Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was a guest on Tim Brando’s show on Yahoo! Sports Radio Wednesday morning, chatting about the Cowboys’ throttling of Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, college offenses making their way into the NFL and his flirtations with other schools.
Here’s the entire transcript:
On the dominating Heart of Dallas Bowl performance:
“Our coaching staff is very proud of our team and the way that they’ve handled themselves over the last three weeks. Very professional. Originally, there was some disappointment. It’s only human nature that you finish tied for third in the Big 12 and you fall to a slot in a bowl category (and) you feel like you should have been much higher, in their opinion. Once the players realized that there’s certain things in life we can control and some we can’t. And obviously, we couldn’t control our situation. They set their mind that they wanted to prove to whoever put in that position that that’s not the slot that we should have fit in.
“Now, on the other hand, the Heart of Dallas Bowl was terrific. The city of Dallas was awesome. It’s great for our recruiting. Everything was exactly the way it should be and (the way) we wanted it for the future.
“Other than that, I was really proud of our team. Our quarterbacks played really well. Our defense was terrific. We were able to force some turnovers, and it worked out really well for our football team.”
On calling plays in the bowl game and the quarterback situation:
“Fortunately, we’ve been through (an offensive coordinator change) three times in the last six years. I really enjoy that part of football. I had to go back to work, so to speak, in preparing the quarterbacks and putting the game plan together. Getting the opportunity to call plays is so much fun. But it makes me realize that, on weekly basis during the season, it’s so difficult to be able to do it in the right way and to help the football team.
“Our quarterbacks have been terrific all year. I think everybody knows now that we’ve had to play three quarterbacks, and all three of them had success and won conference games. Due to injuries, we started out with a true freshman (Wes Lunt), then we went to redshirt freshman (J.W. Walsh), then we went to a redshirt junior (Clint Chelf) — no, I’m sorry, we went back to the true freshman, then a redshirt junior — and then he finished the season out and the redshirt freshman played in short-yardage and goal-line situations for us. Our coaches did a great job of adjusting each week to who was going to play quarterback and still manage to move the ball and score points.”
On the close losses to Texas and Oklahoma and the small margin for error in the Big 12:
“You go back, and as coaches we evaluate our season, and we try to make decisions based on the maturity of our team, the talent of our team, our coaching and move forward each year. If you look back, everybody has the ‘could ofs and should ofs.’ But we lost two conference games on the very last play of the game. We lost to Texas on the very last play of the game (Note: This isn’t true, obviously, OSU got the ball back in that game. But point taken.). We lost to Oklahoma in Norman, the very last play of the game (of regulation) they tied it (Note: again, OSU got to return the kickoff, but point taken). There’s two conference wins. We ended up with eight wins, so you’re looking at what could have been a 10-win season. Now, people say, ‘Well everybody’s got that.’ But I don’t know that everybody has that versus teams that are going to finish the season in what would be the top 15 in the country, on the very last play of the game. Our players maximized their potential this year. We’ve got a very young football team.
On the timetable of hiring a new offensive coordinator:
“We’ll get that done in the next three weeks or so. I’m very hesitant on hiring that coach until the NFL stops their coaching carousel. There’s so many guys that jump from college to the NFL. I don’t want to hire a coach, and the NFL come in and pay him $1 million or $2 million a year to coach for them and he say ‘I like Oklahoma State, but I’m gonna go coach for the (Baltimore) Ravens.’ I’m somewhat slow in that process, but excited about the future and the direction we’re moving with Oklahoma State football.”
On college offenses seeping into the NFL:
“It’s interesting that three or four years ago, or maybe even five years ago, when colleges really started to diversify offense, the talk in the NFL was that it would never work. What I’m seeing, and again, this is just my opinion and I have all the respect that there is for the NFL coaches and the Kyle Shanahans (Note: pretty sure he means Mike, but Kyle is the Redskins’ offensive coordinator) of the world, but what I see is NFL coaches evaluating college talent, they’re watching the tape and they’re saying, ‘Wow, why are we not doing this?’ That’s just my opinion. And I think they’re saying, ‘This is too easy.’
“You can watch the Redskins and the Cowboys — I happened to watch that the other night — you take the defensive end for Dallas, (DeMarcus Ware), who’s a great player, and Washington didn’t have to block him 12, 15, 18 times in the game and they were able to get big yards, big gains because of the style of offense that they’re running in Washington with RG3 (Robert Griffin III).
“As far back as four or five years ago now, in my opinion, the Patriots were running a college offense with (Tom) Brady. They were spread and they were flipping the ball out there or handing it off inside. Not so much quarterback run, but more of the college attack.
“I think that you and I will be talking five years from now and we’ll say, ‘You remember back in the 2013 interview after the Heart of Dallas Bowl, we talked about this?’ I think over half the teams in the NFL are going to be running this style of offense, in my opinion. Because it’s too easy to move the football.
Now, if you have Andrew Luck, if you have Brandon Weeden, if you have Peyton Manning, if you have Aaron Rodgers, if I have a pure drop-back style of quarterback that can just throw it, (it’s different). Like we had with Weeden — when we were running our offense with Weeden here a few years ago, we just said, ‘Look, we need to get him out there and don’t mess it up.’ The guy can throw it, and he’s different than other people. Well, there’s 32 teams in the NFL, and it’s interesting (that) when you watch it, there’s not 32 guys in the NFL that can just flat-out throw it. In some way, fashion or form, you’ve got to find a way to move the ball and score points. And you’re seeing it with these NFL coaches, because it’s just too easy.”
On his flirtations with head coaching jobs at other schools and if what needed to be “cleared up” has at OSU:
“It did. The difficult part of our profession (is) at some point it’s a business. There’s not anybody that’s got more loyalty to Oklahoma State and is more thankful for what they’ve done for me. But there’s certain times in all of our careers that we look and see what’s out there, just to make sure it’s best for me and my family. But also, if it’s best for me and my family, then that means it’s best for Oklahoma State. It can’t be a one-way street. They’ve been terrific with me. But I have to do that in order to make sure, because if I’m not just chomping at the bit to get to work every day, then I need to do something else. And right now, I’m chomping at the bit to get to work at Oklahoma State.”