STILLWATER — Like many teams, No. 12 Oklahoma State faces growing pains early in the season.
“There is no substitute for experience and repetition,” coach Mike Gundy said Monday. “Some of the mistakes we made, the ones the general fan would see watching it on TV or (being at) the game, were made with young people.
“This is the first time this has happened to them. So they have to see it, we have to coach it, we have to correct it and then try to improve it. It won’t be the last time this happens with young players.
In beating Central Michigan 58-44 in Thursday’s season opener, the Cowboys gave up 546 yards and appeared out of sync defensively — not a huge surprise considering only five starters are back and that defense is under new management in freshman coordinator Derek Mason.
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“Defensively, some guys who were there for the first time in their lives saw things they had never seen and that was new to them,” Gundy said. “Unfortunately, most of the time that’s what you get.
“Veteran players can keep their eyes on something and move and see something and move and still hear and communicate and transmit communication. Young players see things happening and they try to figure out what to do and where to go. They don’t even hear anything. Communication must therefore improve.
In-game communication within the coaching staff over helmets is also a work in progress, Gundy said.
“There’s a lot going on and I have no way to do it without experience,” Gundy said. “They need experience to work together, just like players. The good news is that about 90% of problems are fixable and rely solely on communication and experience, and everyone learns to work together. »
Week 2 brings a home meeting with Arizona State, a Pac-12 sports team with Florida trade Emory Jones at quarterback. In last week’s win over Northern Arizona, Jones threw for 152 yards and rushed for two touchdowns.
“They really helped each other out with the quarterback they brought in,” Gundy said. “He’s a good player. He throws a deep ball very well and makes plays with his legs. If you don’t control him he will run and run away and can really injure you.