Sooners Meet the Media Tuesday

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 27, 2007
 November 27th Press Conference
 Video  Coach Stoops Weekly Press Conference
 Video  Senior CB Marcus Walker on Playing for a Title
 Video  Senior LB Lewis Baker on Missouri's Offense
 Video  Junior Center Jon Cooper on Saturday's Matchup
 Video  Off. Coordinator Kevin Wilson on Sam Bradford
 Big 12 Championship Central: OU vs. Missouri
 Access everything you need to know leading up to Saturday's championship game.

NORMAN, Okla. -- Head coach Bob Stoops previewed the matchup against Missouri in the Big 12 Championship game during his weekly press conference Tuesday. The No. 9 Sooners face the top-ranked Tigers at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Saturday. ABC has the national telecast beginning at 7 p.m.
Seniors Marcus Walker and Lewis Baker, junior Jon Cooper and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson also met with the media. Transcriptions of Coach Stoops' weekly press conference and player interviews are available below, courtesy OU Athletics Media Relations.
  Head Coach Bob Stoops

Opening Comments:
“Going back to last week’s game I was really pleased with the way our team played. Offensively, we took care of the football and really ran it well and played very physical. Defensively, we had some trouble with the run early in the first half and just settled in and played it well and had a huge goal line stand where Curtis Lofton once again comes up with a huge play. The kicking game was really solid. We had some big returns, only had one punt for forty –one yards and no return yardage, kick-off coverage was great and all of that was solid.

“It was an important game to clinch the Big 12 South outright and to beat an in-state rival. All of that gives you a lot of momentum coming into this game with a really good Missouri team. Our players are excited about the opportunity. These games are always special and always exciting.

“We are playing a good football team in Missouri. They are coached well and have a lot of good players across the board. They are a team we are familiar with, as they are familiar with us, being that we have played in the last two years. It is different sometimes if you go into this game, in the other division, if you have not played in a couple of years. For instance, last year when we went to Missouri to play them, having not played them in a couple of years and the different style of offense that they were playing in at the time, we had to get used to it. But now it gives you some familiarity going into the game. It is exciting and a big challenge and we are looking forward to the environment and competing in it. “

On the team’s goal of playing for the Big 12 Championship game:
“It is fortunate to be in it a good number of times. There is a lot of pride there. I know for us it is pretty special and it is not easy to do.”

On the advantage of playing Missouri again:
“I don’t know if it is an advantage for us or an advantage for them. That kind of plays itself out and in the end, you make your adjustments. You have some wrinkles, you change some of what you did and you have to play them again.”

On Sam Bradford:
“Sam has just been phenomenal and I think that Chase Daniel has just been fabulous. But if you look at Sam and compare him with Chase, he has thirty-three touchdowns and Sam has thirty-two. He has nine interceptions and Sam has seven. We average 44 points per game and with him (Daniel) at quarterback they average 42. I agree with Chase being a fabulous player, but Sam needs to be considered pretty darn good as well. Obviously, that is why I bring the comparison up. Sam has been phenomenal for us and he is just what you want.”

On Missouri's Defense:
“They will zone blitz you like most everyone does. Strong and weak or field to boundary and then they will sit back and play two deep and then try and mix it up. They will twist around and try to confuse you a little bit, but overall I think they do a nice job. They are very disciplined and solid and they make you work to beat them.”

On having experience in a Big 12 title game:
“It sure doesn’t hurt, but in the end, you win each game on its own merit. In the end, each team is different and we have to win it this year with different guys than a year ago. Some of them were in it last year but it is still a different team.”

  Senior CB Marcus Walker

On being prepared for quarterback Chase Daniel:

“He’s a great player and everyone knows that. There’s not really much to say about it. Everyone knows what he can do. We just have to be focused on defense and be ready.”

On Missouri’s past of never playing in the Big 12 Championship:
“We played in the Big 12 Championship last year and played in a few big games this year. They’ve also played in a few big games during the year. So it’ll be just another big game and everybody will be ready to play.

“Obviously we’re fired up about playing in a big game. The Big 12 Championship is one of our goals and we’re just very excited about playing in this game.

On playing Missouri after defeating them once this year:
“We’ve put that game behind us and I’m pretty sure they’ve put that game behind themselves also. It’s a whole new game and another four quarters for us to play. Beating them already this year doesn’t make us feel like we’re better than them. We know we have to come play Saturday, and that’s what we’ll do.”

On how much it seems Missouri has improved this year:
“Any good team is going to get better from week to week. They’ve made improvements just as we have too. We’re just going to go out there and play hard.“
  Senior LB Lewis Baker

On receiving the Don Key Award:

“We were having our team meeting before we headed over to the stadium, and I was focusing on getting ready for the game when Coach Stoops started talking about it. Then when he said my name, I was kind of surprised. It is an honor to win that award and to be recognized as the Don Key Award winner for this year.”

On the Missouri offense:
“Well, we already played them this year, and we pretty much know what they present. They pass the ball and spread it out, and do a good job of getting it out there. They have a good quarterback with good receivers and a good tight end that we need to be able to cover.”

On the goal line stand against Oklahoma State:
“I was glad to get some help. When they lined up like that, I was ready for that play. We had watched it numerous times over the year and they ran it last year against us. So we were waiting for it.”

On Curtis Lofton:
“He is just a playmaker. He has great instincts and a knack for finding the football. He leads by example. He is just consistently making plays and a lot of guys look up to him for that. We work on it in practice and he is just able to get out there and create a turnover.”

On Missouri thinking they should have won the first game:
“You get a sense of that through the media, but we came out with the win. It doesn’t matter how it comes, a win is a win and you can’t take that away. We are just going to go out there and play football and try to win again.”

On what he wants to change from the Oct. 13 game vs. Missouri:
“We gave up a lot of big plays, and we are going to need to limit those to as few as possible. Also, that touchdown at the end of the game sticks out. Just things like that. We can always improve.”

On having experience in championship games:
“It helps, but anyone can win on any given Saturday. So we are going to have to go out there and play like we know how to.”

On Missouri’s offensive weapons:
“I think it’s their system. They prepare for teams really well. It really depends on who they are playing as to what they are going to do with the ball. If you look at their stats, every receiver on their roster is doing well, and we are just going to have to get ready for Saturday.”

On playing in the Big 12 Championship:
“It’s why we come here, to win championships. It’s a little different, but it’s just like a Saturday game. We just need to get out there and treat it like that.”

On Missouri running back Tony Temple:
“He is a great running back. It will make their offense a little more versatile. We will be ready for them.”

  Junior OL Jon Cooper

On Missouri’s differences from the first game:
“They do a lot of the same things; I mean we played them once already. They are the same team but they do some things a little better now than they did the first time. I would say they are better defensively.”

On playing the role of spoiler:
“I don’t play into that. We are trying to win a Big 12 Championship just like they are. We really don’t feel like the spoiler.”

On the success of the run game against OSU:
“It felt great. We haven’t run the ball like that in a long time so it felt good for the O-Line to get a chance to create that much.”

On Missouri’s defense:
“Everyone wants to talk about their offense, but their defense is good. They move around a lot and use their speed. They get 11 guys on the ball every snap. Their defensive line will do a lot of stunts and try to get in the hole and stop the run.”

On if the win earlier in the year helps:
“This is a different game. We know a lot of the things they do, but in turn they know some of the same things. We are both better teams now though, so when we go back through film, some other things will pop up.”





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