Coach Stoops, Sooners preview Saturday's game at Texas Tech in Monday presser.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, QB Landry Jones, OL Gabe Ikard and LB Tom Wort met with the media Monday in OU's weekly press conference from Norman.
Oklahoma (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) travels to Lubbock to play the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-0, 1-0) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will be a regional broadcast on ABC with the rest of the nation watching the game on ESPN2.
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
|| Coach Stoops
"I thought our players did a good job practicing last week. I thought we had some good work done over the week. The guys had a great attitude and worked really well so that leads us here into game week.
"Going down to Texas Tech will be a big challenge. That just went on the road and beat a good Iowa State team at Iowa State. Typical like they have been throwing the football and running it really well, spreading you out with much of the same attack you've seen from them the last several years and they're doing it well.
"Defensively they're much different than a year ago. If you see them right now they're leading the league in most categories defensively. They've done an excellent job in the discipline of their defense; they play hard, they're physical and they're covering you tighter. It'll be an exciting and big challenge going down there like it always is, so we're looking forward to it."
On the offense:
"It's only been three games, so I've thought two weeks ago against Kansas State if we took care of the football it looks pretty decent if you have a chance to win and have 27 or 30 points, possibly, if you take care of the ball. But that didn't happen. If we'll take care of the football I think we'll be fine."
On starting games slowly offensively this season:
"It's overall execution. That's what it always is. It's blocking, it's hitting the guy that's open, the decision in routes, just a little bit of everything."
On if the same resiliency is on this team as it was coming back after the Texas Tech loss last year:
"You're still going to have to go and execute well. We did at Kansas State a year ago and didn't turn the ball over. So yes, I see the same kind of attitude in how they're working, coming to practice, coming to meetings, so in that regard, yes, I do see the same kind of attitude and hopefully resiliency."
On if Texas Tech is structurally different on defense:
"Yes and you can tell they're disciplined in what they're doing. They're playing aggressive, they're physical up front, they're covering you tight, so they're doing a lot of things well."
On if Texas Tech has seen a style of offense this season like Oklahoma's offense:
"A little bit to a degree, but overall probably not."
On if there's a lot of unknown between the two teams:
"I think there's a lot of unknown across the country and us more so than others because we've had two off weeks already and we've only played three games."
On talking to the team about what needs to be done after losing three straight in Lubbock:
"We'll address what we have to do well to win down there. But in the end, to bring up something that happened in 2005, in the end it'll get down to the same things: will you protect the football, be strong in the kicking game, play good defense. It gets down to a lot of the same things, but it didn't matter to Tech how many times we won here. Last time they were here before last year we beat them 62-10 or whatever the heck it was and it didn't seem to matter a year ago. Everyone wants to tie years to other years and I don't see that it equates that way. We went to Kansas State a year ago and had a heck of a game and we didn't do that the other night, so in the end different years are different years."
On if any players deserve more playing time:
"We've talked and we want to get Damien (Williams) more carries and more opportunities. Then from there I think there's only so much you can do. If you're snapping it 100 times hopefully everyone is getting opportunities and we'd like to stay on the field longer to get guys more opportunities."
On why Damien Williams should get more touches:
"It's just based on practice and what we've seen in games to this point. He's been strong taking care of the football, but also making big plays and getting extra yards."
On his view of the WVU/Baylor game as a defensive coach:
"It's a nightmare. What you have to appreciate, and everyone will have their opinions on whether it was the defense or not, but the precision of the quarterbacks and the receivers and some of the things they're doing is pretty strong. It just gets harder and harder to defend."
On if the tight end position can make a bigger impact:
"We're working on it. It's fair to say at this point it hasn't been as strong as we want it to be. That's not all that surprising, given the inexperience that's there. They are working hard, and hopefully they can come along to where we'll be able to use them more and more."
On whether QB Landry Jones is pressing:
"The worst thing a quarterback can do is press and try and force the issue, as opposed to letting it come to you, going through your reads and take what they give you and be smart about it. As much as anything, that's what we want him to do."
On whether QB Landry Jones was a more vocal leader last week in practice:
"I've seen him do it, but he's been doing it all along, I haven't felt the need to talk to him about it, because he's been a great leader. He works hard at it. I think a great leader respects when he sees how much you put into practice, the summer leading up to the season. He leads in a lot of ways, not just vocally.
On the open dates in the schedule:
"You'd always like to have more games, but (Director of Athletics) Joe Castiglione did the best he could given the situation (conference realignment). This is the best they could come up with."
On getting QB Landry Jones more comfortable for facing pocket pressure in practice:
"I think it's just confidence in sitting in there and delivering the football. We do what we can do, going against each other, doing a blitz period every day where we have the better defensive guys coming after him. We do the things we can, short of hitting, and we aren't going to do that."
