All eyes are on head coach of the Cowboys Mike Gundy and his coaching staff as Oklahoma State suffers a second straight Big 12 loss this past Saturday falling to Baylor 45-27.
To make matters worse, this loss came on homecoming where OSU is known to have one of, if not the greatest homecoming celebration in the nation.
One big question on the minds of Cowboy fans all over is what adjustments need to be made? Coaching? Recruiting? It’s a looming question that remains prevalent through the years, and Gundy had a message for Pokes fans today as he met with the media.
“Trust me. Trust the coaching staff. Trust the players. We’re doing our job.”
Baylor, who came in at No. 18 and undefeated, forced three turnovers pressuring Spencer Sanders in the pocket and limited the young quarterback to 157 yards compared to Charlie Brewer’s 312 on 13-of-17 passing.
“He made a poor throw at the end of the first half,” Gundy said. “That is going to happen. All of that was good. Forget the throw at the end of the first half. If he doesn’t drop the ball and they don’t run it in for a touchdown, we are not really having this discussion.”
Sanders has now had 16 turnovers in the past five games for the Cowboys.
The idea of a young quarterback continues to enter the conversation when Sanders’ turnovers are brought up, but Spencer said he doesn’t want his age to be a factor in his playmaking abilities, and he hopes to move forward gaining experience and knowledge from his mistakes.
“I can’t blame it on being young,” Sanders said following the loss to Baylor. “That’s not an excuse. I know a lot of people say it’s because I’m a freshman. Nah. You can’t say that anymore. I’ve got to fix it.”
Coach Gundy spoke highly of Sanders during Monday’s press conference commenting on how he continues to improve, but it’s the few mistakes he makes that captures fans’ focus.
“He’s a very prideful young man,” Gundy said. “The only issue he needs to work on is thinking that he can play a perfect game. He will accept responsibility. He will tell you he is wrong. He will tell you it is his fault. He wants to play a perfect game and that is not going to happen.”
Mixed in with the multiple questions involving Sanders’ performance, Gundy also addressed the Cowboy fan base.
Going 1-3 in Big 12 play is discouraging to Cowboy fans understandably, and when asked what his message is to the fans, Gundy expressed words of encouragement aiding in the support of this team, as well as gave a blunt response to the ways of today’s society.
“We live in a society today where people want to bitch and complain about everything,” Gundy said. “They don’t want to fix it. But we need to put on our pants and go fix it.”
Now this is where my opinion comes in. Brace yourself.
Gundy speaks highly of the fan base any chance he gets. He spoke highly of the crowd and the students’ hard work to make homecoming possible, and he reiterated his level of appreciation for the crowd at Monday’s press conference.
“I thought Saturday was awesome,” Gundy said. “The students, the fans, and the weather was awesome. The program is on good of ground as it’s been here. We just have to correct a few mistakes.”
Gundy’s comments left some encouraged but others enraged.
Although these comments may have turned others off and filled them with thoughts of ridicule toward Gundy’s character, I personally found them to be sincere and authentic.
Gundy went on the encourage the fans to stick with the program and trust that the coaches and players are doing their job to analyze and correct mistakes.
“The fan base needs to know this,” Gundy said. “If you want to support OSU football, come to games. If you want to support OSU recruiting, come to games.”
The Cowboys will look to return to the win column this Saturday as they travel to Ames, Iowa, to face the Iowa State Cyclones.
The Cyclones will enter this matchup at No. 23 with a 5-2 record, 3-1 in Big 12 play.
“They’re a good football team,” Gundy said. “Matt Campbell does a good job. Defensively, they’re sound. They don’t give up a lot of big plays. They rush the football. They’ve gotten a little bit better based on mature quarterback play.”
Kick off for OSU vs. ISU is set for 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 26.