Oklahoma hosts Florida A&M in 2012 home opener in Norman Saturday.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops and select Oklahoma players met with the media Monday in advance of OU's home-opener against Florida A&M on Saturday evening.
The No. 4 Sooners square off with the Rattlers at 6 p.m. (CT) Saturday in Norman. A pay-per-view broadcast is available.
For complete coverage throughout the week, details on attending the game and broadcast options for following the Sooners from around the world, visit Sooner Gameday Central
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"As always here, going back and recapping the UTEP game. I was pleased that we really settled down in the second half and won the football game and really played well in the second half. I thought the first half, and really throughout different parts of the game, we weren't playing as precise as we needed to be. [We] missed some scoring opportunities that were set up. And some of it, you can credit UTEP; some of it. I do believe we could have executed better in some areas. But overall, defensively, we gave up some run game. But in the end, they pitched a shutout; they don't give up a score the entire day."
On the special teams:
"The kicking game, after the initial punt, was a situation where we had checked our coverage, our protection up front. All 10 guys have it but one. And that's our fault. One way or another we have to be able to communicate that and get that blocked up. The rest of the day we do block it up and we're fine. And then the field goal, we just dropped it. We have it all set and we just mishandled it setting it down. The rest of the game, it's all clean. Tress [Way] hasn't done that all spring, all fall. That's just one of those situations."
On the passing game:
"Offensively, I thought, just a little inconsistent. And what I mean by that, for instance, in the first quarter, we're moving the ball some. We have a big strike down to inside the five-yard line, setting up a score and we have a chop block and all of the sudden now we're 1st-and-25 and can't convert. It's really tough to convert a first-and-25 and we end up having to punt. And then we have two opportunities in the second quarter for big plays. One, Trey Metoyer is an inch out-of-bounds on a fade route that he scores a touchdown on. And that's him; he's a young guy, hasn't played much. And he's just drifting, instead of holding his ground. He wasn't being pushed out. He's just drifting out instead of staying in-bounds and being, again, more precise, staying in-bounds. Then he's got a touchdown. We've got another post route, wide open to Justin Brown. Landry [Jones] is protected well and unlike him, he threw it behind and over, and we don't convert. And that's our precision. Those are just three opportunities in the first half that we're not as efficient as we need to be and therefore we're sitting in there in a tight game."
On the overall offense:
"Some of the issues overall, the run game, we averaged over five yards a carry, but still can be better, I believe. We still at times missed an assignment or two on who we're identifying or who we're going to, which on occasion can happen when people shift or move late in a play. But still, we want to clean some of that up. In the second half, there was a time or two where we did have a guy breaking open and Landry was forced to run out of the pocket. There's a time or two also where the protection broke down. Landry really escaped some things. He's moving better. And I believe the more he does it and the more we can work with him in practice, he'll make some of those throws there on the run that we just missed the other night. So that has to continue to improve."
On players who stood out:
"So overall, some of the guys that played really well, some of the players of the game, were Aaron Colvin and David King, defensively. Damien Williams and Kenny Stills, offensively, really had special games. Tress Way really hit the ball well. Those are some of the guys that were mentioned by coach that really played well."
On Florida A&M:
"So now we're back at home against Florida A&M. [Head Coach] Joe Taylor's a guy that I coached with way back when, I guess it was after the 2001 season, coached in the Hula Bowl, when they had that all-star game. In fact, there's a picture hanging in my office of Coach [Steve] Spurrier and I and Joe coaching in our sandals, as one time I got to do that. So that was pretty special. Dick Tomey is also in the picture and worked with us. So Joe's a special guy and runs an excellent program. They're a bunch of good athletes as you watch them play. Guys you can tell they've done a good job recruiting. [They're] very sound in the things they do. Like a lot of offenses, they'll spread it out, like almost anyone does anymore, three and four receivers, and all the traditional spread attack that you get. And defensively, they get in and out in a three-man front, four-man front and mix up what they do. But they are coached very well."
Full Transcript of Quotes From Coach Stoops (PDF)
On feeling out of sync at UTEP:
|| Senior QB Landry Jones
"Yeah that's how I felt. Everyone was just a little off and when everyone is a little off it looks pretty bad out there. We'll get better and move on down the road."
On how practice went the week leading up to UTEP:
"I thought we actually practiced pretty decently. We just weren't on the same page. It was just one of those things."
On practice and the game being different circumstances:
"Yeah there are a lot of different things that go on in a game. We have a lot of younger guys playing and we haven't played all year. This is our first game back so we just weren't in sync and I figured it just comes with time and practice and also playing in games."
On his conservations with co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel on his comfort level with specific plays in the game plan:
"We talk about plays before the game and what we like and just different sort of things like that. But yeah, we talk about plays before we go out there."
On feeling limited during the game:
"No we had a game plan and we just didn't go out there and execute what we wanted to do. So we just weren't on sync. We had a good game plan we just didn't go out there and do well."
On expecting everyone to be in sync:
"You obviously expect everybody to be right on and you expect them to play well, you expect to do all these different things. But sometimes it just doesn't work like that. You can expect one thing and then you have to go out there and play. And that's how we play and that's why at the end of the day you won the game. We're 1-0 and we still have a chance to go after this thing."
On how his work on his mobility in the off-season paid off:
"Just worked on it. You prepare and you work on different things and in the game it definitely pays off. Working on the mobility, working on moving it, throwing on the run. Working on different things like that definitely helped me out on Saturday."
