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January 1, 2013

Clint Chelf

Mike Gundy

Daytawion Lowe

Josh Stewart


Oklahoma State – 58
Purdue –14

THE MODERATOR:  We have head coach Mike Gundy, Josh Stewart and Daytawion Lowe.  We'll begin with an opening statement from Coach Gundy and then open it up for questions.
COACH GUNDY:  Obviously, a very good game for our team.  Our players competed, had really good preparation over the last three weeks.  We did a great job taking care of the football and forced turnovers, took advantage of those turnovers.
We had a number of players that played very well.  Really don't want to get into those guys because there were so many of them.
Just proud of our senior class, proud of the preparation of our team.  They handled themselves very professionally over the last three weeks, especially the last five days.
The Heart of Dallas Bowl has been terrific for us.  Accommodations were awesome.  The events we had in the evenings, out there with the Blue Man Group, the Mavericks, the golf, was great.
These guys did a wonderful job of taking care of our team, our families, our kids.  We had a great week here.  We can't thank them enough for that.
I think the overall speed of our football team was considerably different, and that's what made the difference in the football game.  We were able to make some good plays there and force some turnovers and take advantage of them.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Mike, can you talk about your defense.  Adversity in the last couple of regular‑season games.
COACH GUNDY:  Our defense was really good.  They got some yards in the first half, but I thought our defense played very opportunistic, meaning there were some times where our players made plays at key points in the game, and we were able to force those turnovers and get off the field.  I was really happy with those guys.
I thought we tackled better.  There were a few times the big guy rumbled on us some.  In the open field I thought our tackling was better than it was in the latter part of the season.

Q.  Mike, it's early, but you went three‑and‑out with your first possessions.  They run a fake punt on their own 13 on 4th and five.  Did that serve any notice they were going to throw caution to the wind?
COACH GUNDY:  When they faked that punt on their own 13, they certainly got our attention they'd be willing to do anything.
Nice call on their part.  Not very good preparation on ours.
We have seen them execute that fake and actually practiced it on Thursday.  I know that nobody wants to hear that, but we worked on it Thursday.  We had a couple guys there, they blocked us very well and converted.  Then we were able to stop them, get the really good punt return by Josh.

Q.  Coach, last year you win the conference, you win the Fiesta Bowl, lose some talented players.  What did you learn about your coaching staff and yourself having to come back and coach a different group of kids and getting back to a bowl game and winning?
COACH GUNDY:  As I said earlier, I'm very proud of our team.
In coaching, we enjoy spending time with the players, seeing the young ones develop, then players that haven't got to play that much in games, developing them and coaching them.  Really that's what our responsibility is.  In my opinion, good coaches can take the players that we have, find what they're best at, put them in a situation to have success.
I think our assistant coaches did a really good job of that this season.

Q.  Clint, how surreal is this moment for you right now?
CLINT CHELF:  Extremely surreal.  It's a symbol of the guys around me.  Offensive line played well today, defensive receivers, good punt return, defense kept giving us a short field.  We tried to capitalize on that.  Coach Gundy called some good plays, and we just tried to execute.

Q.  Coach, in the spring you tried out Josh as a punt return guy.  He dropped some.  We didn't see him all season until the bowl game.  Is that a twist you wanted?
COACH GUNDY:  We've been resting him (laughter).
Charlie Moore has been returning punts for us this season.  We felt like that Josh would be more explosive.  One of our concerns with Josh was the number of reps that he gets, not only in games but in practice.
I don't know for sure, but he's had, what, over 90 catches, close to 100, I don't keep up with all the stats, but I know he's touched the ball a considerable number of times.
In practice, he gets a lot of work.  So we felt like we needed to save him and not put him in those situations.  He had come to us and said that he wanted to return punts in the bowl game.  So we put him back there and worked him.  He did a nice job in practice.  We had Charlie there in case we needed him.

Q.  Daytawion, talk about your fumble recovery and the defensive performance.
DAYTAWION LOWE:  Well, they threw a quick screen out.  Justin Gilbert, I mean, he just went up there and fitted it up.  I was running over there trying to help him before he got the first down.  He made a good play, stripped it down, popped it right into my hand.  It really was credit to Justin Gilbert on that.  I just ran it in.
As far as our defense, when we get turnovers, we're a different team.  That's what we strive to do, is get five turnovers a game, at least three to five.  We did that today.

Q.  Daytawion, Mike just talked about speed was part of the difference today.  Can you talk about how different Purdue was from what you generally saw from Big 12 offenses during the year.
DAYTAWION LOWE:  Tempo.  They tempo was a lot slower.  They played a lot slower tempo.  Gave us time to get lined up.  Where most Big 12 teams, as soon as the play is over, they're lining up to run another play.

Q.  Josh, you did a little bit of everything today.  Talk about the game you had.
JOSH STEWART:  I'm the type of player that when my name is called, my team needs me to make a play, I just try to do my best to do that.
I mean, our team all played good as a whole today.  We came out ready to play.  It worked out in our hands.  We're happy for that.

