STILLWATER – Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy met with members of the media Monday to discuss the Cowboys’ upcoming matchup with Iowa State this Saturday in Stillwater. A look at some of his comments:

Opening Statement:
“I’ve been accurate in the postgame (press conference) for a number of weeks now. (Taylor Cornelius) played well and the offensive line blocked better. We’ve still got a long way to go, but it was better. Defensively, we were actually pretty good. There were a couple of plays where we missed tackles, but the body of work was good. We’re giving up big plays at times, which is concerning me. We allowed a long touchdown pass on a fourth down and let them throw a fade at the end of the game, which was about a 30-yard touchdown pass, and then obviously the long run where we missed three or four tackles. That running back is pretty shifty, so sometimes that’s going to happen. We got great play from (Landon) Wolf. He did a great job of stepping in and carrying that load. Our running game was existent and that makes a difference for us to stay balanced. Really it’s a simple formula for us moving forward. We’re hoping to get some guys back health-wise. I don’t have any answers for who will be there and who won’t, but hopefully we can get a few of those guys back and make our lives a little bit easier as we continue to practice and get ready for Iowa State.”

On Teven Jenkins working at left tackle during practice:
“Zero. I don’t think he has worked at left tackle all year. That’s just the way it goes with offensive line play – when somebody goes down, somebody else has to move in there. With (Arlington) Hambright going down, (Jenkins) was the most logical choice – he was the most experienced guy – so we flipped him over and put the other guy at tackle. He played pretty well, and he didn’t practice much last week. He was kind of dinged up and really practiced hardly any at all, so he did a nice job.”

On what helped the line’s run blocking improve:
“I think just reps. Maybe coming together as a unit, even though that unit got broke up throughout the game. Teven went out with something wrong with him, and then his shoe came off, and another guy had to come in. I just think they improved a little bit and did a better job of covering guys up and not turning guys loose, and that allowed our backs to make some plays.”

On the early rushing attack allowing Taylor Cornelius to get more comfortable:
“It could’ve. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a real concrete answer on that. But I would say with it being the first time he’s really quarterbacked on the road and been the guy, then it might’ve helped him. I said this before, but that’s the best that we’ve played up there in a long time. We have not played well there for I don’t know how many years and I was impressed with our gameplans. We weren’t very good on special teams, and that’s my fault. I’ll get that corrected. But offensively and defensively, we had good schemes and I think our players bought in and executed them. I don’t think there’s any denying that if you can get your running back going early in the game it makes for a much better day.”

On the passing game:
“By numbers, we are getting down to just a few guys anyways. We’ve really got four wide receivers that aren’t playing now when we were two deep at the beginning of the year. We are going to have to get some quality work out of Braydon Johnson and LC Greenwood. The other guys’ loads are pretty heavy. We only had 66 plays this game, so that allowed us a little more room for guys to not getting burned up as much. We stay pretty close to 80 plays most of the time. I thought it was managed well. In the end, (opponents) still have to defend the run.”

On Braydon Johnson:
“He is a player that is going to be interesting to watch as we progress through because he is going to get reps now. He is so fast. He ran down the middle of the field. He’s got blinding speed and so he is a really good threat for us and what we do offensively. Hopefully, he will mature fast and be able to make some plays for us.”

On the Cowboy Backs:
“They are progressing. They’re young. Logan Carter has never played. Jelani Woods is just a guy that’s gotten quite a few reps here lately. The experience is not there for them. I like both of those guys. I think Carter is going to get better and better as he progresses. He is starting to fit into that role of the guys that we’ve had walk-on at the position. Woods should [get more chances], there are only so many people that walk the face of the earth that are 6’8″ and weigh 265 pounds that can somewhat control their body. I’m excited about the progress but they are still very young.”

On Jelani Woods:
“He should be a good pass receiver. He is long and he has long arms. He is tall and has good hands. He is athletic. The blocking is going to come along slower. He was a quarterback and all of a sudden, he is in the trenches in the Big 12. That’s a very big jump. He will continue to improve and that’s where he is at right now. He needs a lot of reps. He needs another spring ball before we play the next game but obviously, that’s not going to take place.”

On Enoch Smith stepping in for Darrion Daniels:
“That was a tough blow for us with him. Enoch has been around and now the only downfall is that he doesn’t get to rest, so he is in there a lot but when you have a veteran guy it makes it a lot easier. What has happened to us at wide receiver, we now have guys in there that haven’t really played. They are in there but they haven’t got the reps. So, Enoch made a big difference just having the experience.”

On Jordan Brailford’s versatility:
“He has been very talented for a number of years and has always been slowed a little bit by health. I said this a few weeks ago, knock on wood, but he is healthy, he plays fast, he is energetic. I think what people don’t realize is that when you play the game at this level, and you have nagging injuries all the time, you just don’t feel that good. It’s like getting into a new exercise routine – I am going to jog twice a week, I am going to the weight room and do light weights twice a week and when you are sore and don’t feel good, you really don’t want to do it. Now he is healthy and I think he feels good, he is comfortable and he is practicing hard and I think we are starting to see those results and we have come up with good plans with moving him around. I like what they are doing. When Coach Knowles came here, we had that discussion that we would like to do some three-down stuff and I just know what it is like on the offensive side and so he has really implemented some nice plans that the players, including Brailford, can pick up on.”

On Brailford’s numbers and linemen in the past:
“We have had some good ones, but he has been an exceptional pass-rusher up to this point. He has a combination of speed and power and he has really good flexibility. Even in the NFL, those guys that are good pass-rushers that can carry a certain speed up till they need to get under the blocks. At this point, [Brailford] has shown that he can accomplish that goal and stay healthy to do it the rest of the year.”


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