On whether there was different training for mobility:
"No just really made that a point of focus for me in the off-season. It was something that I really wanted to get better at. You just make it point. You say 'Okay I'm going to get better at this' and then you go out there and every throw you make you move around and you throw. It's more of a feel thing. You feel guys around you and you move off of them and you move into open space."
On whether they discussed going down the field more at halftime vs. UTEP:
"A little bit. Their safeties were playing pretty flat on our run game so we thought that we could maybe get a post over the top of them so that's what we kind of talked about at halftime."
On whether it's important to having a big margin of victory this week in order to have a better jumping off point for the Big 12 schedule:
"No, I think we just have to get better each week. Sure we want to play well on Saturday. We want to put up a lot of points and we want to play well as an offense. But if it doesn't go like that at the end of the day we're looking for wins. We're looking to win the game. Yes we want to get better and we want to do all these different things but on Saturday you have to cut it loose and play. We're out there for wins."
On whether the game would have been different if the big play to WR Kenny Stills hadn't been called back by penalty:
"It could have been different the other way too if they would have made field goals. You never know what's going to happen in a game. It's one or two plays that break a game wide open. Dom[inique Whaley] thought he had to chop that guy that was coming free and unfortunately Adam [Shead] was already touching him, as well. It's just one of those things that kind of happened and fortunately for us we overcame it and started playing better football after that and we eventually got it going in the fourth quarter."
On how it went with WR Kenny Stills:
"I thought it went pretty good. Just like everything else we were just a little off. On that over route to Kenny he got tangled up. And games like this just happen. It just happens. You have to look at it as just the next game and go into Saturday with our new game plan and focus on that one. "
On not giving up big plays:
|| Junior DB Tony Jefferson
"We did give up a couple big runs. I watched the tape yesterday. There are a few things we've got to fix up. I'm pretty proud of the way the secondary played. We held our own."
On what he knows about Florida A&M:
"Not too much. I watched a little film on them yesterday. They've got a good [running] back up there and they've got some receivers that can run and catch. So I'm looking forward to playing at home and having the excitement back here at home."
On Oklahoma's conditioning:
"That was our main focus in the summer. I don't know how hot it gets there [UTEP]. It was pretty humid there Saturday night. We were prepared for it. This whole summer we focused on being conditioned so we don't have to substitute as much and be like how they were, cramping up. Our guys did pretty good at that. Our d-line has to step up and grind it out."
On lack of depth d-line causing big runs:
"It could be. What we practice here is gap protection. Sometimes guys weren't in their gap. That's some thing we've got to fix."
On playing safety in the first game:
"I was pretty familiar with it. Towards the end of the season last year I got a lot more reps there. I felt more comfortable back there as a deep back. Just being able to communicate with my other guys. We're all on the same page. That's why I felt it was good for us. We didn't really give up any big plays back there. My guys really stepped up. We knew what our goals were and we met them."
On the freshmen preparing for their first home game:
|| Junior WR Kenny Stills
"It's going to be exciting for them. They're probably pretty anxious for a home game. It was a lot of fun for me; thinking back it seems like a blur, it went by pretty fast. I have to tell them to calm down and focus and hopefully we can take care of business."
On how satisfying it was to have a good performance from the slot:
"I felt like I played pretty well, but there's still a lot of room for improvement. All summer I thought about the criticism I took and I just went out there and tried to play my best. I'm never going to be Ryan [Broyles], and I'm looking to be my best and do the best I can in the slot. I felt like I made a statement with what I was doing."
On eliminating concerns about not being able to play on the outside:
"I felt like I took a lot of criticism, and I wanted to go out there and show what I was capable of. I felt like I did that, but I still have a lot of things to improve."
On what he, Trey [Metoyer] and Justin [Brown] discussed after the game:
"I told them we have to go back to the drawing board on Monday and focus on the little things in practice. I thought the game taught us what we have to do more of at practice, and that's focusing on the smaller things and things will pay off on Saturday."
On how this year has been easier:
"It's just being on the same page with Landry [Jones] more than anything. He was used to the spots that Ryan [Broyles] got to, and I felt a lot of times he could close his eyes and know where Ryan was going to be. For me to go in there and not be Ryan was hard for him, and it was hard for me to get on the same page. This summer we worked on that and I felt like that's what helped us on Saturday."
On defense not allowing a touchdown:
|| Senior DB Demontre Hurst
"That was the most important thing, to come in and try to shut those guys down. Unfortunately they got some big runs on us. We couldn't stop the run all night. We got the W. The corners, the secondary, I think we did pretty good as far as not giving up big pass plays. You know, just giving up big plays. Overall defense we could get better, we could tune up some things and try to figure those things out this week. Just try to get better from here on."
On pressure on DBs in Stoops system:
"Coach Mike came with a different scheme and we're just trying to embrace it and what he has to bring to the table. He has six DBs out there, it's a pass down, and one of those six DBs has got to come up with that big play to get us off the field. It's a lot of pressure on us, and a lot of pressure on the other guys on the field also. It'll be a big thing for us to get everything taken care of next week."
"We've been working all summer, working hard in the sun. We've really been hydrating ourselves and taking care of our bodies. Schmitty's [Director of Sports Enhancement Jerry Schmidt] been getting on to us about that and our nutritionist also. I think we were very effective out there. Not a lot of people catching cramps or injuries also. That's the most important thing, keeping everybody on the field. Endurance, fourth quarter, just try to finish out the game."