Q.  Clint, there's been a lot of talk leading up to this bowl about the team slipping in the selection process.  Did that turn out to be a motivating factor for you guys?
CLINT CHELF:  First of all, we were happy to be going to a bowl, especially to The Heart of the Dallas Bowl.  We're happy to be here, play against Purdue.
Some of the seniors, those guys, would like to have been in a better bowl.  At the end of the day, you have to win more games in the regular season to do that.
So it could have been motivation for some guys.  We're a highly motivated group.  I think everybody wanted to go out there and prove people wrong, show them we could win a game like this.

Q.  Mike, talk about your game as play‑caller, how that went, how efficient your offense was.
COACH GUNDY:  Again, the players make the decisions in which plays we run.  We give them a variety of plays.  Over 50% of them based on run‑pass can be checked at the line.  These guys are responsible for it.  The receivers adjust routes based on coverage.
We had a collection of guys on the headphones that were making selections and play calls.  It worked out really well for us.  We tried to stay balanced, being able to rush for over 200 and throw for 300.
More importantly, when we take care of the football, we didn't put the ball on the ground one time, it makes such a big difference.  As D‑Lowe said, you force turnovers, that's when we've had success over the last few years.  It was evident today in taking care of the football, it makes a big difference.

Q.  Josh, coach talked about how you came to him and said you wanted to return punts.  Why did you decide to do that?  What was it like being out there?
JOSH STEWART:  I just feel like I can make people miss in space.  Punt return, you have so much space.  I felt like, why not give it a try, get better.
Charlie Moore is good.  I just thought that it wouldn't hurt having two different, so...

Q.  What kind of tone can a bowl game set for the upcoming season?  You've been through this enough to probably know, you win a game like this, does it set a tone for the next year?
COACH GUNDY:  These bowl games kind of lead you into winter workouts.  If you don't finish the season like you want to, we lost our last two games, winning the bowl game becomes more important, believe it or not.
If you finish strong and you play in a bowl game and you play well, you lose, it's not as fun, but it's not as big a factor as it is when you're playing a bowl game.  We lost on the last play of the game to Oklahoma, then had a shot there at the end against Baylor after getting really far behind.  So to come back out and prepare and play well makes a difference going into winter conditioning.

Q.  Josh, after your toss, are you prepared to enter the quarterback derby this spring?
JOSH STEWART:  Oh, yeah, I'm ready.  Chelf better watch out (laughter).

Q.  Mike, you got to see all three of your quarterbacks today.  What are your plans for them now heading into the spring?
COACH GUNDY:  It worked out really well.  Clint obviously took control of the game.  JW came in and played and was able to run our base offense.  Sometimes we throw‑‑ I shouldn't say sometimes.  At times there's throws in a game when the twos are in, and that's the only option we have versus the defense.
Played very well.  Was able to run the ball, make some throws.
That gave us a chance to get Wes in the game, let him execute our offense.  Run the ball or throw it based on what the defense gives us.
The last series, for the most part we just told him to hand the ball off.  We're not really set up to do that in our offense.  We don't practice those plays.
So it was good for all three guys to get some work.

Q.  Mike, obviously in the off‑season you have an offensive coordinator to hire.  Talk about what you expect over the next several weeks?  Do you have a timetable?
COACH GUNDY:  I don't have a timetable.  We still have some work to do.  As a coaching staff, we have a few days here, then we're back on the road recruiting.  Obviously, I've got to look into the hiring process.
I think what's important over the last few years that we've been in this situation is we're not going to change what we do on offense.
Is it an important hire?  Yes, it is an important hire.  But our principles and philosophies are going to stay the same.

Q.  Mike, considering where you started on the depth chart at the beginning of the year and how things worked out, Clint, do you tell players if you keep trying, sometimes things work out for you?
COACH GUNDY:  There's no question.  It's a feel‑good story.  I don't think there's any reason why we should look at it any other way.
Clint was in a difficult situation.  We said that when we were in that position, at some point a young man has to reach down deep inside and decide what he wants to do and make a decision.  That's what Clint today.
There were sure times it crossed his mind, whether he really wanted to stick with it here or go play someplace else.  We hoped he would.  Believe it or not, the discussion took place that you never know, you could be just one play away from getting out there and playing.
Now, I think that most of us that follow college football know that sometimes that doesn't come true, but it did with Clint.  He's very intelligent, stayed with it.  His attitude and body language was good.  When he had his opportunity to make plays, he did.
So he gets all the credit.  Not just 'cause he's sitting here next to me, but I don't have an issue saying that publicly.  I said it for a month now.  When he had his opportunity, he played very well.  We played good as a team.  We came up short a couple games, but he was playing well enough for us to win those games.
CLINT CHELF:  For me, one of the people I look up to in my life is my brother.  He had a tough road.  I watched him fight through the same thing, get out and make some plays, ended on a high note last year.
For me, I seen him do it, I knew I could do it.  I just tried to follow in his footsteps.
COACH GUNDY:  Look up to him mentally, not physically (laughter).

Q.  This may be a difficult question to answer today, but if you could, could you project how you anticipate handling the quarterbacks in the spring.  You have three of them that have shown they can play in games and have success.
COACH GUNDY:  Well, the good news is I don't have to answer that.
But Clint has finished the year strong.  We're going to work our quarterbacks just like we would any other position.  But when we start out in the spring, and they go running out there, Clint is going to go running out there just like he did today.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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