No. 6 Oklahoma State welcomes No. 17 Oklahoma to Stillwater this Saturday for Bedlam. The game is set to kick off at 11 AM, and can only be seen on Tulsa's Channel 8. Be sure to stick around for a special one-hour post game show with Rick and John, where you'll hear reaction from both locker rooms following the game.
Today, OSU players and coaches met with the media to discuss the Sooners.
Coach Mike Gundy
"We’ve got all the players back from the break and being home with their families for a few days. We worked out last night, so we’re back into a normal week routine where today is off and then back to practice on Tuesday. We are trying to get the players back into game week. When you have some time off, everybody enjoys it but it’s important we get them back and get them focused on tomorrow’s practice, meetings and the game. We are just taking it one day at a time. Everybody is back and in good shape so it’s good to get back to a normal routine after a nice break for a few days."
On if there are benefits of an open week
"I don’t know if bye weeks are beneficial or not beneficial, but it’s the hand we have been dealt so I am going to say yes. I think it’s good for everybody. I don’t think there’s any question that when you have a bye week that it’s good for players to kind of rehabilitate their bodies and take a break not only physically, but mentally. It’s been good for our team and we will get back to work tomorrow."
"It’s the same as it has been for a long time. The difference in this game and other rivalries across the country is that we don’t have professional football in this state so it’s different on that aspect. Other than that, every game we play now is a big game if we want to get to the next one."
On knowing what to fix after West Virginia
"I didn’t think we played very well and I was disappointed in myself. Ultimately I’m responsible for the way our team plays. I knew that we had some areas where we needed to improve, but there’s only a certain amount of time to improve in those areas. We try to do a little at a time and improve each week and hope that at the end of the year we’d be a better football team than what we’d had been at West Virginia. Fortunately for us it worked out that way."
On concerns with the offense from the beginning of the year until now
"We weren’t very good in the kicking game either. We had to improve in the kicking game and we had to block more effectively in order to fit our style of run. We needed to identify our running backs and how they were going to fit into their scheme. It’s no different than what I said in August when we were in Dallas, we needed to be balanced on offense; and we needed good quarterback play; and we needed to identify a young running back. A that point we hadn’t, so we weren’t a very good football team."
On the concern there might be focus issues after a bye week and a big win
"Coaching is like parenting; you worry every day. You give your 16-year-old a set of car keys and hope he follows the rules and doesn’t text when he’s driving and that he’ll be safe. In dealing with these young men it’s the same for us as coaching. We have really good team chemistry. We have good leadership. I think they understand what’s really important in this game and you can see that in Tuesday’s meetings and Tuesday’s practice. We’re not good enough to look beyond that. We haven’t been that way this season. We have to be sound in all three phases and they have handled themselves very well up to this point, and that’s why they’re in the position to be successful. They’ve already been successful. They’ve had a tremendous year. They have a chance to finish based on the way that they’ve prepared over the last two months."
Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich
On Kye Staley
"It's great to see Kye get some carries. He has earned them. He is a workhorse. He is a very tough and physical back, and I would definitely not want to be blocked by him. He brings a lot of muscle to the offense and a great attitude."
On coaching in his first Bedlam game
"I want to make sure we're prepared and organized, and that our players understand the schemes entirely. We want to make sure we have a good practice on Tuesday, and make sure that we, as a staff, have communicated the game plan very well. I know it's a very intense rivalry. Any time you have a rivalry of this magnitude, it's important to everyone in the program, the community and the state, so we understand the importance."
On attacking OU's defense
"To a certain extent, we have to make sure we're executing to the best of our capabilities, and try not to worry so much about what they do. We want to concern ourselves with our play and make sure we're taking care of the fundamentals of the game. We want to make sure we have an overall sound game plan."
Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On the open week
"When you get in a rhythm, things are going good and the schedule changes, coaches don't like that. Obviously, we have guys who are banged up who will benefit from the rest they have gotten. There's an argument for it being good and bad. It is what it is. We had good, crisp practices on Tuesday and Wednesday, including getting some reps for some younger guys. Game plan-wise, you feel like you're ahead on a bye week, but Oklahoma is, too. We have the same number of days."
On how Trevor Knight changes the OU offense
"He has some things he does differently. They play out of the pistol more with him, and there's more of a veer option element to it, but they still use the power run game, too. Both quarterbacks run the schemes effectively and they can both be thrown in at any moment. We know that. We have to prepare like we will see both of them."
