Game Quotes: Oklahoma 52, Baylor 21

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 10, 2007

Opening statement:
"It was a good win. Offensively, we did a great job of taking care of the football and executing. Sam Bradford was exceptional again today. Those deep balls could not have been any better. If you look at his completions and his yards per attempt, he is doing pretty amazing. Manuel Johnson had a fantastic night. It’s good to see him do so well. DeMarco Murray again was just fabulous. Those guys were really solid.

"Defensively, we had some breakdowns and gave up a lot of yards. I’m glad I do not have to see us give up that many yards every week. It hasn’t been us, and we will see some things where we can do better. The obvious one was the one before the half. We busted the coverage. We were supposed to be playing four deep and one of our safeties didn’t communicate well and was playing the flats. It hadn’t happened before, and we can’t let it happen again. A couple of the runs early we just didn’t recognize the blocking schemes and they busted a couple. Baylor did a nice job executing, give them credit. In the end, we came up with enough stops and turnovers and took advantage of opportunities when we were given them. The one thing that I thought we didn’t do, which we have done well all year, is third downs. There were some breakdowns where we were close but just not in position to make plays.

"I thought Garrett Hartley did really well. That has been a sore spot for us all year and I thought that he kicked off very well. Mike Knall did a pretty good job tonight as well."

On Baylor’s blocking scheme:
"They did a nice job. They had some wrinkles on how they blocked some things inside and then how they worked some of their option plays. They did a good job. We broke down in some areas where someone has the quarterback on the option and ran past him. That happens, and there were some areas where we could have been better."

On the play of the defensive ends:
"I didn’t see them out there as much as I have been seeing Auston. Obviously we missed him. He dressed and went through warm-ups and could have played, but we didn’t really want to."

On the offensive protection:
"I’m not sure Sam was pressured the entire night. We did a great job both protecting the quarterback and when we ran. When we are persistent running the ball, it opens up some of those big plays that we hit tonight."

On how the deep ball was setup:
"They used their DBs to crowd you and stop the run game. When your getting one or two yards, you have the chance to try to catch them crowding you. That’s part of it. I think our offensive guys did a great job of who was getting the ball and how they were scheming. It was a point to get to all of the receivers, so you can’t just protect against one of them."

On Manuel Johnson:
"Manny had been very positive. Sometimes everyone wants to focus on one guy during that one game, and Manny proved tonight that he belongs in that category. He is an exceptional guy and a good receiver. One thing that we are seeing that is different from last year is that he is a lot more powerful. He is fighting through guys and tackles. Guys were trying to cut him off, and he was able to run through it and make the catch. That is the big thing that I have noticed from a year ago -- physically he is just more powerful."


On the passing game:
“It was something we had talked about all week. We knew that pushing the ball down the field was going to be part of our game plan. They gave us some of those opportunities tonight and we took advantage.”

On Manuel Johnson:
“He had a big night. He played great tonight. Mani has been playing hard all season and it was great to finally get him the ball on some of those deeper routes and see him get to come through and make plays like that tonight. He did a great job of getting open and when he had a chance to make the plays tonight he made them.”

On the slow start of the offense:
“We knew that if we hung in there and kept doing what we do that things would eventually present themselves and we would be able to come out and play the way we know we are capable of playing.”

On his pass performance:
“I felt comfortable tonight throwing the deep ball. I think each week I gain more comfort with the wide receivers, with timing and stuff. I did feel comfortable throwing the deep ball tonight.”

On the offensive line:
“I don’t think I got hit tonight. They did an amazing job tonight. It is probably one of the best games they have played. I don’t think we had a pressure, sack, or anything. I don’t think I got touched tonight. They did a wonderful job. They have been doing it all year and tonight they played great.”


On the 91-yard kickoff return:
“I over pursued the ball and it bounced back. I tried to get a good hop but as soon as I got it I went left, then reversed field and had some the blocks. I figured I could get outside them I could make something happen. They did a great job of blocking. I kept thinking just keep running. I felt my hamstrings burning a little bit, just like some workouts, just keep running and try to make it into the end zone.”

On his 25-yard TD run:
“I was just trying to make something happen. Every time I get the ball I try to make something big happen. It was just great blocking by the O-line and receivers and I was able to make it happen.”


On the coaches and the offense:
“Our coaches do a great job all week. They are creating a lot of plays and trying to take advantage of the defense doing different things. We have a really top-notch offense. I just take the opportunities I can to make good plays.”

