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OU-ULM Postgame Quotes
August 31, 2013

 

Oklahoma

 
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 Louisiana-Monroe
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 (16) Oklahoma
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ULM

34 Recap | Statistics | Game Notes | Stat Book | Photo Gallery | Embedded Photos
VideoBob Stoops | VideoJosh Heupel | VideoMike Stoops | VideoTrevor Knight
VideoFull Game Video |VideoHighlights
 
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Oklahoma Sooners

OU HEAD COACH BOB STOOPS

Opening Statement:
“Offensively, I thought our line early on had some trouble picking up a bunch of their movement, then as the game rolled on they did a better and better job of identifying with what they were doing and blocking better. Anytime you can rush the football that way, over 300 yards, that’s a big positive. I thought the quarterbacks, Trevor (Knight), of course you saw his ability to run and the opportunities it gives you. I’m sure he will settle down and get smoother with some of his throws. We see him make these throws over and over daily. Some of the ones he missed, we know he is capable of making. We expect him to continue to improve in that part. I thought Blake (Bell) came in and he threw the ball well there at the end and ran our offense well. I thought our running backs did a great job. There wasn’t a ball on the ground all day. They ran physical. It was positive. Defensively, it was one of the better games that we have had in a long, long time where all of the assignments and communication were as clean as any we have had and they give you a lot to work on with all of their formations, personnel groupings and empty sets. I thought our guys really did a great job of handling all of that. I thought we had great pressure all night. It was pretty evident that they handled the run really well. Some guys that stuck out to me were (Charles) Tapper up front, Eric Striker, Corey Nelson and Frank (Shannon). Those guys played really well in there. These guys have moved the ball and had tons of yardage last year on about everybody and they are a more experienced group this year, so to be able to hold them down like we did, I thought it was a great credit to the defense. I thought we tackled well and played physical. Again, Todd Berry and his group, they did a great job. I thought our kicking game was very good. Nick Hodgson was kicking balls out of the end zone. Michael Hunnicutt was excellent on his field goals and extra points. Jed Barnett, I don’t know what he averaged, but he hit the ball pretty well. I think he will get even better the more comfortable he gets. Well, he averaged 43 yards. That’s pretty good. It was all in all, a really solid day.”

On what worked defensively:
“We just moved around a little bit. We tried to bring guys in different ways and put pressure on the quarterback. I thought they did an excellent job of it.

On if they went with a three-man front:
“Yes, most of the time but we can kick into a four-man front, too.”

On if the way the defense played allowed Trevor Knight to settle down:
“It allowed the team to hang in there. What it does for him, I don’t know that it does anything. It allows the team to continue on the path we were on. We exchanged punts there for a while. Then we got settled in and got things going. It helped the team definitely.

On RB Damien Williams’ run on 3rd and 2:
“Yeah, that’s a big play. Damien is a powerful guy. He’s capable of runs like that.”

On if this offense should set expectations on Trevor’s stats:
“A little bit. We still feel we will be more polished throwing the ball as we go. Some of it is going to be on the ground. Regardless of how you get it, as long as you get it. As long as you are getting yards and points it adds up the same.”

On if Trevor’s slow start was caused by nerves:
“It’s hard to assess, I’m sure that some of it was that.”

On if there was any discussion of putting Blake Bell in after the first quarter:
“No.”

On Charles Tapper:
“He played excellent. I expected him to play well. Charles is a really good player and he’s along the lines of some of the players we have had here. Hopefully he will keep playing that way. Charles has a chance to be one of the guys that we are used to having around here. We have had a lot of good ones and he is on par as a young guy. He’s as good as any of them. We just have to keep bringing him along and he works hard. He has got great athletic ability, he can run, he has got stamina and he’s strong. The guy is almost 270, 265 and he can move.”

