The Oklahoma State Cowboys took their first loss of the 2019 season against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday with a 36-30 loss in Austin, but head coach Mike Gundy is ready to put that game in the past and move forward.
In a league where the clock never stops and new challenges await, Gundy said there’s no time to dwell on past games and mistakes. Take the game, learn from it, and move on.
“College football is all about one game ending and on to the next one,” Gundy said. “There’s natural emotions that take place after the game, but you have to get off to the next one. That’s just the way it is.”
The Cowboys’ Big 12 schedule continues with a home matchup against the visiting Kansas State Wildcats this Saturday where this will be the first Big 12 opponent for the Wildcats this season.
Kansas State holds tight to a 3-0 record taking wins over Nicholls State (49-14), Bowling Green (52-0), and Mississippi State (31-24).
“They’re a good team this season,” Gundy said. “They know what they’re trying to accomplish. They have a lot of upperclassmen, and we’ll have our work cut out for us.”
With two monstrous wins to start the season, and an exciting 31-24 win over Mississippi State in Bulldog territory, the Wildcats crack the Top 25 coming in at No. 24, while the Cowboys remain unranked.
Coach Gundy highlighted different instances from the loss to Texas as he sat down with members of the media today saying the biggest difference in the game was the Cowboys’ inability to finish the drive settling for far too many field goals rather than touchdowns.
“The biggest difference from previous wins is that we kicked field goals instead of scored,” Gundy said. “We had two opportunities to score, but instead we kicked field goals. The problem is more of us not executing at the goal line.”
The Cowboys held a a record of five straight wins over the Longhorns in Austin being the only team in college football history to do so, but as fate would have it, Tom Herman would clinch his first win over the Cowboys thanks to strong playmaking from quarterback Sam Ehlinger and strong defensive pressure on Spencer Sanders and the Cowboy offense.
“I thought he handled the last game pretty well for a young guy,” Gundy said on Sanders. “He had a clear mind, was responsive, and he understood what was going on.”
Sanders and the offense created frustration for Cowboy fans as play calling and the inability to enter the end zone became a recurring problem throughout the game.
In his first season as offensive coordinator, Sean Gleeson took a lot of heat as plays continued to fail and the Cowboy offense continued to struggle while the opportunity to score was dangling in front of their faces.
Gundy, however, had nothing but praises to sing for Gleeson and his composure throughout the game when asked his thought on Gleeson and the strategy behind missed opportunities.
“There’s a big difference in being emotional and being erratically emotional and out of control,” Gundy said. “I thought he [Gleeson] was good. Sean gets excited, but then he can get right back into it and focus; some coaches go and lose their marbles, but he doesn’t.”
The Cowboy offense racked up a total of 494 yards, just falling short of Texas’ 498, and Gundy credited this to the mature nature and calm composure of Spencer Sanders being able to orchestrate his offense through tough situations, even though scoring attempts fell short.
“Remember how I said he got frustrated in the Tulsa game? He didn’t get frustrated at all on Saturday night,” Gundy said. “If Vegas would have given you 5-1 odds that he would get frustrated, then we all would have lost our money.”
The Cowboys will have another opportunity on Saturday night to make some noise in the Big 12 as the Wildcats come to town undefeated, but this time without coaching legend Bill Snyder on the sidelines.
Chris Klieman takes the place of Snyder in his first season at Kansas State and his seventh year as a head coach. He was previously the head coach for North Dakota State.
“He’s always been a special part of this league,” Gundy said of Snyder. “It’ll be unusual him not being there. I always looked forward to our pregame conversations.”
The Cowboys kick off against the Wildcats on Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. in Boone Pickens Stadium.