On matching up the first offense and defense in practice last week:
"We went every day for certain segments of practice, and Thursday we went the whole day against each other. Texas Tech has some similar offensive schemes that we do, so we went against each other for about 40 plays."
On having trouble playing at Texas Tech:
"There are common themes in any game that you struggle in. Whether it's turnover issues, injuries, execution issues. There isn't anything spiritual or spooky about it, it's just playing ball. It just is how it is."
On a different linebacker scheme from last year:
"I don't think there's much that's different. We played a little bit different than what we played last year, but it isn't that much different. They are playing well. The last game we thought they played well."
On getting WR Trey Metoyer the ball more:
"We worked last week, emphasizing his procession and where he's at. He and Justin Brown are making sure their opportunities are there and that they're taking advantage of them. It just needs to be continued to be worked on."
On if he and the coaches self-evaluated things in the off weekend:
"That's something we do every weekend. Sunday and Monday we highlight the plays we did well, the plays we didn't do so well and the plays we didn't get to. We are constantly looking at what we're doing."
On what Texas Tech has defensively:
|| QB Landry Jones
"They are playing really well right now and they do a lot of good things. They are playing really solid defense all the way around so like it is every year against every team it seems like in the Big 12, you are going to have a pretty big challenge up ahead of you."
On playing against tight coverage in the back field:
"They are playing the ball a lot better when it is in the air better than they have been since I have played them for sure. It seems like they are doing a really good job playing the run as well. So it is going to be a nice little challenge for us going to Lubbock."
On what OU worked on during the bye week:
"We did good on good and we also did scout [team] as well. We kind of did both, still working on ourselves but also working on Tech as well."
On how to get the offense started early in the game:
"We need to just be more precise in what we are doing. Receivers, quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, offensive line just seems like we are a little off. Just precision in what we are doing and focusing on the little things."
On his reaction to seeing high scoring Big 12 games:
"It is what it is. They are playing good football and we're not playing as well as we are capable of playing. But, that is one team and we are another team. So we are just focusing on us and focusing on what we need to do to get better."
On finding receivers and surveying the field better:
"I think I was forcing the ball a little bit much down the field, too much and maybe not taking more of my check downs when coverage six on us which typically will happen because most of our guys are pretty quick inside so they are going to sink. Most teams will do that to us I think. So, I think that is one of the big things that I have been trying to focus on is to see coverage sink you get it to people that are coming underneath and let them go make a play."
On letting the game come to him:
"That's what the plan is for my position is all about. Everyone wants to make plays, everyone wants to throw ridiculous amounts of touchdowns and throw for a lot of yards. I think sometimes you get mixed up and we want to push it down the field a little bit more than you should. I think what this position is all about is taking what the defense gives you regardless of what down it is or how long you have to go to get another first down."
On getting the ball to the tight end position:
"We are such a different offense than we were last year just because of our youth at tight end. I think those guys are coming along in the way we need them to come along. We will use them the way we see fit and I think coach Heupel has done a really good job of kind of mixing it up of going and playing at tight end and then playing in our two back. So I think there is a nice fix there."
On the last trip to Lubbock:
"I remember it wasn't too fun. We had cool uniforms and we looked good but just didn't play very good.
"It is just another road game, but Tech is a good team. If you don't play well against a good team they typically beat you."
On his thoughts about returning for his senior season:
"I came back to kind of be a senior and to enjoy my senior year. Regardless of how I have been performing I will never regret coming back and making this decision to come back. I haven't played very well. I have been kind of struggling but that is the game of football. Everything is not going to go the way you want it to go and how you picture it in your mind. But, you just have to keep playing and keep working."
On what motivates him to play better:
"I think just wanting to play good. It's pretty simple, I think. No one wants to play bad. No one wants to go out there and thrown interceptions and no one wants to be a part of a sputtering offense. But that is what we are working through right now and we are still going to work hard and we are still going to do the things we are coached to do. I think for me it is coming to a place of realizing what I am capable of and playing the way I am capable of playing."
On how comfortable he feels playing in an up-tempo offense:
"I think that is a big part of our offense. Lining up people and everybody has seen us do it all through the years and we do it pretty well. But there have been some comments saying, you have heard some of the guys saying, you can't go tempo all the time throughout the whole game. It is just tiring so sometimes you have to slow it down. It is nice to get a little mix in there and I think we are still going to do that and mix up our tempo in what we are doing."