On if he expected to run the ball this well:
“Yeah, we were a little off. Jalen (Saunders) had a bubble screen that would have been out of the gate, but he dropped it. Early on our run game wasn’t what we believe it will be as we get better and better with it. We didn’t identify a few things and they got us and hit us right at the line. Then, about the third series, I thought the line did an excellent job of just figuring it out, blocking it up and giving us space to run.”

On Eric Striker:
“I thought Eric Striker was incredibly disruptive. Eric was all over and that was fun to see.”

On the production of Frank Shannon and Corey Nelson:
“I thought he (Shannon) and Corey in there were really stout. They were really sound and they were where they needed to be at the time and did really good at communicating. They were jumping at the no backs and all the personnel groupings and got everybody lined up. That was good to see.”

On how Jordan Phillips along with the rest of the team played in the heat:
“It seemed like Jordan played well. We were strong in the middle. We handled it well. What I don’t think the fans or media usually get is the time of possession. Offensively, we used a bunch of them. They got good breaks. When you go three and out, three and out, three and out or a turnover and out and you are back out there it doesn’t work so well. You have to play together as a team and tonight it worked that way. He (Phillips) handled it well. We didn’t have a guy cramp the whole night, so that is a positive this early in the year.”

On what he liked about what Trevor did that people may not have seen:
“I thought the line of scrimmage, for the most part, was good. I think we had a procedure and a couple of holds but the line of scrimmage, the calls, the communication all seemed to go well. He is directing all of that. Again, there were no fumbles. Some of it needs to be cleaned, we had a few bubbles that didn’t go very well. Some of that, will get better. For the first time out there, I thought he handled it well. When Blake (Bell) was in there at the end I thought he did, too.”

On how he feels about this win knowing what this team was a year ago, watching what happened to Kansas State and West Virginia:
“Regardless of what they did, I feel we are on track to keep improving. I think we will get better. We need to of course. The inexperienced that we had in this game played really well and will grow from it. It’s our job to coach them up for that to happen this coming week and to keep happening. We have got a lot of really good young players and we just have to keep grooming them. They are going to get more and more polished and more confident. The more they play and play well, they will grow in confidence, too.”

On special teams:
“We had the wind before and it didn’t feel like it was a big wind. What was it? Five or eight, anybody know? Nick (Hodgson) hit the ball great. Fortunately, all of those were with the wind. Nick has hit it really well all camp. I think Jed will keep getting better the more comfortable he gets too.”

On Nila (Kasitati) and the offensive line:
“I’ll have to see. He had to have done well. They all had to have done well to rush the ball like we did and I didn’t see any quick pressure. There was a time or two where the quarterback held it pretty long. I thought they did a really good job.”

On if the defense has done something dramatic with the shutout:
“Not yet. We haven’t done anything dramatic. Last year we had a lot of good games early too, right? You guys were bragging on them and bragging on them, then you wanted to throw them under the bus. It’s “what have you done for me lately”, but lately it’s pretty good.”

On Zach Sanchez:
“Zach Sanchez had a heck of a game as a redshirt freshman, first time out there. He was challenging, competed, and had tight coverage. I thought he did a really good job.”

Co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel

On quarterback Trevor Knight’s performance:
“He carried himself with great body language. Great energy. Not that everything was going right all the time, but he was confident. A young quarterback is going to make some mistakes, but I thought he bounced back and continued to play the next play.”
 
On if the three touchdown passes balance out the stat line:
“You want to see a better stat line. You want to complete more than we did, obviously, and there’s a lot of things that go with that. It’s the quarterback being right in the decision making, the quarterback being accurate, wide receivers catching the ball. It’s us being better in our protection scheme up front. All those things combined to give you the stat line that you have.”
 
On Knight:
“We got him in a couple of situations that I didn’t want to get him into early. We tried to give him a couple he could throw early, but it ended up not working out the way we had assigned it. All of a sudden you’re in tough situations and scrambling trying to make a play, but for him, I think all young quarterbacks, you want to give them some positive energy ... We were able to do that. The great thing about that was he continued to play.”
 
