Oklahoma State Cowboys

OSU football: Injuries, Spencer Sanders and more from Gundy’s weekly news conference

OSU football: Injuries, Spencer Sanders and more from Gundy’s weekly news conference

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy runs onto the field before an NCAA college football game between Iowa Stateand Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

STILLWATER – Mike Gundy continues to say his postgame comments are pretty accurate.

He repeated the phrase at his weekly news conference Monday at Boone Pickens Stadium. Here are some topics Gundy discussed, including injuries and Cornelius.

Injury update

Malcolm Rodriguez played against Iowa State, but Gundy said he wasn’t at full strength.

His injury is undisclosed, but the sophomore safety played a few snaps in the second half. He made a couple fantastic open-field tackles, but Gundy mentioned he was limited because of his injury.

“He should be better this week,” Gundy said. “Malcolm was playing with a lot of pain. He had a pretty significant injury. He ran a little better last night. He’s a guy that I think you’ll see get considerably better over the next three or four days.”

Oklahoma State’s starting left tackle through its first five games, Arlington Hambright, isn’t listed on this week’s depth chart. He was injured against Kansas and hasn’t played since.

Gundy mentioned Hambright might be back this week.

“We’ll see where he’s at.”

Playing younger QBs

Gundy said starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius has shown improvement through the first half of the season, and it showed with his best performance coming against Iowa State.

Cornelius has established himself as the starter for the remainder of the season. The thing is, some believe OSU’s best quarterback has been stuck on the bench.

True freshman Spencer Sanders, who won the 2017 AP Texas High School Player of the year Award, was expected to come in and be the replacement for Mason Rudolph. Sanders is on the traveling squad but hasn’t played a snap this season.

Gundy said he isn’t a fan of playing freshman quarterbacks because they are too injury prone. The Cowboys two losses this season have come at the hands of true freshman quarterbacks, and when presented a question about how Sanders compares to Alan Bowman and Brock Purdy, Gundy mentioned Sanders has practiced well, he just doesn’t like playing freshman quarterbacks.

When Gundy was asked if the plan is to redshirt one of OSU’s best recruits ever, “Right now, I would say yes.”

For comparison, here are some former winners of the award Sanders won his senior year at Denton Ryan High School: 2016 – Charlie Brewer (Baylor), 2015 – Sam Ehlinger (Texas), 2014 – Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), 2013 – Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs/Texas Tech).

Offensive line blunders

OSU’s offensive line play hasn’t progressed like Gundy thought it would.

Iowa State had six sacks on the season coming into Saturday’s game. The Cyclones sacked Cornelius seven times. Gundy blamed them on the offensive line, saying it was more about technique on blocks and not effort.

When pointing out his issues with blocking, he demonstrated to the media using Tulsa World’s Mark Cooper as a defender.

All-in-all, Gundy said he was glad he isn’t a betting man or he would have lost money betting on where his offensive line’s performance would be at the beginning of October to where it really is.

Other notes

-Taylor Cornelius was named a top-30 finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the organization announced Friday.

The honor is given annually to the nation’s top college quarterback, and candidates must be a college senior or fourth-year junior on schedule to graduate with their class. Criteria to be considered for the award include character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.

The list of candidates was trimmed to 30 from 49, and it will again be reduced to 15 in the coming weeks. Former OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph won the award last year.

-Gundy commented on the Mike Stoops situation: “Mike is a friend from a distance. It’s a tough business. It is what it is. I’ve got no idea what goes on down there, but I respect him. It’s a tough time for people. I know that it’ll hit him deep because I know he is a competitor. But I don’t know what goes on down there.

“Cale (Gundy) and I don’t talk about personnel, don’t talk about coaches. Even a month from now, he would say, ‘I don’t know anything about that.’ Hate to see it for any coach, but it’s part of the business.”

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