On staying grounded after the performance against Baylor
"That's not a challenge at all. When you look at film, OU has won nine games for a reason. They move the ball on a lot of people, they take pride in running the football and they've done it effectively. When we watch the film, it's easy to have a lot of respect for what they do. They have a good offensive line, they have great skill players and they're explosive. They're a physical team."
Safety Daytawion Lowe
On the Bedlam rivalry
"It's a hard-fought game, a battle. Both teams are going to play as hard as they can play. I feel like both teams are going to give the effort. I think it gives you more of a reason to practice harder. There's always a little buzz on campus since it's Oklahoma. Everywhere you go, everyone knows OU and everyone knows OSU. It's a big rivalry game, and that brings a little more emotion to the game."
On stopping Oklahoma's offense
"I think that we've got the personnel to play very well. It's all about executing. We have to execute all the things we've been working on the past few weeks. We've got to get a good game plan and we have to execute it the way Coach Spencer leads us to, and I think we'll be fine if we do that."
On playing Bedlam with a conference championship on the line
"That just makes it even more special because you know they're going to be coming in here trying to take something away from you, so we know that we have to be on our guard and we have to defend our stadium."
Fullback Kye Staley
On the accomplishments of the senior class
"I feel as if we've helped take Oklahoma State to a new level. It wasn't really well-known back when I got here. Every year we've progressed as a team and progressed as a whole. I feel like we've put Oklahoma State on the map and they're going to accomplish more as the years go on."
On what the team accomplished against Baylor
"We felt that we would have a chance if we came out and played physical in all three phases of the game. Obviously, it showed on the scoreboard. We just have to put Baylor in the past – that was last week. Coming off the bye week, we need to get our minds ready for OU."
On his attitude going into Bedlam
"It's the last game, against OU. It's the last time to play in Boone Pickens Stadium for the rest of my life. I want to go out with the W. It's for a lot of big things. It's for a Big 12 Championship and a berth in a BCS Bowl. We're just going out with a lot of intensity, a lot of focus. We're getting ready to game plan and getting ready for OU."
Offensive Lineman Brandon Webb
On possibly finishing the regular season as Big 12 champions
"We've put ourselves in this position, and this is pretty much where we wanted to be at the end of the year. Obviously, we didn't want to lose that game [against West Virginia], but from then on this is what we've planned on doing."
On the team's attitude after the loss to West Virginia
"We had to focus in a lot more. Since then, we've been studying – everyone's been studying, doing their extra stuff – because we want it. That's just kind of how it's been. We knew what we wanted to do, and everyone's just kind of going after it right now."
Linebacker Deion Imade
On playing special teams
"I love that aspect. You're only out there for one play but that one play could be a game-changer. It could be a momentum swing. So I love that aspect of it, just going out there even though you're not getting full reps, that could change the game at any point in time."
On playing his last home game this Saturday
"Until this season, I didn't think much about this. Now that you look back out, it's like, 'Oh, wow.' I was just looking out on the stadium, thinking, 'I cannot believe I only get to play on this field one more time. It's going to be a special day. My family's coming down for everything, so it's going to be a great day."
Offensive Lineman Parker Graham
On how this team compares to the 2011 team
"Back in 2011, we had a bunch of big names in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. While we have great players this year, I think it has been more of a team effort for us. This whole season in general has really shown the commitment that the seniors have and the leadership that we have. We have been able to push through everything and overcome obstacles to get to where we are right now."
On the Bedlam rivalry
"It was definitely not the way we wanted to end things last year, but going down there and playing the way we did was a good feeling. For me, it's the best game that we can play. It's the best way to end the season for us, as far as the regular season is concerned. There's no better way to go out there with a Big 12 championship on the line. Basically, we're where we've wanted to be since spring ball of last year."
On Oklahoma's defensive line
"They've got some big, athletic guys in there that like to stop the run. They're going to give us a good test compared to what we've seen this season. We wouldn't have it any other way, as far as the offensive line is concerned."
Defensive Tackle Calvin Barnett
On going into his last game at Boone Pickens Stadium
"It's gone pretty fast. When you're going through it, you never think it's going to end as fast as it does. That's just how it is with two-year guys, though. You never really know how long it's going to last."
On if he feels like he has made a solid impact at OSU
"In my mind, I think I've had a great impact. I always feel like I can do more, though. To this day, I know I probably could have done more in my time here, but I think I've done pretty well since I've been here."