Oklahoma State Cowboys

OSU football: Stripes, Cornelius and targeting from Gundy’s weekly news conference

OSU football: Stripes, Cornelius and targeting from Gundy’s weekly news conference

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy at his weekly news conference. Monday, Sept. 8, 2018. Photo by Cameron Jourdan/The Franchise

STILLWATER – The stain on his shirt replaced his dog, who was at the beauty shop.

Mike Gundy sported a long sleeve gray sweatshirt with a noticeable stain on top when he entered his weekly news conference on Monday. He didn’t bring his dog, Kenzie, as he had the previous two weeks, but he continued to pull stunts out of his bag.

Citing a spilled smoothie, Gundy slid the sweatshirt off and revealed a striped referee shirt while saying, ‘stripe the stadium.’

“I’m glad I spilled that smoothie,” Gundy said. “I almost forgot about stripe the stadium.”

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, No. 17 Boise State will take on No. 24 Oklahoma State in Boone Pickens Stadium. Here are some notes from what Gundy has to say about his opponent, targeting and his quarterback.

Battle of top offenses

There will be no shortage of offense when the Broncos and Cowboys take Lewis Field.

OSU (2-0) leads the nation in total offense per game after the first week while Boise State sits in fourth. Boise State has effectively run its offense while utilizing its running and passing game.

The Broncos (2-0) average 255 rushing yards per game, and they rank 12th in the country at 361 passing yards per game.

Quarterback Brett Rypien earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week honors Monday because of his performance against UConn.

Rypien completed 21-of-28 passes for 362 yards and three scores, earning his second career player of the week honor for the performance.

In two games, Rypien has completed 41-of-56 passes for 667 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. His 333.5 yards passing per game ranks 11th in the FBS. The Broncos haven’t played in a game with two ranked opponents since the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, but Gundy said his team needs to be ready for one of its biggest tests of the season.

“We’re going to need to play at a high level in order to give ourselves a chance to win,” Gundy said.

Pros and cons of targeting

The Cowboys had two players ejected for targeting against South Alabama, and Gundy understand it’s a tough rule.

Kenneth Edison-McGruder and Logan Carter were ejected during Saturday’s victory, though only Carter will miss time against Boise State. The rule has been debated widely across the country, and Gundy said he is glad he isn’t playing defense now because of all the new safety rules.

“It’s hard to hit somebody with (your body) and your head go the other way,” Gundy said. “That’s just physiologically almost impossible. So you’ve got to stay from (the chest) down. So, that’s the solution. You’ve got to tackle from (the chest) down. If you have anything from (the chest) up, you’re probably going to get ejected.

“I think the safer we make this game is a positive for college football because this is not a safe game, so I’m all for the changes. It’s a tough situation but we certainly do need to make the game safer. There just has to be replay officials who use common sense.”

Cornelius’ improvement

Taylor Cornelius is his biggest critic.

Gundy said that is the type of player he is, so there isn’t much he needs to do to correct his redshirt senior quarterback because Cornelius is self-driven.

“I would anticipate him getting a little bit better each week,” Gundy said.

Cornelius has thrown for 728 yards through his first two starts, which is the most for an OSU quarterback in school history. Boise State has allowed only 163 yards per game through its first two contests, so Gundy said it’s important for Cornelius to continue his improvement.

Gundy compared Cornelius’ first two starts to when former quarterback Mason Rudolph didn’t flash during his first appearances. He said OSU fans need to continue to give Cornelius time to show what he can do.

Other notes:

-OSU’s kick time for its Sept. 22 game against Texas Tech have been announced. The Cowboys and Red Raiders will kick off at 6 p.m. in Boone Pickens Stadium. The game will be televised on FS1. OSU won last season’s matchup 41-34 in Lubbock.

Texas Tech started the season 1-1 after an opening loss to Ole Miss before thrashing Lamar 77-0 in its home opener.

-Corner Rodarius Williams is expected to play this weekend. After the South Alabama victory, Gundy said Williams, a redshirt sophomore, was dinged and that’s why true freshman Tanner McCalister played a lot with the first-team defense after Williams was removed.

Oklahoma State Cowboys
@Cam_Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan has covered Oklahoma State athletics since January 2017. He has written for The Oklahoman, The Tuscaloosa News and the Stillwater News Press, among others. Follow Cameron on Twitter: @Cam_Jourdan

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