Defensive Media Session

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
OCTOBER 21, 2013

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops – Post Practice
Oct. 21, 2013

On if the defense can correct the problems it had in the first quarter against Kansas:
“I think once we got guys in position to make plays and again when you play run defense it’s a position on the football, whether it’s this guy leveraging or this guy, I don’t want to get too technical, but again it’s position on the football and we’re misaligned. When you get misaligned and a guy gets out of position, the ball is supposed to go to this spot on the field and if somebody isn’t there you are going to have issues. That’s what happened through the first quarter or so.”

On how the defensive line played against Kansas:
“I though they played really good. A lot of production. I thought Matt Dimon really came on and gives us another guy that is reliable and can play physical for a true freshman. So he just adds depth to our interior defensive line. I think Geneo (Grissom), Chuka (Ndulue) and certainly Tap (Charles Tapper) have shown a consistent way about them for playing initially for the very first time in major minutes the way they are. I’m really proud of our guys inside. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but what we are doing, we learn as we go along. The players are playing well. Certainly (Jordan) Wade is holding his own inside. So we have a lot of new schemes and new players and they’ve held up great. I couldn’t be more pleased with the way our players are playing.”

On if some of the alignment issues were due to the absence of LB Corey Nelson:
“Corey, he was kind of our conductor on the field, he can get people lined up because he’s a very experienced player. He helped Frank (Shannon) tremendously. Now Frank has to pick up that role and again, Frank has to worry about getting Frank lined up and then tries to help other people and that’s just familiarity of what you’re doing and your position. You have to know what you’re doing first before you can help anyone else. That’s kind of what has happened. We are having a hard time helping each other because we are having a hard time recognizing and seeing things late. You really can’t help anybody else out.”

On Texas Tech’s up-tempo offense:
“Their tempo will be a concern. We see it from our offense. We’ll have to work it against our guys throughout the course of the week. You know we can go as fast as anybody when we want to so that will give us a good look in preparation but your communication is going to need to be improved over what it was last week.”

On DE Charles Tapper:
“Charles will be a great player. He can do anything and he is just scratching the surface as a player. As he gets more physical and mature as a player there won’t be anything he can’t do on the football field and that is what takes place with all young football players. Same thing with Dominique Alexander. These are outstanding football players that are playing enormous minutes for a very young age. Those are some of the things you go through, consistency with all young players is what you don’t get. They are starting to come on and be more consistent. Tap, he’s played more than Dominique and so he’s a more consistent player.”

On if he's excited to play a team similar to those that gave them problems last year:
“This team gives you problems across the board. There are matchup problems, the tight end is obviously a guy that you have to be aware of and how they position him and how they try to match him up with our guys. They have very skilled and experienced players. The irony of it is that their quarterbacks are their least experienced players but they play like veterans. It tells you a lot about their system and how they teach it. They lost one guy and another one came in and they just continue to do the same thing. It’s a credit to their system and Kliff (Kingsbury) and the way they coach them and teach them. These guys can really spin it and their timing and they get the ball out of their hands exceptionally well. The challenge will be a little different than it has been in the past but they are all unique in their own ways and you get down here toward the end and all teams will present some challenges for us.”

On how they will cover Texas Tech tight end, Jace Amaro:
“He a big target, he’s very experienced, he reads coverages very well, he knows how to get open. Those are all important characteristics and he has great hands. He is a very complete player and there are no holes in his game.”

On DT Jordan Wade:
“This is a (redshirt) freshman that gets better as he goes along. It seems like I’m talking about a lot of young guys and that’s what people don’t realize. These are all first-year players, no matter what grade they are. These guys have no experience. Charles played what 50 snaps? 60 snaps at the most last year so what these guys are doing, it makes me feel good about our future, it makes me feel good about what we are doing now and these are guys that we have really thrown a lot at them and they have really handled it well. They show production and that is what is exciting for us going forward.”

