Defensive Media Session

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 11, 2013

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops
Nov. 11, 2013

On the injury update:
“It’s not quite as bad as we thought it would be. There will be some guys questionable for this week and we just have to wait and see as the week goes on. But it’s not initially as bad as we thought it would be.”

On who could replace CB Aaron Colvin in he can’t play against Iowa State:
“It would either be Cortez [Johnson] or Stanvon [Taylor]."

On the defense’s first-half success against Baylor:
“I thought at times we did a lot of good things throughout the course of the game. Certainly we’re disappointed in the last four minutes of the first half. We had ourselves in a good position, I thought we had good rhythm to what we were doing on defense, and then lost it there before the half. That was disappointing to me and then I thought we wore down and didn’t play good enough mid way through the third quarter and into the beginning part of the fourth quarter. We just got kind of wore out and didn’t tackle very well. Those were disappointing parts of the game for us.”

On how LB Frank Shannon played against Baylor:
“Frank played well, we needed him. We lost Jordan [Evans] in the first quarter on a kickoff cover so we would have been down to our third-string guy. But Frank really played well for very limited preparation reps.”

On whether LB Frank Shannon will practice this week:
“Yeah he’s just about 100 percent. He played I think 90, 95 percent Saturday when he was out there. No ill effects to playing either. He was out there and took all the reps today. That’s a positive sign.”

On adjusting to Iowa State’s offense:
“I think we will certainly anticipate more physical elements to the game, and we’ll certainly face parts of that this week. If they want to go in and bang then we have to be able to adapt and play that way. Again, we feel that we can play all styles. We learned a lot through the beginning part of the season. Certainly we need to keep getting better and that’s what we’ll work on this week. If that’s part of their offense, and they shown the propensity to do that then we have to make sure we’re prepared for it.”

On which young guys have stood out this season:
“I think certainly Dominique Alexander for a guy who hasn’t been in the system at all until this summer. I thought he’s really shown great maturity on and off the field, he’s a guy that really we can lean on and will be an awful strong player in this system. Zack [Sanchez] I thought really came back nice last week and really competed hard. All those guys show signs of building for the future and certainly excited about all our young players. I couldn’t be more excited about what we’re doing with all these guys.

“They show a strong desire to want to be good. They show a very competitive element to the game so there’s a lot to build on, I’m really proud. We came in with a relatively young group experience wise and we lost two of our best players. I think we’ve found our stride and the younger guys have come in, Jordan Wade and Torrea [Peterson] have really given us some better play inside with more repetition so again I’m really pleased with just our effort as a whole throughout the course of the year. It shows that we can build and get better. You learn a lot about yourselves and where we need to become more physical and bigger and stronger. Those are parts of our defense that won’t happen until we get to the out season. Those are areas where we need to become you know bigger and stronger.”

On not wanting to beat his players down after a loss:
“I know we all want to win and that’s what we’re here to do. We understand that we compete at the very highest level here at Oklahoma but ultimately for us, our players they played hard, they gave it everything they got but we have to get better. We understand that, but our players are willing to do that. They competed and it didn’t end up the way we wanted it to end up but you just go back to the drawing board, you start all over again. If we would have won a week ago it wouldn’t be any different, we have got to get out and continue to move forward. These players have done a lot of good things and we’re not where want to be, we know that. We don’t need the media to tell us of where we’re at, we certainly see it every day; we coach it, we develop it and it’s just a part of the program that we have to get better at.”

On being excited about the future:
“That can wait, I’m excited about Saturday. I can care less (right now) about next year, the year after or the year after that. All we care about, like I said, regardless of what happened last Thursday night we have got to come and we have to play Thursday and we have to show up and that’s really all players think about is the next game and that’s all we’re really worried about. Whoever is on the bus will play and will play well and play at a high level because that’s what we expect of them.”

On what Iowa State is doing offensively:
“They spread a decent amount and they want to run the football. They can get in some big sets and try to run it at you, too. They have a lot of offense so we feel like it’s a lot of what we’ve seen throughout the course of this year, I don’t think there will be many plays we hadn’t seen and defended, and defended well. Again we’re just going to have to prepare for everything we’ve seen and try to execute better for 60 minutes.”

