [is] if you look at a guy like Landry Jones who if you look at all the great quarterbacks we've had around here the last 10 years, that guy set a record here last game and went out and threw six touchdown passes, so I believe our team has great confidence in who we put in.

On Jermaine Gresham's injury possibly forcing OU to run more
No. No. You know, we haven't changed our system and our philosophy in what we want to do just because one guy's out. We've got to have other guys that can step in and make plays.

On rotating the backs
Well, again. The biggest thing is I just get a feel for them. I get a feel for how a guy is playing. You know, sometimes I feel like a guy needs a [break]. Sometimes a guy is on a roll and is doing well. He's got a hot hand, and I kind of typically let those guys trade every series. One goes out one series. One comes out the next series. And you know what? That's the neat thing about it is they've never complained about it. They've never argued. I think they appreciate and they understand. They're old enough to understand that this is a rough sport. There's a difference in playing 40 snaps a game and 70 snaps a game.

On Miami's stout defense
Well, we're looking forward to it. I mean, as you guys have seen in watched in the media, Miami is as good a team as there is out there. I mean, they've played some tough division teams the past weekends, but they started out playing really, really well, and they're a really good football team on defense. They've got a lot of very good players that are very fast. They're definitely going to be ready for us whenever we come down there. We're going to have to play very, very solid, take great care of the football and play smart.

On playing games on the big stage
Oh, of course. I think it's the reason why you come to school at a place like this. You want to play the big games. You want to play the Miami's, the Florida's, the Tennessee's, the USC's and so on. That's the reason why you come here.


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