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OSU coach Mike Gundy: Decision to play after 3-hour delay was not his

Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy said he was consulted as to whether Saturday's late-night game at Tulsa should have been played, but the final decision was not his.
By John Rohde Modified: September 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm •  Published: September 19, 2011

"Oh, I think they're playing with more confidence, in my opinion. They're a well-rounded team. They move the ball. They're throwing it good. They're able to rush the football. Defensively, they're giving up 10 points and 275 yards, which is kind of unheard of nowadays, so they're playing good defense and they're kicking game is sounds. There's no question they deserve to be ranked in the top 10 in the country. It'll be a great challenge for us."

Do you envision a high-scoring game?

"I'm sure we both feel the same way. You never know how these games are played out. There are times when people have talked about two offenses that have gone up and down the field and it's going to be a high-scoring game, and it ends up being 17-14. It's really hard to predict what will happen. We certainly have to play better defense this week than we did last week. I know they've performed well on defense in the last six or eight games they've played through last year. I think you'll see more of a normal football game. I'm not so sure that you'll see a shootout."

Assess your defense so far this year.

"We had really good numbers and they had tackled well other than when we played a couple days ago. We did not tackle as well as we had in the two games to start the year and I wasn't happy with the way we came off the football and played up front in the last game. I was not happy with the way we played at Tulsa, but the first two games we played pretty well on defense."

Why the struggles against Tulsa?

"I wish I had the answer. We just played kind of soft. We just didn't really keep them from moving the ball up front. They just kind of pushed us back a little bit and guys didn't really fit correctly and they weren't in the right gaps. Everything that happened there's an answer for. There's a way to correct it. They just didn't play with as much enthusiasm as they should have. At one point we were ahead 45-6 and we had a couple letdowns from that point on. Maybe they relaxed a little bit. I don't know, but as a coaching staff we have to find a way to keep that from happening."

What makes the Texas A&M offense so difficult to stop?

"They rush the ball and the quarterback's playing well, he's throwing it around and completing his passes. They're sound and they're going to move fast. They're mature. They're staff's been there three years, maybe longer than that, so they're kind of set in what they want to do, and they have good players. They've got running backs that can make plays. They've got two or three receivers who are getting five or six catches a game and the quarterback (Ryan Tennehill) is playing good."

Did the players know that co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer had left to be with his ailing wife, who died early Sunday?

"They knew, because we told them. We have a policy with our football team that we're up front with everything that happens, so I told them that he left and that his wife was in a difficult situation. They know she has been a heart patient. It affected me. I have a lot of respect for their family and what they've gone through. We've been drawn close together because of her being a heart patient and having a heart transplant. I wasn't in the best of moods or as focused as I should have been, sitting in a locker room for three hours and knowing that Glenn was hurrying home as fast as he could to be with his family in a difficult situation. When we lost her in the first quarter, it affected me. Other than being out there with the players and playing a game, it wasn't the best of evenings for me."

Thoughts on winning what might be the last Big 12 championship.

"Our goal is to win a championship, and we haven't done that yet. We've probably been as close as anybody could be to not getting to that point. Really, whether it would be this year or the last year, I think it would be the same for your team because that's a goal that they have. We're playing in a league right now that's got three of the top 10 teams in the country. … Our goal is to win a conference championship, so it would feel good for the coaches and the players, either way."