On if there was any concern early in the game:
“I don’t think anybody was going to hit the panic button. I think that’s one of the positives that came out of it. Trevor didn’t have everything go right early, but we didn’t hit the panic button. Offensively the guys around him didn’t hit it, the coaching staff didn’t. We just continued to play ball, and that’s the way it is sometimes early in the season offensively — trying to get 11 guys back as one.”
 
Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops
On the defense’s performance and the shutout:
“I was happy for our guys. Just our execution and just our overall play I thought was much better. We’ve got a lot of things to clean up. And just more explosive as a defense, and that’s what we wanted to be — more aggressive in some situations and get our speed and athleticism on the field. Certainly it was a good test with these guys. They move the ball on everybody, so really pleased with just our effort, our awareness, just our lead up to the game. It’s just better. I think our leadership from our seniors has been key, and we’re going to get some players back this week to really add some depth to our team that we’re going to need here obviously coming up next week.”
 
On if he has a sense that what the team did in the offseason worked:
“It worked for one day, and if we can do that 11 straight times, then I would be happy. It’s about the window. We certainly got embarrassed last year against West Virginia. I am glad we got off to a good start. It gives us confidence. We will be challenged by a much more diverse offense in West Virginia. But I just liked the way we covered. I thought our secondary was excellent all day. I thought our pressure was excellent all day. And our ability to stop the run. I mean that’s really a perfect day in a defensive coach’s mind if you can be successful on that ... In every phase we wanted to improve, we improved.”
 
On defensive adjustments during the game:
“Really more speed is critical in this league. This isn’t a pound-it-out league. This is a finesse and spread-you-out league and running zone option. That’s kind of what it is now. We had to adjust. We made some good adjustments tonight. We will change week to week. We’ve got to build off what we did tonight, and we are going to show hopefully some different looks. This package gives us the ability to build a lot of different personnel groups. It puts different guys in different spots. And it lets them play more aggressively.”
 
On the linebackers:
“I thought they were great. Corey [Nelson] and Frank [Shannon] — it’s nice to see our two leading tacklers as the linebackers. I think that’s a good indication. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m happy for both of those guys. They played hard and prepared well and really played good football.”
 
On defending ULM quarterback Kolton Browning:
“We made it uncomfortable for him. We hit some good calls on boot and play-action passes where we got up in his face. That guy, he’s a tremendous player, and his ability to get the ball out of his hand quickly is one of his greatest strengths. Our players had great respect for him. They respected the preparation. They knew he was an outstanding player. We gave him our best shot tonight.”

Sophomore Defensive End Charles Tapper
On how the defensive line performed:
“I feel like we did a pretty good job getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. We also made some mistakes, so we have a lot of work this week, working on plays where the quarterback didn’t have pressure. We should make some of the plays with Chuka [Ndulue] coming back.”
 
On the shutout:
“We did a good job. They were a great offensive line with a great quarterback, so I feel like getting a shutout against them is a pretty great job.”
 
On the prestige of a shutout:
“Pitching a shutout against Louisiana Monroe is a great feeling. Beating the teams they beat last year, they’re a pretty great team. They have a great offensive line, a great quarterback, their running backs are pretty good. To get a shutout against them is pretty good accomplishment.”
 
Senior Running Back Damien Williams
On the offensive line’s help with the run game:
“The offensive line did great getting their blocks and pushing guys, and I feel like we had a lot more running game, so I guess Coach [Stoops] saw that and just wanted us to keep dominating.”
 
On preparing for West Virginia:
“We just have to talk about the gameplan and watch a lot of film. We have to see how their defense comes at us, so we just have to get into the film room.”
 
Senior Wide Receiver Jalen Saunders
On Trevor Knight:
“I think Trevor did a great job. He has something we’re not used to seeing, our quarterback take off and use his legs, but it’s very exciting, and it moves the chains.”
 
