Oklahoma State football: Q&A with defensive back Justin Gilbert

by Gina Mizell Published: November 10, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert (4) returns a kickoff for a touchdown in the first quarter during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University (WVU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert (4) returns a kickoff for a touchdown in the first quarter during a college football game between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and West Virginia University (WVU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

It's been a disappointing season for Justin Gilbert. The cornerback has often struggled in pass coverage and hadn't yet made a big special teams play entering Saturday's game against West Virginia.

But Gilbert had a big impact in the Cowboys' 55-34 victory over the Mountaineers with a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That was his fifth-career kickoff return for score, which broke the OSU record and tied the Big 12 record. He also made five tackles and broke up two passes on defense.

What did you see on the kickoff return for a touchdown?

“We practiced it maybe three times this week. It was the only times we've practiced it. It was new. It was pretty much three or four guys on the wedge, bunched up. I'm knowing I'm not going to see a hole until the last second. Coach Gundy was telling me all practice to be patient, so I was just waiting, waiting, waiting and when it opened up, kick it in.

What goes through your mind when you see that hole open up?

“Just go. Pretty much like a track meet. When the gun goes off, go as fast as you can go.”

How do you think you performed on defense?  

“I think this game helped me gain a little more confidence. I'm making plays when they come my way and being more disciplined. This past week I can say I watched film maybe more than I watched all year.”  


by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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