OSU football

Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks tackles Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders to stop a two-point conversion try Saturday in Lubbock, Texas. The pesky Red Raiders defense sacked Sanders seven times. Brad Tollefson/AP

Coaching staff takes cue from players to move on from loss

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he still hasn’t gotten over the 45-35 loss at Texas Tech, but his players have.

“These young people are so resilient,” Gundy said Tuesday. “They live in a world that moves really, really fast based on technology and social media. Coaches have to put their big boy pants on and get over it because players get over it.”

The Cowboys had come off a 26-13 win against Kansas State that put them in the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. After just one week of being No. 21, Texas Tech took away OSU’s national ranking. The Cowboys didn’t play their best in Lubbock but the players are already looking forward.

“Kids move on and they go,” Gundy said. “There is not any hangover with them in their preparation, so that’s why, for me in my job, I have to stress to the coaches, ‘You guys have got to get over it.’ The players, they keep playing.”

Younger players get practice reps during bye week

OSU has its first break in the season with a bye this week and the Cowboys had a little fun in practice Tuesday.

The younger guys got the majority of the reps and Gundy said there were times where practice echoed the sounds of a fight in the cafeteria. The young guys were staying competitive and having fun.

“It was fun, very energetic and guys were really enjoying themselves,” Gundy said. “And they know they get four days off. Like all of us, if you go to work and if we know we’ve got a four-day weekend coming up, that day in the office is a lot more fun.”

Gundy said some of the usual starters who have had consistent reps didn’t do much practicing. OSU is six games into the season and the past four have not been easy.

Gundy said the ideal bye week would come after Week 3 or 4.

“You’ve got to take August into consideration,” Gundy said. “Even if you have an open week after Week 3, that’s still seven weeks straight. That’s a lot for these guys. But either way, it came at a good time for us.”

The bye week comes ahead of homecoming Oct. 19 against No. 22 Baylor. OSU will play its third ranked opponent in four games if the Bears are still in the top 25 by the time they get to Stillwater.

Gundy has plan to help Sanders

Spencer Sanders threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles in the loss to Texas Tech. He threw two interceptions in each of the two games before that, and Gundy said taking care of the football in the pocket will solve half of his problems.

“We’re going to coach that and we’re going to drill that,” Gundy said. We have a plan in place to correct that mistake. Essentially, you don’t give yourself a chance at all when you turn the ball over in the pocket. Those mechanics need to be improved and we have a plan in place for that. Now whether we can do all that in two weeks, I don’t know. But I feel like a month from now it’ll be much better.”

Gundy said Sanders is a prideful and emotional young man whom he knows will buy-in. Sanders placed much of the blame on himself a few times this season, including after the loss to Texas Tech. Gundy said Sanders wants to be good on every play, and he referenced a few young, talented NFL quarterbacks who have had tough losses to show even they aren’t good on every down.

“He needs to watch those guys and see how it happens,” Gundy said. “And say, ‘You know what, OK, I’ve got it. I’m going to get better, but I can’t make a play every single play.’

“It’s just not the way the game is played at that position, and he’ll learn that. It just takes experience.”

Frank Bonner II

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Sports Writer

Frank joined Tulsa World as the Oklahoma State University sports writer in June 2019. He is an Indiana native who attended graduate school at IUPUI after receiving his bachelor’s degree at Indiana University. 918-581-8387