The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

October 6, 2013

Gundy sees improvement

STILLWATER, Okla. — Mike Gundy has coached some of the top offensive teams in school history at Oklahoma State, including the one two years ago that was a loss to Iowa State away from playing for the national championship.

After a comeback victory over Kansas State on Saturday, the Cowboys’ 14th win in their last 15 games at home, Gundy was ready to leave the past behind and focus on what he sees as an improving team this season.

No. 22 OSU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12 Conference) escaped with a 33-29 victory over the Wildcats (2-3, 0-2) thanks to a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, one engineered by quarterback J.W. Walsh.

It was a well-timed bit of offensive output for Walsh and the Cowboys, who had struggled offensively for much of the second half — failing to gain so much as a first down in the third quarter.

Regardless of how they earned the win, Gundy was just relieved that OSU — the preseason Big 12 favorite — bounced back from a surprising loss a week earlier at West Virginia.

The ninth-year coach also was ready to keep the focus on the expectations for this year’s Cowboys, not the offensive juggernauts the school has been known for in recent years.

“I think we’re getting better, but the comparison you make for the offense that’s been around here for 6-7 years is, at some point, a little unfair,” Gundy said. “It’s not like you can just continue to do it forever.”

OSU has its second bye this week before returning to action at home against TCU on Oct. 19. The time off will give Gundy extra time to correct an offense that’s suddenly gone cold in the red zone.

The Cowboys opened their season 3-0, including a season-opening win over Mississippi State, doing so by scoring on all 15 of their trips inside the red zone. However, in the 30-21 loss to the Mountaineers last week, OSU advanced inside the 20 just once — coming away with nothing.

On the surface, the red-zone offense was much improved on Saturday, with the Cowboys coming away with points in seven of eight trips inside the Kansas State 20-yard line.

The problem was that four of those trips resulted in field goals, not touchdowns.

Luckily for OSU, kicker Ben Grogan — who entered the game 1 of 4 this season — bounced back from a pair of misses against West Virginia.

The freshman connected on field goals of 30, 43, 23 and 28 yards, helping the Cowboys overcome a blocked kick in the second quarter that Kip Daily returned 65 yards for a touchdown for the Wildcats.

“He’s in a tough situation,” Gundy said. “To be a field goal kicker, you’re isolated. In today’s cyberspace, media and Internet chat rooms ... Tough gig, now, for a guy to miss a couple short field goals. You hear it a lot.

“I told the team that I thought he did a great job of staying focused. It’s not easy.”

While OSU has an extra week to work out its offensive kinks, Kansas State has no such luxury. The Wildcats, who have lost two straight games, host offensive power Baylor this week, and they’ll do so with a host of questions about the quarterback position after Daniel Sams emerged as the primary option on Saturday.

Sams had attempted just four passes this season entering the game while sharing time with Jake Waters, but he accounted for 299 yards of total offense while nearly leading Kansas State to the victory.

The sophomore dazzled with both his legs (118 yards rushing on 27 carries) and his arm (15-of-21 passing for 181 yards), and he accounted for three touchdowns — including a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter that put the Wildcats up 29-23.

However, he also threw three interceptions — including a pair on Kansas State’s final two drives — as Oklahoma State rallied.

The Wildcats, who entered the game second in the Big 12 in fewest penalties, struggled at the line of scrimmage. They finished with 12 penalties for 92 yards, including a host of false starts that hampered drives.

“In our history, we just have not been that kind of a football team,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “I mean, we haven’t always been extremely good, but we haven’t always turned the ball over, and we haven’t always been penalized.

“We had a chance to win even with it, like you said, but it sure makes it a heck of a lot harder.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Moving In? Indoor football coming back to Enid?

    Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers manager Mark Timberlake are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Morris Claiborne Claiborne wants to prove worth to Dallas

    Morris Claiborne had already told reporters he was ready to prove he was worthy of Dallas’ dramatic move up the draft board to get him with the sixth overall pick in 2012. He didn’t waste any time showing some urgency.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Tebow NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Attorney: OU's Mixon acted in self defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon said the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 29, 2014

  • OSU no longer faces APR restrictions

    NCAA officials say Oklahoma State’s football program no longer faces restrictions for the upcoming school year because its Academic Progress Rate has been amended.

    July 29, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-30-14

    July 29, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rice's punishment hardly fit the crime

    Two games, just over 12 percent of the 16-game regular season. Two games for hitting a woman hard enough to knock her out cold.
    Rice said Monday he will not appeal his suspension, which could wind up costing him $529,411 in fines and salary. And why wouldn’t he? He must feel like he got off scot-free.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SamBradfordpicturejpeg Bradford used to being at 'career crossroads'

    It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford.
    Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • TU wins C-USA academic honor

    The University of Tulsa earned the 2013-14 Conference USA Institutional Excellence award by posting the highest grade point average during the 2013-14 academic year for all student athletes in conference-sponsored athletes, the school announced on Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hixon added to West All-State football team

    July 28, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos


Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at http://enidnews.smugmug.com.