On if he has to remind himself that they are so young defensively:
“I think so because we get mad when they get an eight-yard run or whatever but these guys, I couldn’t be more pleased with our overall effort and how they’ve played for the most part. There are always times you wished you had played a little bit better but when you look at the big picture these guys are showing great improvement and our future is very bright with these guys.”

On his conversation with Jerry Montgomery on the sidelines on Saturday:
“It was just the way we were sliding our defense so… those are pretty standard around here. That happens. We don’t consider it anything out of the ordinary. We were just sliding our defense one way that we weren’t adapted to doing at that time and we were just trying to get that straightened out.”

On if he is concerned about the physicality of his defense:
“I’m not worried about that at all. I’m not worried about that in the least. I am worried about our structure and that is more on us as coaches than it is on us as players. I am not worried about any of our physical matchups. Our players know how to play and they know how to play well. We need to get them in the right spots. If they are not getting in the right spots then it is not their fault, it is my fault.”

On the Kansas offense on Saturday:
“Ninety percent of what we saw on Saturday, I’d say 80 percent we didn’t work one snap (in practice). Eighty percent of their formations they had never shown before. That takes time to get to during the course of a game to get to and every team wants to come out with 20 percent of what they did before and change it 80 percent and you have to adjust your defense, you have to change your calls. Sometimes during the course of the game it takes time to get it worked out and that’s why we had to get to halftime to get it worked out. We had to get it worked out and figure out how we want to call things and how we want to slide our front and there is a lot that goes on for what they were doing for us.”

On how a pass-catching tight end affects a defense:
“He (Amaro) is big target in the middle and that helps out the quarterback tremendously. He understands leverage very well; he has very good knowledge of his space on the field and how to get to his spaces on the field. Those are important elements and he can run and catch. He is a very complete player.”

On if Texas Tech is the kind of team he changed the scheme of the defense for:
“We wanted to be more versatile, show more looks, position our players differently, so these games are all challenging because of the personnel they have. Regardless of what you do, you have to be able to matchup with their skill and their quarterbacks and their offensive line. There is nothing that is perfect for everything but this is part of the reason we wanted to be more multi-dimensional with our back end.”

Oklahoma Football
Linebacker Eric Striker
Oct. 21, 2013

On the impact he is having in the pocket, allowing others to make sacks:
“Yeah. A team effort is good to help the guys get the sack. The one with (Charles Tapper) this week, I got good penetration so that led to him getting a sack. I’m cool with that, somebody’s going to get it.”

On being ready for the Texas Tech tempo:
“Yeah. We’ve got to be ready for that. We’ve been practicing for the tempo, getting lined up to it and thinking on the go. So we’ve definitely got to be ready for that. And understanding where we need to be, because they move real fast. That’s going to be important; I think that’s going to be a big factor.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Tackle Jordan Wade
Oct. 21, 2013

On lining up against Texas Tech’s offense:
“We usually just look to the sideline and just get our calls and now we know what we’re doing. Coach (Jerry) Montgomery just talked to us. We just know what to do and we don’t have to worry about getting the calls from coaches and linebackers.”

On what he sees in the Texas Tech offensive line:
“They’re a pretty big offensive line. They move fast and they’re pretty physical.”

On how he feels like he performed against Kansas:
“I feel like the first half I struggled a little bit. I just had to get used to things, but after that second half I just got more comfortable and started seeing everything better. Everything just started slowing down.”

On the natural progression after taking over the role for Jordan Phillips:
“Yeah at first it just takes a while. Once I get those first couple series over with I just start getting more comfortable.”

On if being in the right spot applies to him and where he is in the formation:
“It applies to everybody. We have to make sure we’re all in the same spots and just play our technique up front.”

On if getting pressure on the QB is their biggest objective going into this weekend:
“Just more to stop the run first. Then after that, we can get after that quarterback.”

