Josh Heupel Press Conference

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
SEPTEMBER 03, 2013

Oklahoma Football
Co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel
Sept. 3, 2013

On the game against ULM:
“Positive things. Obviously the quarterback started playing better in the second half and settled in to the game a little bit, which is what you would expect from a young player. We did some really good things. I think we blocked it upfront extremely well and did a good job on third and long giving (the quarterback) time. There are a lot of areas for improvement, too.”

On the offensive line:
“Obviously, we feel like we are going to lean on them a little bit. They got as much experience as anybody on our football team. Some of the stuff that we are doing a little bit different offensively, we feel like we are putting them in a good position to be successful. We are going to need to run it efficiently this week and every week here on out.”

On getting QB Trevor Knight comfortable in the first half:
“I think that was just his first game, his first time being in front of 85,000 people at home. It was a bunch of energy and he did some good things. He has just got to settle down, be a little more accurate with the football, his decision making, he was rushing through his reads a little bit. But, in the second half he settled down and I expect him to come out this weekend and play well from the very beginning.

“Any time you start going faster mentally and physically you’re not going to play the same way that you are capable of.”

On spreading the ball around to a lot of different players:
“Sometimes that happens in the course of a season. There is no one guy that we are trying to pre-determine that we need to get the ball to. Certainly the guys with experience we want to get the ball in their hands if we can. But, if you are going to be successful throwing the football you cannot pre-determine things. You have got to be able to go through your progression and take what the defense is giving you.”

On having a star player versus a committee:
“The pros of having a star is that you have a really good player. Typically, you know what you are going to get from that guy every single week. That is the case with the great wideouts that have been through here. At the same time, when you don’t have that guy you have the ability to spread the football around as long as your decision maker is being smart with the football and taking what is there. At the same time the guys have to find a way to get open as well and win some one-on-one situations.”

On West Virginia’s defense:
“They’re playing hard. It pops out on tape at you from a year ago. They are playing harder and are more physical. They’re tackling better and staying in their gaps better. It’s a big test for us. Obviously you want to start out on the right foot in Big 12 play and we want to play better than we did a week ago.”

“Sometimes (they blitz), depending on the situation. Three and four-man fronts, bringing guys off the edges, a lot of rotation in their coverages, so, your quarterback has got to do a good job seeing the back end.”

On QB Trevor Knight’s ability in the run-option:
“Every one of those situations is different. Their pad level, their leverage, and the speed they are coming down at. I think the more you do it the better you get at it. For the most part he did a good job reading it. There were some parts where he should have given it, but for the most part he made good decisions.”

“I think the first ball game you are always worried about ball security. Whether you are throwing it or your wide receivers are running with it, or if your quarterbacks or running backs have it in their hands, you are certainly worried about the ball.”

On trying to sell the offense on the zone read:
“I don’t if it was trying. Our guys loved it and they are excited about it, it is something different. I think you learn a little bit as you go, as well. What works and what doesn’t. We are continuing to get better at it. ”

On preparation for the zone read this off-season:
“In talking to people, not a lot of time. It takes up a lot of time watching other people, just trying to learn how they are identifying it and how they are scheming it. What works and what doesn’t work and obviously you are trying to fit it to your personnel and some of the things you are already doing, trying to mesh it into your offense.”

On playing offensive lineman against West Virginia:
“We are going to play the guys we need to during the course of it. How many plays and how much we are out there will all play into it.”

On playing different running backs:
“Whatever you do and whoever you put out there, you want to have some form of balance so when you put that personnel out there they don’t really know what is coming. Whatever you are trying to scheme you are trying to do some things to balance it out, as well.”

On RB Roy Finch:
“He got some touches last week and made some explosive plays. That is what we need from him and we want him to continue to do that. You can’t pre-determine everything that happens. Some of the pitches on some of the option plays you want to put him in position to get the ball but you cannot always pre-determine what is going to happen.”

On the role of the receivers in the changing offense:
“It shouldn’t be that much. We aren’t going to shy away from throwing it. We need to throw it better than we did the other night, but, we are going to put the ball in the air. We took a couple shots last week down the field, we just didn’t hit them. For us to be successful we have got to start doing that.”

On stressing the receivers to block:
“I don’t care if you rush it 15 times or 50 times, those guys better be doing their job on the outside.”

On last year against West Virginia:
“There wasn’t any sitting back, you were trying to get ready for the next drive. It was just one of those games, and we haven’t been in many of those here, where it’s a shootout and every possession matters.”

On matching offensive style with personnel:
“At the end of the day, you have got to fit what you are doing with your personnel. I’ve been here for three years as a coordinator and for some unforeseen circumstances or for this year you have a change of quarterback and your personnel that you have got coming back is different, too. But, we have changed all three years. In 2011, I guess, we had a veteran group with multiple tight ends that played and then in 2012 all the tight ends are gone, through injury, academics, or the kid doesn’t want to play, all over night. And then all of the sudden you are playing in 10 and 20, which we have not done at all here. And then this year we are changing quarterbacks, so obviously things are going to be a little different, you have to take some off his plate. And then the personnel we got back are experienced and that makes you be different too. Every year is different in college football. You can’t just go and sign a free agent to fit your system every year, so we are just trying to get everyone in the right position to be successful.”



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