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TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL: STANFORD v OKLAHOMA STATE


January 2, 2012


Justin Blackmon

Justin Gilbert

Mike Gundy

Quinn Sharp

Brandon Weeden


GLENDALE, ARIZONA

Oklahoma State テや 41
Stanford テや 38


COACH GUNDY:テつ First off, I want to thank the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the staff, all the volunteers, everybody that's been involved.テつ It has been an unbelievable eight days for us.
Hospitality, the living conditions, practice facilities, the police escorts, bus, food, everything has been awesome.テつ And I know that's easy to say when you win.テつ But that would have been said win or loss.
It is as good a Bowl experience as we have ever here.テつ It is a beautiful place here in the Valley of the Sun.
I also want to say congratulations to Stanford.テつ And I mentioned this this morning when I spoke to a group of alumni‑‑ Oklahoma State alumni at the hotel, that I had some concerns coming into this game after I had an opportunity to spend time with their coaches and watch how their players handled themselves.テつ They do it with a lot of class.
We try to pride ourselves here at Oklahoma State on class and values and doing the right thing.テつ And I feel like that contributes to success and winning football teams.
And when I found out Stanford was the same way, it made me a little nervous.テつ And I think they proved‑‑ both teams we knew coming into the game it would be an unbelievable game.
Four weeks ago when we found out we were playing Stanford, I made the comment that I thought the nation would be as interested in our game as any game during the Bowl season and that it would be a tremendous game because you have two very talented teams.テつ You have two teams that can move the ball and score points and you have two defenses that are better than what people think.
So it was great for everybody involved.テつ When there is a game like that, there has to be somebody to lose.テつ I can't say enough about our players and their ability to come back to fight through adversity.
Our assistant coaches continue to coach hard.テつ The attitude and the body language of our players was tremendous.テつ The things we pride ourselves on during the game if you make a mistake, don't worry about it, make another play.テつ So when we got down by 14 or when we dropped the pass or we made a mistake, we gave up a big play, nobody flinched.テつ They continued to play hard and that's the proof of the leadership of some of these young men sitting at the table.
I said it on the field and I want to say it again, that this group of seniors has won 41 games in four years.テつ And I don't care what league you play in, I don't care where you play, that's extremely difficult to do.テつ So I can't say enough of how proud I am for Oklahoma State.テつ How proud I am for us to have 35,000 or 40‑‑ I don't know how many people we had there.テつ There were a lot of people wearing orange and they were tremendous and they were loud.
It is a group effort.テつ The success that Oklahoma State has had is a group effort.テつ And I'm just thrilled to death to have the opportunity to be here and be the head coach.

Q.テつ You have seen adjusting for three years.テつ Does he still surprise you at what he does on the field?
COACH GUNDY:テつ No, he doesn't surprise me because I seen him do it so many times.テつ I did say this at the press conference three days ago.テつ I resisted in saying he was the best wide receiver that playing at Oklahoma State.テつ I said it three days ago.テつ He is, bar none.
To make big catches in crucial situations then make plays with the ball in his hands when the other team knows he is going to do it, it is pretty amazing, especially when the teams roll up on him like tonight.テつ Stanford's game plan, other than blitz, was to roll up and play a guy down on him.テつ He still finds a way to get open and get the ball and the quarterback finds a way to get it to him.

Q.テつ How does this win for you compare for the win over Oklahoma?
COACH GUNDY:テつ Well, they are both very special.テつ I they we had to have one to get to the other.テつ Obviously, we would have never been here if we didn't beat Oklahoma.
But, the Oklahoma win was real special because our team had won the first time outright conference championship basically in the history of the University.
But now to come into a game and play a very, very good team, when you get to the top three, four, five teams in the country, I think Stanford can play with anybody in the country on any given day.テつ I think LSU and Alabama and Oklahoma State are in the same category.
So it is a very special win, but obviously we couldn't have won‑‑ we couldn't have had this one without getting the first one.

Q.テつ You win 12 for the first time.テつ Big 12 for the first time.テつ BCS Bowl game for the first time.テつ Feel pretty good about your contract negotiations here in the next week or so?
COACH GUNDY:テつ Well, we'll hold that off until later.テつ I know there has been a lot of talk about the contract.テつ There is just a lot going on right now.テつ And I'm confident in Oklahoma State.テつ We're in some unchartered waters right now.テつ So I know they just want to make sure they are doing the right thing and I'm trying to do the right thing for my family and our coaches and everybody involved.
So I would be very surprised if we don't get that taken care of pretty quick.