On the run game:
“I’m really impressed with our run game. It makes the safeties come down because they have to play the run, and then it leaves two cornerbacks on an island, so it’s just one-on-one.”
 
Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Trevor Knight
On his thoughts from the game:
“In the first game you come out and hope everything goes well. We struggled a little early, but we got comfortable as the game went on, and we were able to make some big plays. The guys blocking did a heck of a job, so we were able to get it going.”
 
On connecting with receivers:
“We’ll work hard this week to get more timing down. We’ve just got to connect on those deep throws because we have to hit our shots.”
 
On his first start:
“It was really exciting to get out there. The last game I got hit in was during high school, so it’s been a long time. To get out there and get hit around a little bit felt good.”
Redshirt Freshman Defensive Back Zack Sanchez
On his personal performance:
“I think I did pretty well. There are still a few things that I need to fix. I have a couple of plays that I was disappointed with. That’s why we practice every week, so I can go out next week and do some things better.”
 
On the secondary’s preparation:
“We did a good job last week preparing so we were ready for everything they were showing. The coaches did a good job of preparing us.”
 
Redshirt Senior Offensive Lineman Gabe Ikard
On the most important thing he saw from quarterback Trevor Knight:
“Just good decision making. He really didn’t put that many balls in bad spots. He didn’t throw it at a high percentage like we expect from him or like we’ve seen from him, but that will improve as he gets more comfortable. Other than that, I think he took care of the ball really well. That’s a big thing for young quarterbacks, to take care of the ball. We’re really pleased with what he did; he really throws the ball well. So that’ll be better; he’ll be better next week. I’m just happy for him that he got to get out on the field.”
 
On Trevor Knight’s confidence after the first few plays:
“He’s a very confident kid, very gifted athletically and he carries himself very well. He took control of the huddle from the first snap. I’m really impressed with how he was speaking up from the sideline and encouraging people, doing things that veteran quarterbacks do. We weren’t rolling very well in that first quarter, but once we got it going he kept being positive and saying that he would do more and make more plays. So we just need to protect him better, we need to open up better holes and make his life easier. But Trevor’s a gifted guy, a natural leader. We were really impressed with the performance he had tonight and he’s only going to go up from here.”
 
Senior Linebacker Corey Nelson
On how much the defense’s confidence was built early in the game:
“To me, it built tremendously. For me to be the leader of the defense I have to continue to build that confidence with my defense. A lot of times you see teams get tired of getting three and outs, but I had to continue to create that excitement and create that energy [and] so did Aaron Colvin. So the defense and I were excited to keep getting out there and getting those three and outs.”
 
On how the shutout feels:
“It feels amazing. Especially after that loss in the Cotton Bowl, to come out here and get a shutout in the season opener is an amazing feeling. We have to keep that chip on our shoulder, remain hungry and always be humble in everything that we’re doing.”
 
Senior Wide Receiver Jalen Saunders
On what he learned in this game on how the offense will work:
“After tonight, offensively, we felt like we were beating ourself a little bit in the first quarter not getting any first downs. But we overcame that in the second quarter and moved on from there and just kept the ball moving with the tempo and not letting the defense get lined up. We did a great job of that and in the second quarter it provided us a lot of points.”
 
On Trevor Knight’s struggles:
“It’s not surprising. It’s his first ever college football game, so it’s expected. I felt like he did a great job, better than I expected. But, overall, he did a great job tonight and he’s going to move forward from this.”
 
Senior Defensive Back Aaron Colvin
On how the defense looked tonight:
“We did a good job today. We still have work to do and we still have some good offenses to face. I feel like we played well, but we can always be better.”
 
On how much confidence the defense built in the first quarter:
“We had it in the back of our mind that we might have to bail them out sometimes. Trevor’s a new guy and a great quarterback, but this was his first game and that can be tough on anybody. So we knew that we would have to back them up on some plays and that’s what we did. We got quick three and outs and helped our offense.”