On if he feels good about the backups with DE Charles Tapper being out in the first half:
“Geneo has started and Chuka is probably as good as anybody the last three or four weeks. So Chuka and Geneo will get the majority of the reps the first half.”

On how LB Corey Nelson is doing:
“He’s been around. I think it’s disappointing, just like Trey Millard. These guys, they are such integral parts of what we do. Their leadership, their careers, they are kind of the pulse of our team. When you lose guys like that, just their leadership. Sure we can move the ball or stop people, too, but those guys are really the heart and soul of what we’ve done for a lot of years and to be seniors we don’t know what’s going to happen with Corey. Not being able to end their careers the way they want. Even Aaron if he can’t go this weekend then we got some guys who have played a lot of great football here at Oklahoma that really aren’t going out they way had expected, and that’s disappointing I think for all of us. But they are all going to have hopefully NFL careers that they can fall back on. It’s something to look forward to.”  

Oklahoma Football
Linebacker Dominique Alexander
Nov. 11, 2013

On having LB Frank Shannon back:
“It’s a good feeling. Frank and I have been practicing together all year. Jordan [Evans] and I had great chemistry out there, and Frank and I have great chemistry, as well. We practice together so it’s all the same. Frank’s a great player, Jordan’s a great player and we just have to keep playing.”

On how he’s grown as a player:
“I play faster. Coach has said my vision has got a lot better, like seeing the whole play and everything. That’s been my biggest area so far. I can see things a lot better with the more games that I play. I have a lot more confidence since my first game.”

On if the defense feels pressure when the offense struggles:
“Some games we struggle and they have to pick us up and some games they struggle and we have to pick them up. We just play off each other. We just have to keep grinding and put the ball in their hands so they can go score.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive End Geneo Grissom
Nov. 11, 2013

On losing Charles Tapper:
“That’s unfortunate. It just means the rest of us have to step up. We’re going to get the job done and make sure that you can’t tell Charles (Tapper) is missing.”

On if the mentality changes from not knowing who will be on the field:
“It doesn’t. If it changes it, it means we have to practice harder. I try to come to practice with the same mentality every day. Every day is a workday. The new guys feel a lot of pressure but they got recruited and brought here for a reason. Our confidence is in those guys and they can get the job done.”

On the Baylor game:
“As a defense we want to shut everybody out. When teams put up numbers like that, it is embarrassing. At the same time, we feel like we did play well enough but not good enough to win.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive End Chuka Ndulue
Nov. 11, 2013

On what was frustrating about the loss to Baylor:
“It was pretty frustrating going into a game and getting a loss especially getting beat like that. It was pretty sad and embarrassing.”

On if they felt like they were on the field too long:
“It doesn’t matter because every time we step on the field, especially with Coach Mike Stoops, the goal is to shut the opponent out. The offense doesn’t do anything in that because as a defense we have to not let them score that many points. It wasn’t just one side of the ball it was everybody. We could have all done better.”

On if this feels like losing to Baylor two years ago:
“We have a lot of leaders on our team and we have a lot of pride in what we’re doing. Most of us have been there before. I know for a lot of people that it’s going to be in the back of their minds, like yeah, we know what happened two years ago. We’re going to be conscious about that and do everything we can to not let the get repeated. If everyone remembers that and the older guys who were there keep stressing the point I think we’ll be successful.”

On how they will prepare for the next few games:
“You can’t get carried away with the “I’m from Oklahoma and they’re going to lay down for me.” That’s not true. In the back of your mind you have to go out there and keep executing at a high level and we’ll be all right.”

On the younger players:
“Some of the younger guys who are playing are playing above their age. They’re playing at a higher level than most young guys are expected to play.”

On losing Corey Nelson and Jordan Phillips:
“You lose two leaders and two impact players, but at the same time it shows you what we can do with the players we have right now. We’re playing at a high level with those two guys gone, so imagine the possibility if they were still here. We’re Oklahoma. We have pride. We have good players. Whoever is up to play has to be ready to step out there and make plays.”



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