On celebrating big catches:
“I was telling Malcolm the other day about how great it is to catch the long balls rather than the short ones. It feels good to do that.”

On the road to the championship:
“All we can do is keep playing. We have to win our game or nothing matters. It’s up to us, but I think people started to count us out. So we have to stick together and keep winning games.”


On the defense:
“It was ugly. We gave up a lot of stuff that we shouldn’t have, busting coverages and missing tackles, things like that. These are things that we haven’t been doing all year. “

On the two interceptions by the OU defense:
“That could be a different game if that didn’t happen. I have to try to concentrate, catch the ball, put my foot down.”

About Baylor Running Back Brandon Whitaker:
“He was really good in high school, but he has gotten a lot better. He can stop on the dime and does what he can for the game.”


On the game:
“Getting interceptions have definitely changed the momentum of the game and helped out the offense. But, overall we have to play better as a defense. As the defense, we want to come out and slow them down. But I don’t think we did a good job of that today. It was a bend, don’t break defense. We need to just get better, and be better on our pass coverage.”

On BU running back Whitaker:
“He has a lot of shiftiness to him, and you have to give a lot of credit to him. We were missing tackles on him. It was a sloppy game and guys were missing tackles.”

On the upcoming Texas Tech game:
“This game gave us a wake-up call; we definitely have to work on some things and make some adjustments on pass coverage. We need to get in the film room and learn from this game. We need to assess our weaknesses and get ready for a good passing game from Tech.”

On Auston English’s absence:
“It’s a world of difference. Auston is such a great player and it makes them have to send two guys, leaving someone open. Not having Auston out there hurts a little bit.”

On the Bears playing with emotion and energy:

“They played hard and they played with a lot of emotion. Unfortunately, we didn’t execute quite as well as we had hoped to and gave up too many plays on the defensive side of the ball. I thought three opportunities for points on the board was a possible 17 points we could have had. Our special teams didn’t play very well, that hurts a lot too. But I was pleased with the way they got themselves ready. They didn’t quit. There were a lot of people that hadn’t told them that they would. But they got themselves ready and played hard. I was really proud of them for that.”

On tonight’s offense showing its full potential:
“You can see that there’s a lot more that we’re capable of doing. It’s probably the best night we’ve had against a team like Oklahoma. It’s kind of a picture of it to a certain degree. Like I say, I still think that they’re capable of more. Down the line if we plug in some better athletes into the system we’ll get the results that we’re looking for.”

On seeing chances to run the ball against Oklahoma’s defense:
“There were some things that we saw in our linemen with formations. If we got in a certain formation they’re pretty predictable, they don’t do a lot of fancy things and they don’t have to do a lot of trickery and so forth. They’re good enough to just line up in their base defense and get after people. But also they’re somewhat predictable to a certain formation as to how they’re going to lineup and you know that you can scheme it a little bit.”

On senior running back Brandon Whitaker’s performance tonight:
“Well he played well. Obviously, he’s from Oklahoma. His family is here, some of his high school friends were also here. The whole team has challenged him all week and told him that you’re playing for pride, and for certain he’s a very prideful kid. He had a nice game tonight and we should have played like that all year long.”


On playing well in the first quarter and the outcome of the game:
“We came out playing hard but we didn’t put four quarters together. We had too many turnovers and those killed us. I felt like we played with a lot of heart today and we got a lot better today.”

On the running game in the first quarter:
“It’s just the offensive line. They were blocking really good and opening up holes. When they do that anything can happen.”

On playing well against Oklahoma and proving themselves:
“I felt like we played real well tonight. Oklahoma is a great team and they’re competing for a national championship. I felt like we gave them what we could. There’s still a couple of things we could have worked on.


On Oklahoma:
“We know it’s Oklahoma. They have a great defense and you just have to take advantage of any weakness you see.”

On Baylor offense:
“We hit on all cylinders for most of the night. We left a lot of points on the board. It’s all about execution.”


On Oklahoma’s kickoff return for a touchdown before halftime:
“There is no doubt that it hurt. We scored and we were down by one touchdown going into halftime then all of a sudden we’re down by two touchdowns. It’s something we have to deal with. They brought it to us tonight. They had a lot of long plays tonight, not just the kickoff return.”

On giving up big plays to Oklahoma:
“Oklahoma likes to keep a lot of people in to protect the quarterback so the receivers can get open down field. They did a good job of that tonight. We couldn’t get the pressure to them.”



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