LOUISIANA-MONROE

ULM Head Coach Todd Berry | Back To Top
Opening Statement:
“Obviously disappointed in the way we played. Congratulations to Bob and the Oklahoma Sooners. They took it to us and we didn’t respond very well. We knew that we were facing a great football team. A well-coached football team. But, quite honestly, I thought we had a chance coming in, based off of past history and all other kinds of things. I thought early in the first quarter we played like it, and for whatever reason in the second quarter the wheels started coming off a little bit. We didn’t play very good assignment football on defense, we struggled with an adjustment that Oklahoma made. From an offensive perspective, we could never get a guy blocked, which we should be able to handle that thing. But I am proud of the effort of our players and I know that we will bounce back. I do believe that we have a good football team even though we didn’t show it today. The fact that, quite honestly, it’s even possible that we were in a game with Oklahoma is probably, when you look at where our program was and all that other kind of thing, is probably saying something in relation to our players and our expenditures and all those other things that kind of play into this. I’m disappointed but not distraught. Obviously I am anxious for another game because this one I would like to forget.”
 
On ULM’s offensive struggles:
“Well, we have got an injury with Kolton right now. It happened in the first quarter. He is a tough kid and he kept playing with it. But obviously that changed some of the offensive structure. We’ll see how much he can go later on, but, that changed some things. And then obviously our backup quarterback is not completely healthy. So, consequently, we could not even put him in. We had to start winning the game with other people and quite honestly our offense is kind of built around our quarterbacks doing all of the things that we need for them to do, as is every other spread offense. So it made for a very difficult evening because I do think we have a very good offensive football team even though it didn’t show tonight. I think some of the kind of things we are dealing with, we have to find some ways to maybe not have to lean on the quarterback as much because, again, when they are not available it creates some problems for us.”
 
On Kolton Browning’s injury affecting his running ability:
“I think that his ability to extend plays is pretty critical and the moment we cannot extend plays with him changes our structure of offense. Against what Oklahoma was doing, which is playing a lot of man-coverage, bringing four but also bringing in a fifth guy, occasionally six, in those kind of games is when your quarterback needs to come alive a little bit. Because generally man-coverage there is nobody responsible for the quarterback. He wasn’t confortable, which I understand, with running. That is kind of the difference in  being able to get them out of that man-coverage. Quite honestly, bad term, very descriptive, they kind of ‘big boy’d’ us up front. We didn’t handle that very well. I like to think that we have some good speed at reciever but we had some difficulty getting open and that was a little bit surprising, but good for Oklahoma. And we have got some good recievers. We have got some rated, NFL recievers. They’re pretty good players and we had a difficult time getting open in just individual match-ups.”
 
On Oklahoma’s defensive gameplan:
“There was no question that on both sides of the football we saw some new things. But you’re expecting that in the first ballgame. Again, one of the things I said in this last week, that it was significantly important that we have a team that is mature enough to transition in-game. Because most of the time when you have young teams you are not transitioning you are just making suggestions because you do not know exactly what they are going to do. This group has got some maturity, and we did, we did do some adjustments on the sideline. But, we have got to do a better job of coaching and we have got to do a better job of playing. It’s starts with me. We are a better football team than what we showed today. I don’t know if we are good enough to win, but I know we are a lot better than what we showed. Again, disappointed but not distraught. I am disappointed. Our players are too.”
 
On Oklahoma’s changing the tempo on offense:
“They changed the speed and we panicked. That was disappointing. We couldn’t get the call in, they weren’t getting lined up, things we had worked on, actually. There was a little bit of maybe just getting tired. We quit bringing our feet on tackles when we were there to make the tackle. We did not tackle very well. We are going to work on tackling this week. That’s one of the concers always going into the first ballgame. How much do you hit and stay healthy? How much do you hit where all of a sudden you cannot play? There is a fine there as a coach, in terms of that, but obviously we need to do some more tackling drills because we didn’t tackle very well.”
 