Q.テつ The impact of this season, not just this team but as you look to the future for OSU, where does this take this program?テつ Is it ready to sustain itself at this level now?
COACH GUNDY:テつ We hope so.テつ And our challenge to the young men that are coming back on our team is to continue to play with great effort, play for each other, all the things that we talked about for what would be five, six, seven years now, discipline, structure and accountability.テつ There will be some new faces.テつ When you change as many skilled players on offense as we're going to change, somebody else has to step up.
But I will say that I'm very confident that we have young men in our program that will step up and make plays and will continue to play at a high level.

Q.テつ Brandon, Blackmon was your most productive receiver today in terms of stats.テつ Can you talk about Colton Chelf?テつ He wasn't even on scholarship until this year and how he stepped up in the biggest game of the year for you guys?
BRANDON WEEDEN:テつ Colton has been doing it every day in practice.テつ He is one of our more consistent receivers we have out there.テつ We just saw some things that they do defensively, a lot of cover two where he hits some seems up the middle.テつ Their linebackers are aggressive as we throw their head over their head.テつ We liked the way he did‑‑ went about his business.テつ He won one‑on‑one matchups.テつ We knew they would play a lot of man and cover two.テつ He had a big night because of it.

Q.テつ Did you ever consider letting them score at the end with about 40‑some seconds, they were in field goal range, letting them score so you have time to get the ball back to do something?
COACH GUNDY:テつ No.テつ They were too far out, and so the discussion was whether to try to use time‑outs.テつ But we decided to let them run it down because we didn't want them to run any more plays to get closer.テつ We wanted the field goal to be as far away as possible.
When you are under one minute, and we had already burned two time‑outs, we can move fast and do some things, but it would be very difficult to move down the field that fast without any time‑outs.

Q.テつ Can you make a quick remark on what you saw from Andrew Luck tonight and what kind of a quarterback he is?
COACH GUNDY:テつ Andrew is a special player.テつ I think what made this game real neat was the offensive firepower on both sides.テつ And you had two future NFL quarterbacks.テつ There is a lot of talk about Andrew Luck, and I don't question anything that people say about him.テつ He played as good as he could have played tonight.テつ But we had a guy playing for us that was tremendous also.テつ Started a little slow, but once he got going, boy, he can let it loose and make a lot of plays.
And so I said this throughout the year and I will say it again, I think you will see both of those guys playing for years to come.

Q.テつ Fans are obviously going to miss Justin and Brandon a ton.テつ But your livelihood depends on guys like these.テつ Does it bring a tear to your eyes to look to your right tonight and know that's the final game these two guys will be with you?
COACH GUNDY:テつ There is no question.テつ A year ago at this time, there was talk about whether these two guys were going to come back.テつ And so it was a celebration after the Alamo Bowl, and then there was concern because of the difference that these guys make on your football team.
And I lay in bed every night and think about a lot of things.テつ And one thing I think about is the seniors that we lost.テつ And these guys made a ton of plays for us.テつ I don't know who else is in here.テつ But I think about not having Josh cooper.テつ Josh cooper is a guy that catches 70‑something balls every year.テつ I think he leads our program as the fifth all‑time leader in catches and nobody talks about. テつYou have Markelle Martin, Jamie and Jones.テつ Grant garner, guy played with an ankle‑‑ he didn't practical week for eight weeks and he goes and plays on Saturday.
It is difficult to let these young men go, but I have a lot of excitement for the future.テつ And there's guys that are sitting up here with me and there are guys that in our locker room that are seniors that three years ago nobody thought would be making any plays and they have made a lot of plays for us.
I said this after the game and I really believe it.テつ It is about the assistant coaches.テつ It is about the system we have in place and the discipline, structure and accountability and the young men will step up and make plays.

Q.テつ You mentioned the slow start.テつ Was that rust, do you think, from not playing for a month?テつ What did you talk to the guys about to get the guys picked up?
COACH GUNDY:テつ I didn't really say much.テつ These guys lead themselves.テつ Our assistant coaches did a good job.テつ We started slow.テつ Our tempo wasn't as good.
I didn't feel like that they were really rushing the quarterback, they were attacking and just kind of holding ground and trying to defend‑‑ not let us pop the runs through there and their safeties were playing back real high and trying to keep everything in front.
So we just had to make some adjustments.テつ They had a good game plan.テつ When we got to the latter part of the second quarter, I thought that the month of preparation really helped them because their style of offense is to line up and pound you and then throw it over the top.テつ There is not a lot of trick involved.
And our style of offense on a short week, a normal week where you get two practice days at times can be real hard to prepare for, in our opinion.テつ And I thought that they were very, very well‑coached with some of the things that they did.テつ And in the back of my mind, I thought, the month probably helped them much more than it did us in stopping their attack compared to them stopping ours.

