Saturday, January 4th, 2014
Oklahoma State Postgame Quotes - Transcripts
THE MODERATOR: We will ask Coach Gundy to make an opening comment.
COACH GUNDY: It's a tough way to lose the last two games. It's really hard on our team. I was proud of our effort. We had our chances.
Moving forward, we're very, very proud of the 28 seniors. They fought all the way till the end. We just didn't make the plays in the end. They made the last couple plays.
But the Cotton Bowl has been tremendous. The staff, hospitality, everything there, AT&T, the support, the stadium, we really appreciate the invitation. They've been first class.
It's hard on our team. That's a very, very disappointed locker room right now. Missouri had a good plan. You have to give them credit. They're a very good football team. Obviously you don't get into double digit wins playing in a major conference like they play in and we play in without being a very good football team.
Essentially we came up short the last two games of the year on basically what would be the last play of the game. So we have to find a way to win those games. The young players, I shared that with them in there. We have to work hard in the off season, continue to build this program, develop. Our future's bright. We have to continue to move forward.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student athletes.
Q. Clint, it seemed like a struggle for 43 minutes. What erupted from the late third on?
CLINT CHELF: You know, we just couldn't get in a rhythm. It seemed like we'd get a good gain, then we'd kind of stall out. We never really got our rhythm going.
Once we kind of found it, obviously we started rolling. Anytime you turn the ball over three times, that's obviously going to limit your opportunity to score points. That and not getting into rhythm were the big keys.
Q. Caleb, their touchdown that put them up before the fumble touchdown, you almost had an interception. Walk us through that play.
CALEB LAVEY: Shaun had told me to push through on that. They were checking down to it. He told me right before the play, come off fast, he's going to be throwing the ball.
What do you know, he was right. So I had my hands on it. But I wasn't able to reel it in. Looking back on it now, I wished I would have brought that sucker in. You can't dwell on the plays behind us. It's just one of those things.
Q. Can you talk about as much as you guys have accomplished in your career, how tough it is to go out with a heartbreaker like this.
CLINT CHELF: You know, obviously it's tough. We had two opportunities to do that and came up short both times. It's a great program. For us to go out with the guys that have been here before us, the winningest senior class, it's disappointing.
But looking back on it, I wouldn't change it for the world. We had a great group of guys that I've enjoyed being around for my last couple years here, five years here. So obviously it's unfortunate, but at the same time, you know, there's memories that will be with us forever.
SHAUN LEWIS: For myself, it's pretty tough. But, I mean, you want to get a win like that for the guys sitting next to me. It's unfortunate. But you learn from things that don't go your way in life.
It's going to be tough getting over this loss, but we'll get through it.
CALEB LAVEY: It hurts to lose, but this class, I've developed some relationships that I'll keep for the rest of my life. I couldn't be more proud to know these two guys. 28 seniors in all. We came up in the program together. We focused on the goal that we wanted to do. We made it happen for the most part.
All in all, you know, I love these guys, it's been a fun ride.
COACH GUNDY: If I could just add something to that. The losses, the last two, really for this organization, are hard now because they've had so much success. But these guys are trained to understand adversity will make them better. They know that. It will make them better the rest of their lives.
A loss like this will hurt forever, but they'll be better people for it in the future. They're quality, quality young men. That's why you get the response that you get, is because since they've walked on this campus four years, four years and five years, right, they've been trained that way. It's been instilled in them. They understand that.
It's very painful, but they also know that adversity will make them better.
Q. Shaun and Caleb, on the interception and return, the pass interference, did you see that play developed? Were you surprised a flag was thrown?
SHAUN LEWIS: I felt as if both guys were competing for the ball. I didn't really see the pass interference. It's unfortunate. That play would have turned the game.
But things worked out that way for a reason, so...
CALEB LAVEY: Yeah, I didn't see a replay or it happened. I just tried to get a block for Ty, so...
COACH GUNDY: What did you think?
Q. Haven't seen it.
Clint, can you take us through that last play with the fumble.
CLINT CHELF: We were going to take a shot at the end zone, kind of a deeper pass play. A drop back. Felt some pressure. I was trying to get rid of it. About to throw it away. Don't know what happened. Got hit from behind. Bad ball security.
Q. What do you think the future of Oklahoma State football is? Obviously you've developed a great foundation. It's been going on about a decade. Where do you see the program going from here?
CALEB LAVEY: You know, guys like Shaun and Clint, these seniors, they've really set a standard with leadership, with work. Coach Gundy and his staff have done a great job at recruiting the right guys.
In my opinion, there's only one way to go, and that's up. They do a great job at finding the right guys for the program. We've got a great underclassmen group right now. So I really look forward to the potential of this upcoming group.
SHAUN LEWIS: Being in the locker room and mingling with some of the guys, not only do we have like some of the best athletes competing in the Big 12, but we have some of the best character athletes, guys that have good values and guys that take their academics seriously.
So I think both athletically and academically the program is heading in the right direction. Things can only get better from here, so...