On what adjustments need to be made before the next game:
“I won’t have to do anything, not with this group. They’re embarrassed right now. That will be just enough. I don’t have to do anything. I just have to get them back out there on the practice field. They will go to work.”
ULM Senior QB Kolton Browning | Back To Top
On injury in the first quarter and how it affected the team throughout the game
“I tried to scramble one time and my leg just wasn’t quite cooperating with me. I didn’t get the burst I wanted to get running away from them. It got tighter and tighter over the game and it was tough to loosen up. It really cut out part of my game, which hurt me, hurt the offense. We couldn’t really move the ball that much. We cut ourselves on third downs, as you could see, I’m not sure what the stats are, but we couldn’t convert and we couldn’t help our defense on the field. They were dead tired. As an offense, we have to move the chains and get more first downs and get those guys some rest, get healthy and go out next week and prepare for Grambling.”
 
On the outcome of game considering how prepared they were:
“We didn’t expect to not score on offense. Our defense had been doing a heck of a job all camp against us. We’d been doing pretty good with tempo and moving the chains, like I said. Just tonight, everything fell apart. It felt like they didn’t do anything we weren’t expecting them to do, we just didn’t do what we knew we could do, which is move the ball down the field. At times we did move the ball but we had a sack, or interception or penalty, just some things we’ve got to cut out on.”
 
Going through frustration in four years as ULM’s starting QB:
“It’s hard to swallow, but you can’t dwell on it. You got to move on and go to the next one, especially being a senior and opening up your last first game and getting shut out, but the team... give Oklahoma all the credit in the world, they played a heck of a game. But we feel like we shut ourselves off, offensively. We didn’t give our defense a chance to rest and that defeinitely hurt us in the end.”
 
On if they saw a different defensive scheme than what they saw on film:
“Honestly, they did everything we thought they were going to do. We were prepared for them; we had a game plan for them, but we weren’t exactly on key on offense tonight. Like I said, we had interceptions. We weren’t getting enough on first and second downs to make third downs managable. We’d find ourselves third-and-six or third-and-seven all night long, which defenitely makes it tough on our offensive coordinator to make some calls. It makes it tough on us because they can bring some pressure, especially when they knew I couldn’t neccessarily move. They started bringing more pressure every single snap.”
 
On adjustments head coach Todd Berry was trying to make in-game:
“There’s nothing we can’t adjust to on the sideline with all the experience that’s come back and all the games that we’ve played in. We’ve seen a lot of different things with different coverages. We may run a route different or we may put receivers in different spots to get them open quicker. They way they were playing, it felt like they were swarming the receivers really well in man coverage tonight and we were just talking about different ways to rub a guy and get him open and get him the ball, but we didn’t do that.”
 
On emotions of the team coming off the loss:
“We’ve got to pick each other up. It’s a tough loss, it’s a hard one to swallow, especially since with the season we had last year and the expectations everyone has for us this year, to open the season like this is very dissappointing, not only for us, but for all the Warhawk fans as well. We just have to come back and support each other, go in, be real critical of our mistakes, correct ourselves and then get back out there on the practice field and just execute and play Grambling next week."
ULM Senior LB Cam Blakes
On tempo change by Oklahoma defense:
“They definitely move a lot faster than they show on film. We didn’t communicate and get our defensive calls in. A lot of it was just execution. We didn’t play up to par for that kind of offense.”
 
On defense’s execution tonight:
“It’s a good feeling, especially because in the past year, we didn’t hold up our weight and the offense did the best they could last year. Now we’re holding up the end of our bargain.”
 
On outcome of the game:
“It’s very disheartening becuase we had a good game plan on both sides of the ball. Coach Berry just sat back. We were so confident about our game plan. He just sat back and let us play ball. For us to go in... a lot of us had an out-of-body experience. We just never got a chance to regroup. By the time we did get a chance to regroup, it was just too little, too late.”
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