Q.テつ Two glaring stats, 24 less snaps than they did and your team rushed for 13 yards and you won the game.テつ Did that surprise you?
COACH GUNDY:テつ I think that surprised everybody.テつ We knew coming in they would use the clock.テつ That's the advantage of what they do.
Now, if we get a couple stops, they hit‑‑ I think it was three big third downs on us.テつ Then your play total obviously which is now looking at that, your play total ends up being about 68 to 65, somewhere in that area because they extended those drives.
But we didn't.テつ They moved the ball and used the clock.テつ That's a considerable difference.テつ That was one of the glaring statistics, 851 to 57.テつ But the way they were playing allowed us to throw the ball more and once we got into a tempo, we were able to attack them.

Q.テつ You have had a couple close games that went right down to the wire.テつ Tonight was no different.テつ But I look over on your sideline, everybody is jumping around, everybody is celebrating except for you and you have that look on your face that's just calm and collective.テつ Can you talk about your emotions in these late games?テつ How do you stay that calm in such an exciting time of the game?
COACH GUNDY:テつ I have a lot of faith in our players and our coaches.テつ And I feel like I can function better and make decisions if I'm under control.
This sounds a little funny, but ever since I have been four years old I have played some sport year‑round, went from one sport to the next.テつ I have been in a million games and million tournaments in baseball and football games and wrestling matches and just so many of them that this is a big, big game.テつ Don't get me wrong.テつ And I'm excited.テつ But I just let them do it, and it allowed me an opportunity to real think.
That's who I am.テつ You can't change that.テつ I mean, you can't real change who you are, so for whatever reason, my wife acts the same way.テつ She says you get more upset if the laundry is on the floor than you do somebody kicking a game‑winning field goal.テつ I said, then we need to hire somebody to do the laundry (smiling).
I don't know.テつ I just can't change who I am.

Q.テつ Justin, talk about nothing going on for you in the first quarter.テつ Second quarter, two catches, 110 yards, and two touchdowns your quarterback says when he gets mad, look out.テつ Did you get mad, and when, and talk about your game.
JUSTIN BLACKMON:テつ I wouldn't say I was mad.テつ Just irritated with what was going on.テつ I knew we could play better.テつ I just tried to help the team play as best that they could.テつ If that takes me I think getting mad, I guess I get mad and go out there and do it.

Q.テつ Quinn, can you just talk about kick the game‑winning field goal?テつ You said earlier this week you would love to have a chance to do that and it came down to that.テつ What went through your mind and what does it mean to have one of the most important kicks in school history?
QUINN SHARP:テつ It was a great feeling just to get the opportunity.テつ Unfortunately for Stanford's kicker, had he a rough night.テつ But I trust in our offense and our defense.テつ Those guys believe in each other day in and day out.テつ And when the opportunity realized, I just wanted to make it count for those guys.

Q. テつYou could probably feel the pain Williamson had at the end.
QUINN SHARP:テつ Yeah, I mean, it's not an easy feeling.テつ Everything comes down to you.テつ You are the last one.テつ It is on the line.テつ And people can look at any plays throughout the game, but most of the time when a situation like that happens, they don't look at those plays.テつ They look at the kicker messed up or the kicker did this, it was his fault.
But it is a team effort, team unit.テつ Like I said, I believe in our offense and defense and they believe in me and our special teams unit.テつ We come out and make plays every time?

Q.テつ Quinn, do you normally go out for the coin toss in overtime?テつ Two, Andrew Luck, did he say something to you after the coin toss?
QUINN SHARP:テつ He just said good luck and I said the same thing back to him.
I have done the coin toss a couple times this year.テつ This was the first time I had done it by myself.テつ Other times we have had Weeden or Blackmon or our offensive or defensive guys.テつ But that's what I went out there for.

Q.テつ Quinn, on a personal level, do you feel any kind of redemption after that missed field goal at Iowa State to kick a big game winner like this?
QUINN SHARP:テつ Yeah, that was a rough game for us.テつ We didn't play well as an overall team unit.テつ I missed that last kick at the end.テつ It was kind of a judgment call, in my opinion.テつ I could have kicked that ball six inches to the left and it wouldn't have been like that.テつ Our team bounces back and we have had a great season all year, and just like I said, we still believe in each other.テつ We are fortunate to be at this game.テつ We played a great team in Stanford, and we came out on top.

Q.テつ Quinn, you missed the Bowl game last year.テつ Do you feel like this is coming full circle redemption and a great way to end the season after what happened last season?
QUINN SHARP:テつ Yeah.テつ I made a personal mistake and I let my team down.テつ That was nobody's fault but my own.テつ But I had talks with my parents and my coaches and told them I was going to make up for it.テつ And I came back and all my teammates believed in me.テつ It is good to reinstill that faith.
It was a rough time for me just like anybody else.テつ You don't want to sit there on the couch and watch the team from home.テつ It is not an easy feeling.テつ I fought through it and got to get to the point where I am, and I'm very happy with our team?

