Coach Stoops and select OU players met with the media Tuesday.
NORMAN, Okla. --
|WR Brandon Caleb
With the season opener behind them, the Sooners are looking ahead to their next challenge this Saturday against Cincinnati.
Head coach Bob Stoops and select OU players met with the media Tuesday in the Kerr-McGee Stadium Club to discuss the matchup with the Bearcats.
Saturday's game is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. (CT) from Owen Field. A limited number of tickets are still available through the OU Athletics Ticket Office
. The game will also be televised live by ABC.
Video video coverage of Tuesday's press conference by clicking the links above. Quotes from Coach Stoops and OU's players are also available below, courtesy of OU Athletics Media Relations.
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"Rehashing last week's game, we are going to see bigger, better, stronger opponents as we go on through the year, but more than anything I was pleased with the overall execution of what we were responsible for. We had very few penalties. Defensive alignments and positioning and offensive execution all looked very good.
"I thought both Sam (Bradford) and Joey (Halzle) did an excellent job, along with the rest of the offense, with executing the offense for the first time along with the no-huddle. Some of the guys that were noted for player of the game on offense were Jon Cooper, Trent Williams and Manuel Johnson. They all did a great job, while the defensive guys were Auston English and Gerald McCoy, who had a lot of penetration and a lot of tackles for loss. Special teams guys were Lendy Holmes and Desmond Jackson. It was good to get started at home with a good win and now we have a big game with Cincinnati coming this week."
"Brian Kelly and his staff do an excellent job and have had a lot of success the past couple of years. If you look defensively, they have nine seniors and two fourth year juniors. They are very athletic guys with great experience. I love watching defenses and these guys are very sound fundamentally and play hard.
"Offensively, they do an excellent job spreading the ball around. They will throw a lot of three or four wide receiver sets out there and run a lot of zone reads and screens. They do an excellent job executing. If you look at it they brought back all of their receivers and their quarterback has been starting for a couple of years. He has excellent experience running the offense and has played well with the receivers. It's a big challenge. I think they have one of the best, if not the best, punters from a year ago. Defensively, they tied for the lead in takeaways from last year.
"I can go on and on, they are a very good team that we recognize it as a major challenge this season. We are focusing on having a great week of practice and coming out ready to play on Saturday."
On the clock changes:
"I think we handled it very well. We didn't have a problem getting plays in, and I think both the players as well as the coaches handled it very well. Being at the line of scrimmage didn't really make the 40-second play clock much of an issue. I think if you want to burn the clock it becomes easier with the 40-second play clock. If you get to the last four minutes of the game and you only have a limited number of possessions you need to use all of it, and we will."
On the young players that played Saturday:
"They did OK. You have to get them out there for them to be able to learn certain situations. I thought Jamell Fleming and Desmond Jackson played well on defense. Offensively, I though Jameel Owens did a good job, but the other guys just need to keep coming on and improving. And I think they will."
On Manuel Johnson:
"He had a great game. I have said it, and people always forget it, but he was four or five times player of the game for us a year ago. He just didn't get as much notoriety for whatever reason. This isn't unusual to us though. Manny has been a mainstay in everything that we do for the last four years now. I do recognize that he is a little stronger and a little bigger. He is also a year more mature and he is ready to have a big year. Again though, his game didn't surprise us as coaches at all, he has always been a very good player for us."
On the offense:
|| Sophomore QB Sam Bradford
"I thought we ran it at the tempo that we wanted to. I think that Coach Wilson was happy with the tempo we ran it at."
On the flexibility of players on offense:
"I think it allows us to go a little bit quicker because we don't have to run guys on and off the field. It also doesn't allow the defense to substitute. The defense has to pick which guys they are going to go with and they have to stick with those guys because even though we stray the same three or four guys, we can go with different formations."
On being ready for each team:
"With Cincinnati coming in here, I don't think we have to watch someone else lose to realize that this is a good football team and that they could beat us if we are not prepared. We know that we are going to have a great week of practice and come out and play well on Saturday if we want to win."
On what he learned about the team on Saturday:
"Offensively, I thought it was a great way to start out the season with the no huddle. To get out there with the fans in a game situation and going at that tempo I think that is something we can take away from last week and build upon in the coming weeks."
On the differences from last year to this year:
"I feel like a different player because I have gone through a year, I have more experience now and I kind of know what to expect. As far as going out there and playing, I am still trying to do the same things as last year."
On getting ready for the Bearcats:
|| Senior Center Jon Cooper
"Cincinnati is a great team, especially on defense. They have a great offense as well, but I just watched tapes of the defense. They're returning nine senior starters and two other guys that have a lot of experience, and that's a huge part no matter who you play for. That's going to be a big test for us on offense.
"We watched their first game against Eastern Kentucky and saw some tendencies and different things they do. We watched a lot from last year as well, just learning how the players played and some different schemes."
On the personality of OU's team this year:
"We really did learn a lot about ourselves coming out here with the crowd and another opponent with our no-huddle offense, just getting a feel for it. We've only had the scrimmages and there are always the coaches on the field calling the plays. It did show us a lot about ourselves. I think we came out and used (the no-huddle offense) in a good way. I'm really happy with how it went.
"I think that we come out every day with a purpose and that's one of the biggest things. We don't have the attitude of `oh man it's another day.' We have a purpose for every day."
|| Senior DE Alan Davis
On the competition at defensive end:
"It helps us get better each week. All of us have our different strengths and improving on our weaknesses is going to help a lot. You want to try to be the one that is starting out there each week because coach said he is going to play the best one each week."
|| Junior WR Brandon Caleb
On making plays since his injury last season:
"Having that season-ending injury last year, I had a lot of time to recover. I saw a lot of guys out there making plays, so I was ready to go out there and help our team out.
"There is a lot of competition and guys are looking to make plays every day. It's kind of like who can make the most plays. I love it."
On staying fresh among many other wide receivers on the team:
"It's basically anybody can come in during the game and make a play. It's showing us that we have to be prepared. The starting receivers can't go the whole game, so we have to come in and substitute them. We're really ready to come in and make plays when we can."
On the team's ability to listen:
"We learn stuff everyday as far as coverage and coming out in different formations. It's a constant learning process that makes guys step up and be like `well I don't know this,' so they learn stuff every day."
|| Junior CB Brian Jackson
On his first start:
"I feel like everything went well. I think the defense played pretty well. We held them to 26 yards and it was in the negative at half time. It was really encouraging for week one but we have a challenge coming up this week."
On improving from week one to week two:
"I definitely hope so. It's a big time game because Cincinnati has a good core of receivers and a quarterback. I'm looking forward to it."
On Keenan Clayton:
"He was a safety coming out of high school. He is really rangy and can do multiple things and his coverage is just as good as the defensive backs. So that is a real plus for us."