Mike Gundy holds a 2-10 record in the Bedlam series, by far his worst mark against any conference opponent. This will be the first Gundy/Riley matchup, with both teams’ playoff hopes on the line. Here’s what Gundy had to say Monday during his press conference.
- When asked what makes bedlam so special: “I think there’s a lot of great rivalries across the country, but the one thing that’s different in this state is we don’t have pro football. The addition of the Thunder has been fantastic for this state, but this week everybody goes to work and you either wear orange or red, and it’s a fun time. It’s always entertaining when both teams are successful… I think it’s fun for everybody in the state.”
- Gundy on what he attributes the struggles on special teams to: “Well, we’re not kicking the ball very good. We’ve been average in our kickoffs. We’ve not hit the ball as good as we need to field goal-wise. Percentage-wise, we’re not that far below what would be considered average, but they’ve been shorter field goals, so it makes everybody not feel so good about it. We’ve been below average in punting, and that’s been very unusual for us. Those are mistakes that we should not be making. There’s always the coaching that’s tied into it, and there’s also the player that’s tied in to it. Everybody’s gotta accept responsibility.”
Gundy did say Zach Sinor will punt Saturday against Oklahoma.
- Gundy on the Oklahoma State secondary: “They’ve improved. This will be, and I said this last week with Grier, this will be the biggest challenge for them with this guy (Mayfield) throwing it and their ability to make plays on the edge. They’ve got a lot of work ahead of them. At times they’ll make mistakes, like most college players do. I think they’re definitely improved from where they were at the first of September.”
- On the importance of the offensive line being as healthy as they’ve been in a while: “Well, it helps. The one thing that’s been a concern of mine is that they’ve been on such a limited practice plan. I’m just not ever comfortable with that. We’re getting more out of those guys during the week instead of sitting them during the week and then just throwing them out there on Saturday.”
- Gundy when asked about Mason Rudolph missing practice last Tuesday and Wednesday: “He was tired. Mason was just tired, he was beat up, sore. Still playing good, but I just thought he needed a break. He could’ve practiced last week. His body was beat up. He took some hits in the Texas game. He’s not following the philosophy of getting down. He’s running through some people and I’m not fired up about it, but obviously I can’t control him when he’s in there playing.”
- Gundy on why he thinks Oklahoma has dominated this series, even when both teams are ranked: “In most cases over those years, you can go back to when Bob came in, if you looked at those 17 or 18 games I’m gonna say that most of the time they were ranked in the top 20. There were probably, I’m gonna throw a number out here, maybe 8 of the 17 they could’ve been ranked in the top 10. So regardless of who you’re playing, if you’re playing a team that’s that good, you’re going to be in for a dog fight. What we’ve done is we’ve put ourselves in position, we’ve just got to find a way to finish at the end.”
- When asked what this matchup is like for his sister, with him at OSU and Cale at OU: “She texts me that she really likes me a lot more than Cale, don’t tell anybody. I get the same text from my mom, too… It’s a unique situation… A lot of times I forget Cale is over there. He’s in the box now, and the only reason I know that is because they show Mike (Stoops) all the time and I see half of Cale’s face. He’s getting half of a face and Mike’s up there, you know, his head’s about to pop off. They ought to put a blood pressure deal on him during the game.”
Both teams come in to Saturday’s game at 7-1, with high hopes for the rest of the season. This isn’t technically a Big 12 Championship elimination game, but it might as well be. The odds of either team losing Bedlam and still getting to the Big 12 Championship aren’t great. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater.