Five Takeaways: Mike Gundy Says OSU ‘Got Out-Coached’

first_imgIt was never even that close, really. No. 16 TCU handled No. 6 Oklahoma State from the onset on Saturday, jumping out to a quick lead it would relinquish only once in the first quarter before taking it back for good in the opening ticks of the second quarter.The Horned Frogs thumped No. 6 Oklahoma State, 44-31, slowing the Pokes and their top-10 momentum to a crawl. And in front of a sold out crowd, OSU came out flat and paid the price.“Well, that wasn’t as fun as the last couple of games we played,” Gundy said. “It was really pretty simple. When you lose the turnover battle, [you aren’t going to do very well].“We didn’t play very smart or very disciplined. And really, we got out-coached. I thought that they had better plans, and their players executed their plans better than we did. In looking at it from the outside without watching the tape, early in the game we made a couple decisions that weren’t very good and set us behind the eight ball.”Here are five things we learned from OSU’s Big-12 opening loss to TCU.1. TCU crock-potted the Pokes with its offenseThe formula to beat OSU isn’t exactly rocket science: Keep its high-octane offense off the field as often as possible and own the time of possession battle.Of course, that’s easier said than done. OSU has an NFL caliber quarterback and All-American level talent at its offensive skill positions. Yet TCU managed to control the clock from the get-go by possessing the ball 12:09 of a possible 15:00 in the first half, and 39:04 in the game to OSU’s 20:56.The Horned Frogs pulled off the upset with a balanced attack, too. Kenny Hill played like the Kenny Trill of old, going 22-33 for 228 yards, a TD and a pick. And for the first time all season, OSU struggled to slow a team on the ground as TCU racked up 238 yards and had no answers for the ever-elusive Darius Anderson.“They’ve got some good skill guys,” said defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, “and I knew that. But I’m disappointed in how we didn’t finish a lot of reps.”Similar to the Tulsa game, struggles on third down reared its head as TCU converted 11 of 19—including one conversion late in the game that put the dagger in the contest.Said defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer: “We as coaches have to say we all own this, and we are gonna get a chance next week to make it a lot better.”2. Injuries are piling upEntering the game, OSU was without Kevin Henry, Zach Crabtree, Chris Lacy and Larry Williams. TCU swallowed up what little depth OSU had on Saturday at linebacker when Justin Phillips exited the game with a ding, too.Although OSU broke in two brand new offensive linemen at both right guard and right tackle with Johnny Wilson and Teven Jenkins, respectively, offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich said he’s not using it as an excuse for the loss.“Anytime you have injuries it’s going to make it tougher, but there is a difference between acknowledging that fact and making excuses,” he said.Williams is out for the season, and Gundy said the rest — save Kevin Henry, who is also lost for the season — are day-to-day at this point. But if OSU is to have the special season many believe it could have, injuries will play a big factor. Right now there’s concern that the injury bug might be spreading.3. TCU limited the deep ballJames Washington broke loose for an 86-yard touchdown connection early, but TCU shaded Oklahoma State with a cover-two deep look that limited the big plays down the field, which resulted in a heavy dosage of Justice Hill up the middle and short throws in the flats.Mike Gundy acknowledged he knew this would be TCU’s game plan going in, but it still made life difficult for OSU as the Frogs largely held them in check on its most valuable offensive gameplan of throwing long.“Their safeties played high,” said Gundy. “I mentioned in the press conference that I would expect them to play high. And then we didn’t run the ball as effectively so it’s simple. When they play off, we’ve got to run the ball, but if we aren’t going to run the ball when they play off, we’ve got to be really good on the underneath stuff.”Mike Yurcich acknowledged that OSU’s unwillingness to throw down field as often as normal came as part of TCU’s coverage, and noted that the Frogs threw them off their rhythm.“Our identity has been tempo and so we continue to try to go fast at times and when you’re not moving the ball as well, that becomes a factor,” said Yurcich. 4. Maybe OSU’s offense isn’t unstoppable after all“I’ll be honest, and I mean this as humble as possible. I have no clue what people are going to do.” That’s what Mike Gundy told ESPN earlier this week about the offense and how difficult it has been to stop all season up to this point.The ball could’ve bounced a number of different directions and OSU could’ve won the game — heck, a third down stop late in the game and OSU could’ve marched down and won it at the buzzer — but TCU did a good job of defending the OSU offense by and large. Although OSU outgained OSU 499-466, the Frogs limited OSU’s time of possession and kept the offense on ice.It’s hard to win when your playmakers are riding the pine, which seems like a real novel game plan. But it’s why TCU is now 4-0 and OSU is 3-1.5. Losing the turnover battleBeing disciplined and winning the turnover battle is a Mike Gundy recipe to success, so unsurprisingly, a lack of it was a big reason he says the Cowboys lost on Saturday.OSU was credited with 4 turnovers to TCU’s 1 — an errant Kenny Hill throw that led OSU to a sputtered drive and no points.Clearly, TCU won the turnover margin, and it also won the points off turnovers category with 14, which happened to be the difference in the game.“Offensively, we turned the ball over,” Gundy said. “We didn’t protect as well as we needed to at times, but TCU played really hard. .. We’ll rally back tomorrow. Guys need to let it soak in tonight, and like I say every other week, we’ve got to let it go. We’ve got to come back and get ready to play the next game.”If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

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