On getting outside receivers Trey Metoyer and Justin Brown more involved:
"They are just other weapons that kind of have not been used. I think the way the coaches have seen fit of both of those guys coming in and making a lot of different plays and they bring so much to the table for this offense. So not using them is kind of the thing that I think we are just kind of leaving out there. You have so many weapons on this team that if you don't use all of them then you are leaving stuff on the field and I think the coach's see that. I think that, that might be an emphasis for us to maybe use some of the different ways. Today we are going to see what all the coaches have in store for us and for them."
On the challenges of playing on the road in Lubbock:
"I think it is something that just happened, 2009 was the last time we played there and they got after us pretty good. It was just one of those things that kind of happened We didn't show up to play and they did and they played really well."
On remaining in contact George Whitfield:
"Me and George still text and just kind of see how each other are doing. I think he just encourages me and tells me to keep going and keep plugging away and not to get discouraged or never question my abilities and stuff like that."
On how he looks to improve:
"I think it is more of a play here and a play there. You look at Florida A&M, I had that pick on the middle and that was kind of the play of the game. We still played well bit that was the one play that I had that I remember from that game. And against Kansas State it was the fumble and the interception on the field. It is just if you take those plays out we still have a chance to go get it and win that game. I think it's just the little things and the little plays here and there that I am not making that I need to make."
On being more of a vocal leader in practice:
"I think as a quarterback and leader of our offense people are going to look at you and see how you respond to a loss. Whenever, well nobody likes losing, but that next week when the game is over and you are working towards the next opponent you can't mop around at practice and just go through the motions. It's one of those deals where you have to bring positive energy and you are going to have a smile on your face at practice and you are going to go back to work."
On how it feels to be the quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners:
"I think at first it was, just not realizing what it is really like to be an Oklahoma Sooners quarterback and not just being a Sooner but being a quarterback here. Now it is something you just sign up for. Typically the people that are going to get most of the blame is the head coach and the quarterback in the game of football. So going into it you have to realize what you are signing up for. You are going to get the glory whenever you win and whenever you lose everyone is going to point the finger at you. That is just something that comes along with the position and that comes along with this game and it is something you have to get used to and develop tough skin and just realize what you are there for and why you play."
On how he deals with the pressure of being OU's starting quarterback:
"I think after 2009 just kind of opened my eyes to what it is really like playing here and all of those things. I think for me it is one of those things that you have to kind of make your circle of influence a little smaller of the people you are actually listening to and the mindset you have. A lot of prayer and a lot of discussion goes into that. I think for me it is not really paying attention to the people outside of my circle and just listening to the people inside of my circle. My teammates, Whitney, my coaches and my family are the people who are going to influence me and encourage me."
On leadership on team after loss:
|| OL Gabe Ikard
"Yeah, we've got a lot of guys that went through that loss last year to [Texas] Tech. I thought we bounced back really well. It's a new year and we have to get prepared to play a new Texas Tech team. But sometimes you can lean on some of that experience. That's what we'll try to do."
On having a bye week after loss:
"It's not a good feeling at all when you're coming off a loss and you've got an extra week to think about it. We practiced really hard, we worked a lot on fundamentals, a lot on the little things that maybe sometimes you get away from during the season. It's a long haul. We're just practicing hard and getting ready to go down to Lubbock."
On Big 12 conference play:
"Watching the games this weekend, one thing I noticed was that, top to bottom, we've got a good conference. A lot of teams are strong, some teams that people didn't think were as talented, they've got players. A lot of good games. We've just got to take care of us when it comes to the standings. That stuff you just take one game at a time. Take care of your business and you should be fine in your conference."
On Lubbock being a tough place to play:
"I don't know really know. You get there and very hostile fans. I mean they're great fans; they let you know they don't like you. They just really bring a lot of energy to that stadium. It's kind of a mystery. It's one of those things where we've got to be able to play anywhere in the country, play the exact same away, execute the same way. Just got to do it in Lubbock, Texas, this week."
On Texas Tech's offense:
|| LB Tom Wort
"Similar offense to how they have been. Real good, explosive offense. Spread the ball out a lot, a lot of 10, 11 passing sets from their personnel. They're going to be a good team, they're fast, and they move the ball around."
On stopping QB Seth Doege:
"We've got to do our assignments, do our roles. Our coaches are coming out with a really good game plan for us this week. So we're going to have to execute this week during practice and make sure we execute it during the game."
On the intensity level at practice:
"That's something I really wanted to see from the team. This past week was one of the best weeks of practice I've seen. Guys were physical, excited to be out there; they bounced back with a great attitude. That was something I was real pleased to see."
On how vital a win is:
"It's extremely vital. It almost feels like this is the start of the season. With all the bye weeks it's been hard to get into a rhythm. We're looking forward to starting to get into a rhythm with this first week and then hitting the stretch from here on out."