Coach Stoops and OU players met the media to discuss the match-up vs. Washington.
NORMAN, Okla. --
|Senior Juaquin Iglesias
Head coach Bob Stoops and select Oklahoma players met with the media Tuesday to discuss their first road test of the 2008 season at Washington.
The third-ranked Sooners face off against the Huskies on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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
“Reviewing last week’s game with Cincinnati, I was just very pleased overall with the execution and performance. I thought offensively, we did an excellent job moving the football, both by run and pass. We did an excellent job setting up the play-action pass with a good running game, and Sam Bradford was just outstanding again. For the most part I think our guys executed very well against a good defense. There were a lot of big plays. Offensively, Trent Williams, Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham and Ryan Broyles were our players of the game. Defensively, they were Jeremy Beal and Travis Lewis. A lot of guys had good games, but those were the guys that really stood out as players of the game.
“I was also pleased overall with the defense. We executed well and forced them to convert some fourth down plays on the drives that they did score. We gave up a couple of big plays off of the screen, which hurt, but other than that we executed well, got good pressure and limited their run game. The biggest problem of the game was kickoff coverage. Looking back though, we had on occasion two or three guys that were in position to make the plays that we are used to seeing made. Those would have stopped them at the 23- or 24-yard line, but the guys missed tackles. We have to compliment their return guy who made some guys miss him, but we missed some tackles and gave up some big plays. We need to be better in those situations and take away some of their options.”
“A team that is 0-2, but has played two very good football teams in Oregon and BYU. Everybody realizes that Oregon has a very good football team again as does BYU, who some people picked to possibly go undefeated. They have lost some tight games. Jake Locker, their quarterback, is an excellent athlete and quite possibly one of the best we will face all year. With his size, speed and arm, he is an outstanding athlete and everything runs through him offensively. Tyrone Willingham and his staff do a very good job. They are always very disciplined in their schemes and everything they do, so going up there on the road will be a challenge to start on the road. We are going to have a good week of practice and get ready to go up there and play a good football game.”
On Travis Lewis:
“He is playing very well. For a player that has not played a lot, he is really paying attention in practice and pushing himself to recognize formations and adjustments to be in the right spot. He has been doing that and making plays off of that. It is exciting to see a young guy coming on and start to figure it out. He is an excellent athlete with his size and he runs well.”
On the Oregon game two years ago:
“That was two years ago. The way it all worked out, that season started out in a rotten way. You have to dismiss your quarterback the first day of camp and one of your biggest players, Adrian Peterson, ends up missing half of the year with an injury. When you look up at the end of the year, you are playing a big rival in Nebraska for the Big 12 Championship. That’s how I look at it. That’s the past and we overcame it in a good way that year. We have a contract with Washington. They were good enough to come here and play, so we are going to go up there and play.”
On Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray:
“Those two together are awesome. They complement each other so well. When I go back every week you can really see what kind of cuts Chris makes. He is so reliable and has great hands too. I was chuckling the other day watching them walk off the practice field together. They are the best of buddies. They know that it is early in the season and we are limiting their runs because it’s a 14-game season hopefully. There is no sense in wearing them out early and they are great about it. They are always ready to go. They are good teammates and humble guys. Both are coming off of knee injuries and they still feel great, which is good early in the season.”
On the season’s first road game:
|| Sophomore QB Sam Bradford
“It’s something we’ve talked about a lot this summer. This is our first opportunity to come out and kind of redeem ourselves for the way we played on the road last year.”
On road game struggles:
“I think we had a lack of energy to start most of those games with, and that’s something we can’t do, especially going out there against a good team. The last couple of time we’ve been out West we’ve gotten beat. We realize that we’re going to have to play really well this week.”
On winning the fourth quarter:
“You obviously have to play the whole game with energy, but winning the fourth quarter is one of our team goals. We want to win the fourth quarter in every game. Obviously not doing that last year hurt us. It’s something we’re going to work through this week.”
On Ryan Broyles:
“He’s really just another play maker. You saw it on Saturday; he went out there, played really well in his first game and just made a lot of plays for us. It just adds to the depth that we have at wide-receiver.
“I think it’s something that we’ve seen all summer with him. He’s made plays in the spring and the summer, even in two-a-days. He’d make plays and everyone would kind of stop like ‘Did he just do that?’ We knew it was coming.”
On the no-huddle offense:
“Obviously as a quarterback it’s fun being in the no-huddle and getting more plays in. It gives us more opportunities to score. I think you have to think a little bit more out there on your feet. It’s fun being a quarterback back there, especially with no backs there in an empty setting.”
On what he can do to improve his game:
“Obviously the two turnovers are pretty costly, especially down the road. Especially at Colorado last year, two turnovers really hurt us, so I’ve got to be able to protect the ball. And there are a lot of other little things. I missed a couple of reads that I saw on film yesterday. So there are still a lot of other things for me to improve.”
On playing on the road this year as a better quarterback:
“We want to play better on the road. I want to play better than I did on the road last year. I think this is a great opportunity for us to do that. Like Coach Heupel said, I feel like I am more mature and feel like I’m able to get back to my third and fourth read if they take away our main offense. It’s something that I am looking forward to, going out seeing this team play on the road.”
On taking things one game at a time:
“I think there have been times where we’ve sat down and said ‘We can be as good as we want to be and as good as we allow ourselves to be.’ Another thing our coaches have talked about is just taking it one game at a time. We realize that we can’t go out and play a Big 12 school this week. We can only play Washington this week. So we’re focused on what they’re going to try to do defensively and we’re going to go out and try to execute this week.”
On earning a starting linebacker spot:
|| R-Freshman LB Travis Lewis
”I didn’t know who was going to start, I just worked hard during the week in practice and tried my best. By playing hard and letting the coaches and my teammates know that I really want to be here and that I’m serious about this has paid off.”
On gaining confidence:
“The more tackles I make, the more confidence I gain. After the first quarter when we played Cincinnati, my confidence was soaring. On my first sack, my adrenaline shot through the roof. I felt like I was on top of the world and it just kept building.”
On his growth from last year to this year:
|| Sophomore DE Jeremy Beal
“I entered last season inexperienced in my position. Naturally as the year went on, I gained experience with each game and became more comfortable playing defensive end. I grew throughout spring, summer and two-a-days, really building my technique and understanding of the position.
“I played linebacker in high school and came into OU as a linebacker, but I’m happy where I’m at and just try and do exactly what I’m told. I feel more comfortable with defensive end this year, therefore I play faster. When I play faster, I play better.”
On defensive end role models:
“I look up to Auston (English), he is a great player and plays hard every play. Dan Cody and Jonathan Jackson are past players that I look up to; they always gave it their all every single play and that is what I try to do. They played with great technique, which is something I need to work on.”
On the potential of the defensive line:
“We can be a great defensive line and have the potential of being the best in the nation. We just have to play well and take care of our jobs.”
On playing on the road:
|| Senior WR Juaquin Iglesias
“One of our team goals this year is to play better on the road and win every game. We struggled on the road last year, and we realize that we can’t do that this year. We have a lot of seniors on the team that have experience and we need to be leaders and show the young guys how to do it.”
On preparing for away games:
“When we prepare for away games, it is no different than what we do for home games. We do the same for both, but we play more relaxed and have more fun at home. I think we just need to focus and carry out our duties the way we do at home.”
On last year’s away game struggles:
”We just lost our focus. You have ups and downs. We have regained that focus and are ready to play this Saturday.”