Amid drama, coach Gundy keeps his cool

The Oklahoman - - SPORTS - John Hel­s­ley jhel­s­ley@ok­la­homan.com

STILLWATER — OSU is de­vel­op­ing a reputation for play­ing en­ter­tain­ing games, with re­cent weeks only adding to the per­cep­tion.

Over their past four games, the Cow­boys have won in over­time at Texas; led, faded, and pulled away again in a win at West Vir­ginia; lost a Bed­lam game Mike Gundy likened to Rocky 8; and ral­lied from an eight­point, fourth-quar­ter hole to win at Iowa State.

Twice, at Texas and Iowa State, OSU needed in­ter­cep­tions in the end zone to sur­vive at game’s end.

Through it all, Gundy keeps calm on the side­line; at least on the out­side.

“I have been here and done this,” he said. “Word on the street is if you want to see a hell of a game and have a lot ex­cite­ment, just come to an Ok­la­homa State game. I’m ex­cited for the game. Ob­vi­ously we want to win for the team. I have done it a lot, so I think I’m able to stay calm and think.

“To me that’s im­por­tant ... not that I can help ei­ther side of the ball. I should do the best I can to stay calm and think.”

Cow­boys prep­ping for all K-State QBs

Kansas State, once con­sid­ered a con­tender for the Big 12 ti­tle, has seen its sea­son derailed by quar­ter­back is­sues.

In­juries and in­con­sis­ten­cies.

Due to in­juries, the Wild­cats have been forced to use three quar­ter­backs this sea­son. Even when healthy, none of the three have been true dif­fer­ence mak­ers. And none rank among the Big 12 lead­ers in pass­ing or to­tal of­fense.

With the Wild­cats headed for Stillwater, ques­tions re­main at the po­si­tion.

Jesse Ertz, K-State’s starter to open the sea­son, hasn’t played in five weeks due to a knee in­jury. Alex Del­ton, who re­placed Ertz, was knocked out of con­sec­u­tive games with con­cus­sion-like symp­toms, and like Ertz is ques­tion­able to play again.

That leaves red­shirt fresh­man Sky­lar Thomp­son, who has played in five games, and made his first ca­reer start in last week’s close loss to West Vir­ginia. While Wild­cats coach Bill Sny­der isn’t hint­ing at who will be be­hind cen­ter Satur­day, all signs point to Thomp­son.

“For the most part,” Gundy said, “it’s the same plays. I un­der­stand they’re in­jured, or were in­jured, but all we can do is go out there and play who is out there.

“We have to stop the run and we have to rally and de­fend the pass, as well as (run-pass op­tions) and such.”

Ru­dolph makes Uni­tas cut

Mason Ru­dolph has made the cut.

The Cow­boys se­nior re­mains in the mix for the 2017 Johnny Uni­tas Golden Arm Award, pre­sented to the na­tion’s top col­lege quar­ter­back based on ac­com­plish­ments on and off the field.

Can­di­dates must be a col­lege se­nior or fourthyear ju­nior on sched­ule to grad­u­ate with their class, as well as “strong lead­ers who have demon­strated a com­mit­ment to ex­cel­lence and worked hard for them­selves and their teams.”

Ru­dolph is one of five fi­nal­ists for the award, which will be pre­sented Dec. 8 in Bal­ti­more, where Uni­tas starred as the leader of the old Bal­ti­more Colts.

Along with Ru­dolph, Ok­la­homa’s Baker May­field, Ohio State’s J.T. Bar­rett, North Carolina State’s Ryan Fin­ley and Penn State’s Trace McSor­ley make up the fi­nal­ists.

[PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

When it comes to the Cow­boys, wild­ness rules. Some­how, Mike Gundy man­ages to stay calm amid it all.

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