Q.テつ Brandon, on that fourth and 3 as the game was winding down, the Stanford defense had to have an inkling that you were going to Justin on the play.テつ He still made the catch.テつ What does it say about him as a player, that he can make all those plays even when they know it is coming?
BRANDON WEEDEN:テつ He takes pride in his one‑on‑one matchups.テつ He likes catching the ball with his hands.テつ He is not a guy that lets it come to him.テつ If I know it is one‑on‑one, there is nobody really I throw it to other than Blackmon, maybe Cooper.テつ In that situation, I'm going to Blackmon 100 percent of the time.
And like I said, they played coverage zero.テつ They were aggressive, and we made them pay for it.

Q.テつ Brandon, while you were watching Stanford drive there at the end and you get another opportunity, you‑‑ it must feel like a death row inmate getting that call at the very end, getting another chance to go out there and actually make a difference and win the ball game after you thought you were done there.
BRANDON WEEDEN:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ You know, we were just kind of glad to be in that situation.テつ For us, we were fortunate it came down to it.テつ I just knew I needed to make a play, one play to boost our offense and put us in position to win the game.
I feel like I made a pretty decent throw to Chelf, he ran an unbelievable route to win a one on one matchup.テつ For him I wish he would have gotten in the end zone.テつ For a senior, it would be a have been great to him.

Q.テつ Brandon, what does this win mean for Oklahoma State football in general?
BRANDON WEEDEN:テつ I would say this is probably the biggest win in Oklahoma State football history, I think.テつ Like Coach Gundy said, the win to get us here was obviously a huge win as well.テつ Like I said, this is the 12th win and it has never been done.テつ We have never been in this situation before.
I think‑‑ I think these guys would agree, this season has been an unbelievable ride.テつ And it is kind of great that it is all over.

Q.テつ Justin, you guys beat Stanford.テつ Let's say a week from now Alabama beats LSU.テつ Do you feel like your team should be claiming part of the national championship?
JUSTIN BLACKMON:テつ I mean, it played out the way it played out.テつ There is nothing we can do from here.テつ I do think we do have the best team in the nation.テつ I wouldn't trade them for anyone else.テつ I'm just glad we get to celebrate this win with our teammates.

Q.テつ Brandon, cap this season off for you?テつ A guy walks on, former Yankee pitcher, Minor League pitcher, 20 years old.テつ What has the whole experience been for you?テつ And the next step for you?
BRANDON WEEDEN:テつ It has been unbelievable.テつ If I would have told you that this situation would arose six or seven years ago, I would have thought you were crazy.テつ But like I said, this has kind of been my dream since I was a little kid.テつ This ride, and like I said with Coach, we came back to win a conference championship and a BCS game.
My future, that will take care of itself.テつ I'm not worried about it.テつ This one feels good.テつ I'm going to celebrate with these guys.テつ It feels good to be 12‑1.

Q.テつ Justin, while the offense struggled in the first quarter, your defense made some pretty big plays.テつ You had a pick on the first drive or whatever, second drive maybe.テつ Talk about the defense and what you guys kind of did in the first part while the offense was trying to catch up?
JUSTIN GILBERT:テつ We just had to stay poised.テつ We knew our offense had a big chance to put points on the board as long as we kept getting the stops.テつ It started happening sooner or later.テつ They kicked it in gear and we got a couple turnovers there at the beginning and kept ourselves in the ball game.

Q.テつ Justin Gilbert, you were on the field the last couple drives when Luck was driving, kept making the throw.テつ You were also on the field during the extra‑‑ the field goal that was missed and time expired.テつ You were very emotional after he missed that, celebrating, excited.テつ Can you talk about your emotions as of the last final minutes went by?
JUSTIN GILBERT:テつ There is no better feeling than being out there on the field with those guys.テつ You look up in the stands with orange everywhere and jumping up and down.テつ I was ready to get out on the field and get another stop and let the offense put points on the board.

Q.テつ Justin Gilbert, got the ball with 2 1/2 minutes to go and tie ball game.テつ Your defense is struggling against it.テつ I mean, he only had four incompletions all night.テつ Was there doubt on the part of anybody on defense on that drive that led to an eventual missed field goal?
JUSTIN GILBERT:テつ No.テつ I was hoping‑‑ I was just wishing that they would go up to my side.テつ But everyone on the team was‑‑ I mean, wanted to make a play and get a stop for our offense to get a chance to put points back on the board.

Q.テつ Justin Blackmon, this game three touchdowns, offensive MVP honors.テつ Is there any better way you could have imagined capping your career and the season you've had?
JUSTIN BLACKMON:テつ Not at all.テつ Like I said, the win itself, you get the win with our teammates and all the seniors on the team was enough.テつ I could have had no catches and no touchdowns, as long as we won, I would have been excited.
So it is really big to get this win for Oklahoma State in still water and just glad we get to bring that trophy back to Oklahoma.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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