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2015 Big 12 Media Days: Oklahoma State Cowboys

"It's their intangibles ... that's what separates quarterbacks."

After a couple of rocky campaigns, Mike Gundy faces increased expectations in 2015.
After a couple of rocky campaigns, Mike Gundy faces increased expectations in 2015.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Gundy basically went straight to questions, which began with one asking how the Cowboys develop their offense. They study a lot of film, even high school film, to get ideas.

Ben Kercheval asked about turnover margin, noting how well Oklahoma State had done in that department back in 2011, and asked what the Cowboys were doing to improve. Gundy said they were trying to improve.

Asked about the rising expectations in the program, Gundy said communications with T. Boone Pickens have improved a great deal and they're really excited.

Gundy was asked about pulling Mason Rudolph's redshirt last year. Gundy expressed his wish that he had another year, but that he felt that they did what they needed to do.

Following up, Gundy was asked about Rudolph's progress. He said that if he continues to work as he has, he'll grow.

Jenni Carlson asked why Oklahoma State can't win the conference this year, in light of TCU and Baylor being tabbed as prohibitive favorites. Gundy's answer wasn't as enthusiastic as I'd have expected; he instead stuck to a relatively rote response.

Asked about the expectations of his defense, Gundy says they've put more focus there in number of scholarships and actual time spent working with the defensive side of the ball. He pointed at depth as a potential strength.

Rudolph came up again, Gundy being asked why he was named the starter so early in the process this year. Gundy said he felt like it was the best move for the team given the team's success at the end of 2014. He also said J.W. Walsh would play, and was important to the team's success.

Kevin Peterson was the next subject, with Gundy saying Peterson was always physically ready but needed to grow into a leader.

Tim Griffin asked about Chris Carson, and Gundy didn't have much to offer there due to Carson's late arrival. He did say that Carson has looked good in summer conditioning, but obviously he won't have a good feel until camp opens. He noted that success at Oklahoma State has always come with a lead back and a "pretty good" backup.

Berry Tramel asked Gundy if he's ever been to Mount Pleasant, Michigan (where Oklahoma State will face Central Michigan in the non-conference), and whether he was worried. Gundy's never been there, and he said "worry" isn't really the right word, but it will be a challenge playing on the road in a strange place.

Asked about his views on scheduling, Gundy said his opinions haven't changed. He thinks Oklahoma State's plan is sound, and he feels the conference schedule is a positive. He has a great deal of confidence in the conference office.

Back to Rudolph, Gundy was asked where he stacks up against former Oklahoma State quarterbacks. Gundy said that it's still too early to really tell, but that Rudolph certainly has the tools to succeed. He thinks he can answer the question next July.

Carlson asked about the characteristics of successful spread quarterbacks. Gundy pointed to intangibles first, arguing that they're all different quarterbacks physically, specifically comparing Trevone Boykin (whose name he finally pronounced correctly) and Brandon Weeden. He noted that a quarterback's ability to recover from either a bad decision or a missed assignment is key.

Closing the session, on losing defensive tackle Vili Leveni for the year and how Oklahoma State will deal with it, Gundy focused on how hard it is for the injured player to put in work and then miss out on the season. He acknowledged that the loss was particularly a problem on an already-depleted defensive line, and that it'll be up to the next guy to make plays.