Defensive Media Session

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
NOVEMBER 25, 2013

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops
Nov. 25, 2013

On what improved in the second half defensively against Kansas State:
“I thought we played a little bit better in the second half. The three big plays were really disappointing. I thought we could play them better. (Tyler) Lockett is a great player and their quarterback made some great throws but we busted a coverage on one and got beat on a double move on another and just ran by us on another. Those are elements of defense that… you usually can’t give up that many big plays and win. That certainly will be the case two weeks from now. We have to be able to contain the football and not give up those big plays.”

On shutting down the Kansas State running game:
“That’s part of it. We were determined not to let them run the football. We overloaded the box a lot. We wanted to take (Daniel) Sams out of the game. Jake Waters played an outstanding game and made some great throws and kept them in the game. They just out executed us. That was a big part of our plan going into Saturday was to try to eliminate the run game and we did it. I thought our plan was good in the run game, just in the pass game was a little disappointing.”

On the play of CB Aaron Colvin:
“Well Aaron gives us confidence and he gives us some stability in the secondary. We don’t have a lot of experience back there. When he is back there he seems to settle everyone down and he gives us an outstanding cover guy. You are trading a top-level NFL player for someone who hasn’t played much so it’s pretty evident what you are losing.”

On CB Aaron Colvin playing through the shoulder injury:
“Oh you know, it’s just been an uncomfortable season for him with his shoulder. He has really toughed it out and that says a lot about his character and his toughness. It will be the same type of deal two weeks from now. He’s just a fighter and I’m sure he’ll want to play a great game here in a couple weeks.”

On teams using more pick and rub route combinations in college football this year:“I think a lot of the pick and rub routes you see, it’s a big Denver concept. Some of them are by design. Some are rubs that try to give a receiver an advantage and it’s just a matter of trying to get in a better position to see it and to cut it off before it happens. We got hit with it again and it has really been a little bit of an issue for us this season. We just have to do a better job with it.”

On if those route combinations are or should be legal:
“They aren’t supposed to be. Direct picks aren’t legal obviously in any football situation whether it’s NCAA or NFL, I know that. They are subjective to what the referee sees.”

On the week off before Oklahoma State:
“Well hopefully it will slow them down a little bit. They are really playing well. They are hot right now. Everything seems to be falling their way. They are just making all the plays right now and that’s a good feeling to have when you feel like things are going your way. We’ll have our hands full that’s for sure. It’s fun and it will be a huge game and hopefully we’ll get some help and we’ll still have a shot at this thing (Big 12 championship).”

On what Oklahoma State QB Clint Chelf had improved this season:
“I think all players it’s just about getting into a groove. Once they are more comfortable in who they are, and you can tell by the way they play, they just seem to be more in a rhythm and very comfortable and seeing things very well. Sometimes that happens in the season and it’s not unlike a baseball player that gets in and starts seeing things very well. Throwing the ball on time he was spectacular.  His accuracy was terrific, as well. He put some ball sin some spots that are hard to defend. It just creates another element of their offense that is very diverse and very skilled.”

On how long it took him to realize the importance of Bedlam in the state of Oklahoma:
“I don’t think it takes very long. Rivalry games are for bragging rights and certainly I think this has escalated obviously with Oklahoma State and their consistency and them being relevant in the Big 12 race every year. They are right up there with us. It adds a lot more excitement for sure.”

On how OSU has changed since his first tenure at Oklahoma:
“I think they are obviously more skilled across the board at every position. Not just the skill players but the big athletes, the offense and defensive lines. They are very skilled at every position so they have changed a great deal. You can win some games with 10 to 12 good players but now when you have 22 or 24 you have a chance to win every time you step on the field. That’s really been the case with them over the last several years.”

On the improved play of S Gabe Lynn:
“I think it’s maturity. He really came up big on Saturday. He’s a guy that when Aaron (Colvin) is not in we really look to. He has really made a conscious effort to be more of a playmaker and be a guy that you rely on. That is the thing that I found, is that the trust and the reliability has really grown all season. It is really important to him to play well and I am really pleased with his development.”

On the play of QB Trevor Knight:
“It just takes time. Confidence. Look at Clint (Chelf) earlier to where he is know. It is just finding your rhythm and getting confidence and seeing the field the way you need to see it. Make a couple throws and it’s amazing how everything changes and the confidence that you have once you start making those throws and you start believing that you can make everyone. That’s a good position to be in and he’s starting to fall into that place. His ability to make every throw is… don’t question it. Maybe reading it or getting it there on time or whatever but there is not a throw on the football field that he can’t make and make accurately. Again, it’s a progression, it’s maturation for quarterbacks and it just takes time. Hopefully he can parlay that into another strong game. When you get a quarterback that can do that and can throw it, then it puts people in a bind. That’s a very positive element to our team that is hopefully hitting its stride.”

On if the Big 12 has changed to more of a running league:
“Well, there is a lot of change. Every quarterback, probably 90 percent of the quarterbacks changed. I don’t know Clint (Chelf) started against us a year ago but I don’t know if there is one other on that started that we played last year. He may be the only guy now that I think about it. It was an exceptional year a year ago offensively with the skill and quarterback play.”

Oklahoma Football
Linebacker Eric Striker
Nov. 25, 2013

On what the focus of the defense is:
“We try to shut down any and everything that any team throws at us, so that’s the focus every week and so is the pass and anything else they try to throw at us.”

On preparing for Oklahoma State:
“We’ve got to prepare, execute every play and perfect as best as we can to get ready for them.”

