The Sooners welcome in-state foe Tulsa to Owen Field Saturday.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and junior defensive back Dominique Franks met with the media Tuesday to discuss this weekend's matchup with Tulsa. Click the links above to view video. Quotes from Tuesday's press conference are available below.
Saturday's game will be televised regionally by FSN, with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. (CT) on Owen Field. For complete coverage throughout the week and broadcast options for following the game, visit Sooner Gameday Central
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"Reviewing last week's game with Idaho State, I was pleased with our overall fundamental play. I am very aware that we will continue to have more difficult opponents as we move forward in the schedule, but I was pleased with our basic fundamentals of operation at the line of scrimmage, mental assignments, execution and those types of things. Our fundamentals were improved and in a wet and rain-soaked day I thought we managed our communication, line of scrimmage and handling the football really well offensively.
"It was a good solid day that now brings us to our second home game here with Tulsa this week. Tulsa, we recognize, is an excellent football team. The last couple of years, winning 10 and 11 games and winning their bowl games. Offensively, they have led the nation in total offense the last two years and are on track again this year with a very high-scoring and explosive offense.
"Their defense in these early games has played excellent as well. We are aware that we need to have a great week of practice. We need to keep improving on what we have done in the last couple of weeks. Continue to build and improve in all of the fundamentals in what we are doing and our execution to give us an opportunity this week to have a chance to win."
On the special teams' performance against Idaho State:
"Matt Clapp and Tress Way were our special teams guys of the week. Matt had some great covers on kickoff. Demontre Hurst continues to do well, Marcus Trice had a nice block and hustles and is doing well. Ryan Broyles had some nice returns. We have a lot of guys that are playing well so it's hard to name them all. We're executing, so far, in a pretty good way."
On the offensive line starting positions:
"It will be wide open, we're too early into it for anybody to have earned anything too much. We will see how they do this week, who does the best job, who is most consistent through the week and when we get into the game, who is executing in the way they need to. It is something that will be ongoing and needs to continue to build. I would like there to be eight guys up front that we can count on and we like when they're in there and they're playing the way we want them to. I'd love it for ten, but I'd settle for eight right now."
On the team's identity:
"I think the chemistry overall is there. I have been pleased just as a head coach with their attitude, their attention in meetings, their willingness to practice, the way they hustle around. So for that part I have been pleased but I think when you ask about our identity, right now with the injuries and everything we have gone through, it's way too early. I think it's still developing, but I do have positive feelings about their attitude and their approach to practices and the way they have responded last week and yesterday."
On Tulsa's offense:
"They use all of their pieces. They spread the ball around to everyone. They do a nice job, run and pass, of mixing it up, moving the pocket. They do a little bit of everything so they give you a lot to work on. They use all of their pieces."
On playing freshmen:
"We did anticipate playing a good number of them, but we're not going to play them if they're not prepared for it and if they aren't going to play at a level that we expect. But they are responding really well."
On finding a receiver to complement Ryan Broyles:
"I guess Ryan sticks out when he had such a big night the other night, but some of that was by design and that was who we were going to in certain situations. But sure, you need some other guys to step up, whether they are stretching the field, coming up with plays or first down catches. Those guys are still, like the o-line, continuing to mature. Hopefully they'll keep stepping up and making those plays that we need them to make."
On Landry Jones' performance against Idaho State:
"Landry, in a short period of time, could not have handled himself better. With everybody, with dealing with the pressure of it all, with his chemistry with the team, with everything. Even in the game, with not making mistakes and playing efficiently. The other night, he had a heck of a night and he probably had four or five drops that were legitimate drops. Again, I think he has a very bright future."
On Brody Eldridge:
"Yesterday he was at tight end only, but periodically he will take a few (snaps) at center. But as does Stephen Good, as does Trent Williams, with those guys it doesn't hurt them to be able to handle it as well. We get a series, or a couple of different series, at practice here in there working a different guy in there."
On the competition between receivers:
"Everything is predicated on how guys do in practice and, when they get their opportunities, how they play. So far Ryan (Broyles) has played really well, so that's where we are at. But we continue to bring along the other guys. Everyone thinks it's just in games, well those guys are going to take 100 snaps at practice every day too, so we're constantly developing them."
On Sam Bradford's leadership on the sidelines:
"He's just a great team guy. I know he's given Landry (Jones) a lot of support. His fire, his spirit is still there with the team. His presence around practice every day and in the locker room, you know he does all that he can and he's awfully good at it."
On Jermaine Gresham:
"I'm incredibly disappointed for him. I would take 100 of him, who wouldn't, but you're just looking at it physically. I'm looking at it as he is just a great worker, great attitude, a great team guy. He's a great presence in the locker room because of all those qualities. I just feel for him, but you know it will pass and he has to look to the future now."
On Tulsa's defense:
|| Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson
"I think they've done a great job. They're off to a great start this season. They feel like they're going to have a great year. They're off to a great start defensively."
On last Saturday's game vs. Idaho State:
"There were some strides made for sure, a lot of young guys had a chance to compete and play. We had some drops, which maybe need to be taken out due to the weather. We struggled on the goal line again, which is a concern and we need to do better on third downs. But we're getting better and have a lot of work to do and started that again yesterday. We're going in a positive direction but have some work we need to keep plugging at."
On Tyler Evans:
"We were comfortable after having seeing him in camp and then he really showed well. He really showed well in preseason it was just a matter of gaining confidence so you can trust him to go out and play. After the first game, we thought 'Let's play him and get him up to speed," the same thing with Tavaris Jeffries. I think you'll see with both them that we're going to continue to work them in. Hopefully, they can continue to practice well and keep earning that opportunity."
On OU's offense:
|| Junior CB Dominique Franks
"Not too much has changed without those guys. Ryan (Broyles), Chris (Brown) and DeMarco (Murray) are giving them the leadership and skills. It's helping them out a lot and they're just trying to help them out as much as possible."
On how the offense is progressing without Bradford and Gresham:
"Even though Jermaine is out, the offense still has a lot of guys left. It's just all those guys stepping up and being able to make plays once they get the ball in their hands."
On if practicing against OU's offense is frustrating:
"Yes. They do a lot of shifting and moving around, so you know they want to get you on your heels and make you think a lot more than you really want to. It's just going to be us having to, even when they shift and move, read the right people, read our right keys and being able to tackle in space."
On if the Idaho State games showed more of how OU is as a defense:
"Yes it can. But at the same time, we're just focusing on really just doing the stuff that we need to do. You know, we don't want to give up big plays and it's just going to be us, like I said, tackling in space, not giving up big plays and making them drive."
On if the defense can become playmakers:
"Whenever the ball is being thrown, we just have to go up and attack it and just play like we're receivers and hopefully come up with interceptions and take them back for scores. You know just trying to help the offense out."