CLINT CHELF: You know, kind of echo what both of them said. Coach Gundy has done a great job with recruiting and getting guys in the locker room that are not only talented but high character guys. In the locker room right now you could tell the only place to go is up.
You see the young guys' faces. They're just as disappointed as we are as seniors. They wanted to send us off the right way. I think it's a good sign. Anytime a loss hurts those guys, it's going to help them in the off season.
There's a lot of guys that played for us this year that were young guys that contribute d in key areas. They'll be back. I think the program's headed in the right direction.
Q. Do you think the last four weeks, not playing in game, has hurt you at all?
CLINT CHELF: Well, Missouri didn't play in a game either. I think that kind of takes care of that.
We both had the same amount of time off for the most part. So, you know, whatever rust there was on either side, both teams had it, experienced it. I think we fought through it pretty well. Just came up short.
SHAUN LEWIS: I don't believe we can use that as an excuse because we had three or four weeks of high level practices. We got after it when we were supposed to. We took the time off when we were supposed to. You can't use something like that as an excuse from our perspective.
CALEB LAVEY: Yeah, I agree with both of them. It kind of throws you off a rhythm. It's a pretty even playing field for both teams not having played for a few weeks.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, we'll let you go next door and coach will stay for questions.
Q. Mike, did you get an explanation on the pass interference call? If so, did it meet your satisfaction?
COACH GUNDY: They said 26 interfered, so I hadn't really gotten an explanation.
Q. What were you seeing from your offense for almost three full quarters that was stale, then they found a groove.
COACH GUNDY: We made some adjustments at halftime. That helped us as the game went on. Missouri has been good up front and defended the running game until we made those adjustments.
We missed some throws early in the game. Clint will tell you. We had two or three throws that would have gotten us down the field. I think one time we had a throw out there to Josh Stewart, pretty much catches it, he's going to score.
You miss a few throws. When you're playing a team as good as they are, there's not much room for error. Both teams had three turnovers. Obviously they got the big turnover at the end and scored. But for the most part it came down to the kicking game. We missed a fairly easy field goal and at that time the game would have been tied, either way you can look at it. Turnovers were somewhat equal.
They won the kicking game by hitting their field goals. One time they hit a long one, I think a 47 yarder. We missed a short one. Those things add up in close games when you're playing teams ranked as high as they are. There's not much room for error.
Q. I know you said you didn't get an explanation. You asked us what we saw. What did you see on the pass interference?
COACH GUNDY: I didn't see it. I just saw two guys competing for the ball. It's really hard for me unless I see the replay of what happened. Both the receiver and the defender have a right to the football. They said that our guy interfered with him. Obviously have to go with that.
Q. What did you see out of Maty Mauk for Missouri? Did you prepare for him?
COACH GUNDY: Where you from?
Q. Sports Illustrated.
COACH GUNDY: Sweet (smiling). That's awesome. Make sure you document this so you have all your research and your background.
We were prepared for both quarterbacks.
I thought that was a joke.
Q. What was your view of that fumble at the end of the game there? Could you take us through that play.
COACH GUNDY: Yeah, I was watching downfield, the receivers. Looked like we got beat at the right tackle spot. He tomahawked the ball from behind.
Q. Keeping time is not my strong suit, but I had the game at 4 hours and 12 minutes long. Any reason a college game that doesn't go into overtime should last more than four hours?
COACH GUNDY: Instant replay. I mean, that's what caused it, right? There was how many reviews? Four, five. I'm going to guess that pushes it over the four hour limit. There were a lot of forward passes: 40 for them and 57 for us. I think your instant replay pushes the game.
There's timeouts. A lot of timeouts in a game like this, people have to pay, pay the bills. I think there's a lot of timeouts.
Q. Does that hurt your momentum?
COACH GUNDY: You know, it's the same for both. It's like they said about the layoff. It's the same for both teams.
I think all of us would probably like the games to move along faster, but the networks put a lot of time and effort, it's where the money comes from, it's probably not going to ever change.
But I don't think that really factors into the game.
Q. When you look back now, you finished 10 3, do you feel you're a better football team than your record indicates?
COACH GUNDY: At times I think when I look at some of the tape and kind of did some research and study, at times it looked like we overachieved, and then at times we were really good.
That's a really hard question. I would say that we have a high round pick on our team, then we'll have some guys that will probably get into a camp. So if you try to evaluate it from that standpoint, guys played well.
You know, I said it earlier, it's doesn't make any difference, but we played the team that won the Sugar Bowl, a team that won 12 games. Basically we lost on the last play of the game.
We got a lot out of them. We just need to find a way to finish. We had a chance to make plays in both games. We need to find a way to finish those games and we'll push hard in the off season.
Q. What do you think of this place as an opening spot for the national championship game next year? Having been here this year, does it provide any motivation to get your team back next year?
COACH GUNDY: I don't think there's any question that they know how to put on a show at that facility. I've not been to any other NFL games. I was here this week with the Cowboys and the Eagles, and then obviously tonight. I just don't know if there's a better facility out there that puts on a show and is accommodating to the game.
It's very impressive. I think that whoever made the decision made a good decision to give these people the opportunity to have that national championship game.