On playing tough defense:
“It’s good to stop the run and stop anything they throw at us. We like to stop everything. It’s always good to stop everything because then they aren’t making progress.”

On having the off-week to prepare:
“It’s always nice to have an extra week to prepare. If you make mistakes you can make up and you have more time. It’s always good to have more time to prepare.”

Oklahoma Football
Cornerback Aaron Colvin
Nov. 25, 2013

On playing his last regular season game:
“It hasn’t really hit me as much yet, but I know it’s creeping up on me. I’m cherishing every moment of it.”

On Oklahoma State:
“They’re playing great. They’re playing good football. They had a huge win from Baylor, so they’re going to have a lot of confidence coming into the game. Anytime a team has confidence they can play really well.”

On preparing the younger players for Oklahoma State:
“We don’t talk so much about what happened as far as win or losses. We don’t talk about that. We do talk about the preparation that goes into the game. Usually what happens on Saturday is what happens at practice that week. You have to tell those young guys to pick up their stuff sometimes and get a little more serious, but these guys get it. These guys had to mature very quickly this year. There are a lot of guys who had to step up and play this year, so there’s not too much that needs to be said to them.”

Oklahoma Football
Linebacker Dominique Alexander
Nov. 25, 2013

On his earlier memories of Bedlam:
“With my dad going to OSU, he used to watch the games and I realized how big this game was then, too. Having rivalries in high school and how big they were for me, and now having this one, it’s a great experience.”

On his first Bedlam game:
“I’m pretty excited, but it’s still football. You have to go out there and execute.”

On practicing sound:
“It’s a big week and we’ve all got to be assignment-sound all week. It’s going to have to be one of our best weeks of practice.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Back Zack Sanchez
Nov. 25, 2013

On the importance of the bye week before playing OSU:
“Yeah, especially for those guys who have been out [injured] to get them back, get them healthy and on their feet because we’re going to need everyone in a couple weeks. Just that, and then preparation helps, too.”

On how much he has looked up to the senior DBs, Gabe Lynn and Aaron Colvin:
“Oh yeah, they’re huge. Especially those two, they’re like brothers to me. (Aaron Colvin) since I got here and then Gabe (Lynn) as I kind of came into my role. Gabe has been that big brother to always help me when I’m down. Those two guys are key in the things that we do and the leadership on the field.”

On when he realized how important the Bedlam rivalry is:
“Last year. Just being here as a redshirt and seeing the atmosphere of that game – the way it went and the way it ended – you can tell that’s a huge game for the fans and for this program. Just like the Texas game. But I think it’s a little more so than the Texas game, especially this year.”

On how important the few extra days of preparation is:
“It’s huge. Especially since the type of game they had on Saturday. They threw a lot of new stuff they hadn’t shown all year so we’ve got to get a good game plan going.”

On if his pick-6 against KSU made up for KSU touchdowns in the first half:
“I mean it feels good but like I said, the first half is the only thing I think about throughout the game. I was just talking to my dad the other day and I don’t even remember the pick. The only thing in my head is those two touchdowns. I’ve just got to watch film and learn from my mistakes so those things don’t happen again.”

On how the secondary will perform against OSU after playing a team that runs:
“We got ourselves in a lot of trouble with just little technique things here and there – eyes in the wrong key. It wasn’t necessarily anything they threw at us but that’s just putting ourselves in a bad position. Oklahoma State can throw, we know they can run it, so technique has to be perfect, your key has to be perfect, you pretty much have to play a perfect game for those guys.”

On how it has been the last couple of weeks without Aaron Colvin:
“I think what he did in the second half proves his role and his worth to this defense. He came out and he pretty much locked it out the rest of the game and that just goes to his character and his leadership. He was in a ton of pain the whole game and you could tell after the game but having him come in and step in and do what he did helps us a lot.”

On shaking off bad plays and making a good play:
“It just goes to the fact of the position I play. You can’t beat yourself up on one play; you’ve just got to make the best out of every opportunity you get. The leadership of the seniors on the team helps us out a lot with that. Me being a young guy, keeping my head on straight and not beating myself up over bad plays and just going out there and trying to make the next play.”

Oklahoma Football
Defensive Lineman Chuka Ndulue
Nov. 25, 2013

On if the way QB Trevor Knight played was what he saw on scout team last year:
“Yeah. Scout team was a long time ago. I can’t remember much but he went out there, he did his thing and did what he was supposed to do at a real high level. We’re real proud of him and excited for what he did out there.”

On if shutting down the run against KSU was something they focused on:
“Well no matter who you play you’ve got to focus on the run because that’s a key part of the offense. You’ve got to set up for the run so you can set up for the pass eventually. Bill Snyder, he’s a great coach, he’s a tough coach, he has a mentality of running the ball all the time, so we focused on that and we did a good job stopping them during the game.”

On needing the bye week to let injuries heal:
“It doesn’t really matter. If we had a game on Saturday we would have been ready for it, regardless. So the week off is nice but when our name is called to go out there to perform I feel like we’re going to be ready no matter who’s out there.”

On how he feels in comparison to the beginning of the season:
“I feel good. I’ll go out there and play at a high level like the coaches want me to and I expect myself to.”

On his thoughts on OSU:
“They are a very good team. They are solid in the run game; they have a great quarterback, a great offensive line. They are a well-rounded group and if we go out there and take them lightly it’s not going to be a good day for us. And it’s a rivalry game, so we expect to get the best out of them. You’ve got to expect the best from anyone on any given Saturday. We’re ready for them to bring their A game and hopefully we bring ours as well.”



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