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December 26, 2018

Cale Gundy

Miami Gardens, Florida

Q. You've got a new guy in and he's just as good if not better. How amazing is that?
CALE GUNDY: It's amazing. Obviously you just had back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners in two different guys. I mean, it's never happened. That's how amazing it is. A lot of it is obviously credited to Coach Riley and what he does offensively. But when you look at the big picture, when you've got an offensive line that's been there for a lot of years, a lot of starts, best offensive line in the country, one of the best offensive lines in the country where you've brought back a lot of the same receiving corps, a lot of the same running backs, Kyler was going to be put in a good situation. It was just -- I believe he elevated his game and I think was -- there was a little bit of question from everybody was how good was he going to be. We knew he was going to be good, but he elevated his game to a whole 'nother level, which is pretty neat.

Q. It's hard for anybody to ever match Baker in terms of impact and popularity, all those things. But if a guy wins a National Championship, he sort of ascends pretty high in Oklahoma --
CALE GUNDY: I would say so.

Q. Is that something that you think Kyler sort of realizes and thinks this would be something extra special?
CALE GUNDY: Well, the time I've been around Kyler and his dad, Kyler loves football. Kyler likes winning games. Kyler, his dad raised him to be a quarterback and to be a champion, and they take great pride in that. That's the ultimate goal in my opinion for Kyler, and that's been instilled by his father.

Q. So much is talked about Kyler and his ability to throw in this game and the receivers. How important is it, though, to be able to run the ball effectively against what Alabama does?
CALE GUNDY: Well, anyway you can get yards, it's going to be positive. Just the ability that he has to keep the play alive, scramble, the downfield, throwing the ball routes and stuff is obviously something that we work on. Again, when you get into games like this, any points you can get, first downs you can get, whether you're running or throwing or penalty, you're going to take everything.

Q. You being involved on the recruiting side really heavily obviously, and having said that, what do you feel or how impressive is it that (indiscernible)?
CALE GUNDY: Well, it's impressive. You look at their win-loss record for the last so many years, I think they've -- the last couple, two, three years, they've lost one game. It's been impressive what they've got going. But they are human. They do get beat by people. It's going to be a challenge.

Q. Do you kind of have to continue to use that to your advantage when you recruit guys, like hey, we'd rather you come here, you can have a chance to knock off No. 1 rather than go play for No. 1?
CALE GUNDY: Well, I mean, we're Oklahoma. We've won our share of championships. I mean, this is a great place, too. We don't compare ourselves to Alabama in recruiting whatsoever. When we get kids to come to our place, it's because they want to win championships and compete for championships at our place, as well.

Q. Are you hopeful that you'll (indiscernible)?
CALE GUNDY: I am. I hope so. It's been doing well.

Q. Has he been able to practice?
CALE GUNDY: You need to talk to Lincoln Riley about that.

Q. We ask you so much about Kyler but he's not here. Is there anything you can tell us on his status?
CALE GUNDY: No, I didn't know anything about it until I got in the car this morning.

Q. He was able to practice yesterday just fine?

Q. I guess Mike said he was a little bit sick last night.
CALE GUNDY: Yeah, I just heard that this morning, so I'm sure the doctors probably got with him and probably thought it was best to get a little rest before practice.

Q. Quarterback not here two years in a row.
CALE GUNDY: Yeah, it's been a crazy last couple weeks for him.

Q. Baker misses this, he's sick --
CALE GUNDY: I don't know, I can't answer. I didn't know anything about it until I got in the car this morning.

Q. Is there added pressure on you guys in general this season to -- a lot of games you feel like you have to score almost every possession to sort of stay ahead. It's like in golf, you've got to birdie every hole just to --
CALE GUNDY: You know, we just -- I mean, it's a team. There's been times where our defense has played well and done great things for us and put us in good positions and had key stops and has helped us win football games, and that's just part of football. You've got -- you've just got to keep playing, and that's what we do offensively. We just keep playing, and we keep telling our players -- we look forward and we hope that we have the ball last because we just have confidence, and we feel like we can move the ball down the field and score.

Q. How do you think this offense has developed throughout the season?
CALE GUNDY: It's developed well. Again, what we're doing both rushing the football and passing the football, it's very well-balanced. Again, I think it all starts with Kyler won the Heisman, and I think it all starts with our offensive line, and obviously what those guys have done and what Coach Bill Bedenbaugh our offensive line coach does and prepares those guys, so when you can control the line of scrimmage, you can do a lot of different things.

Q. Talking about the defensive line, Williams in particular, what do you want the mindset of your O-line to be?
CALE GUNDY: Well, they're going to have a mindset. They always have a mindset. They know the challenge ahead of them. They know when you start talking about the Alabama defense, you can talk about every position. You've got all-conference players, you've got All-American players, a lot of national award winners. You just can't pull out one side of the ball, whether it's in the secondary or defensive line and say these guys are better than the rest of the defense. They're gifted. They're talented, and it's going to be a challenge for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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