On how exciting it is to host an undefeated team:
“It’s pretty exciting. Just like coach (Jerry) Montgomery told us, we have to protect our own house and make sure nobody comes in here and beats us.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive End Matt Dimon
Oct. 21, 2013

On DE Charles Tapper:
“He’s a good mentor to me. He’s a good person overall and I’m happy he’s my teammate.”

On how much he has learned since he’s been at OU:
“More than I can say. I’ve learned so much from my coaches. I’ve mainly just learned a lot from my teammates and my coaches. I’ve progressed pretty well so far, so hopefully I’ll keep progressing.”

On if it is noticeable that he is progressing after the Kansas game:
“I would say it’s noticeable. We still have tons of things to work on, but like I said, I have great coaching and hopefully we keep getting better as a team. A lot of people get better individually, but we need to get better as a team.”

On if it has been a steady progression for him this season:
“Oh yeah. As a player you want to be better than that last game, and I feel like I’ve done that every game so far. Like I already said, I have great coaching and it’s hard to get worse each week. We keep getting better as a unit and as a team, and we just need to be on our 'A' game this week.”

On the importance of special teams to him:
“It’s an important part of the game. It can win you games and coach (Jay) Boulware had a great plan for me this week. We got close on the first punt we attempted to block, and we got the second one and that was a good energy boost for the team.”

On approaching a team that has already run over 100 plays during several games this year:
“I just let our coaches gameplan that. We’re just going to go out there and play each snap its own individual snap -not worry about the number of snaps. (The coaches) have a great game plan for us and hopefully we execute it.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive End Geneo Grissom
Oct. 21, 2013

On if he is looking forward to the game:
“As a D-Line you look forward to games like this.  It’s a chance to get up on the quarterback.”

On Texas Tech’s offensive line:
“They have big, strong tackles and they play with good technique. When those guys get underneath there isn’t much you can do. We’ve got to make sure that we come out and play physical.”

On Coach Jerry Montgomery:
“Our coaches do a great job, and they’re always putting us in the best possible positions for us to be successful.”

On if last year’s game will help prepare:
“It’s good, but last year is last year. They’re going to come up with new things and we’re going to have new things. You can’t always rely on last year or the past years. You have to prepare for the upcoming weekend.”

Oklahoma Football
Linebacker PL Lindley
Oct. 21, 2013

On switching from defensive end to linebacker:
Switching to this isn’t too different for me because I used to play linebacker in high school. It’s just like what I used to do.”

On the difference in the defensive schemes:
“I think it works in our favor because people haven’t seen it from us before.  It makes it a little harder for people to prepare for us. It fits for our personnel on defense.”

On what the defense is preparing for:
“They have great running backs in the backfield along with a great quarterback and receiving corps, so we have to prepare for both of them equally.”

On preparing for the up-tempo offense:
“In the Texas game they played us up-tempo, so we’ve had that in our practices from day one when we were practicing for Kansas. Every offensive series that we do in practice, they’re running quick tempo to get us ready for it.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Back Aaron Colvin
Oct. 21, 2013

On if he is excited to play Texas Tech:
“Anytime you play anyone like Tech, who is as explosive as they are on offense, it makes you excited as a defensive player to try to go out there and stop them. Coach [Stoops] has made a lot of good changes so it should be good.”

On Texas Tech:
“We’ve faced a lot of good offenses, but Tech is doing a lot of good things on that side of the ball, and they’re finding ways to get the ball in the air and score points. We know that it will be a challenge, but if we play our game we should be alright.”

On the recent rivalry between OU and Tech:
“Anytime we play them they’re always ready for us. Last year we got the best of them and I feel like we were ready. We’ve just got to come back out this weekend and do it again.”

On the importance of forcing turnovers:
“Anytime you have a great offense like they do, you’ve got to try to create turnovers and mess up some of the things they like to do. Anytime you play an offense you’ve got to make turnovers, and it shouldn’t be different this weekend.”



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