OU coaches and players met with the media Tuesday to discuss the matchup vs. Baylor.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and select Oklahoma players met with the media Tuesday to discuss this week's Big 12 opener against the Baylor Bears. View video by clicking the links above. Quotes from OU's coaches and players are available below.
No. 17 Oklahoma (2-2, 0-0 Big 12) and Baylor (3-1, 0-0 Big 12) face off at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on Owen Field. The game will be televised regionally by ABC.
For complete coverage throughout the week and broadcast options for following the Sooners around the world, visit Sooner Gameday Central
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"Going through and reviewing last week's loss at Miami, it was a tough and hard-played game, I really thought on both sides. Our compliments and congratulations go to Miami with the win. Overall, I really thought our players had great effort, toughness and played physical for the most part throughout the night. In some areas, going back through and reviewing the tape, we are still making some errors and missed assignments, and really one or two on either side of the ball don't give us an opportunity to win in a tight game. If you're able to make one or two different plays and not make a mistake you have a much better opportunity to win. But, again, Miami made those plays that we weren't able to and in the end you end up one point short and with a loss."
On moving forward into conference play:
"I still feel that there is a lot moving forward. Obviously we have had to overcome some difficult circumstances due to injury, but I truly do not believe that that is a reason to not win the game. Some of what we're asking our players to do and what we worked on are some fundamental issues that we could easily correct and could have easily made those plays and if we do our opportunity to win is much different, regardless of injury. I still feel that this team has a lot in front of it and we still have an opportunity, starting this week with Baylor and moving through eight straight Big 12 games, to hopefully have a good and strong year."
On the positives from the Miami game:
"Jeremy Beal had another outstanding day defensively. It was good to see Cameron Kenney step up and make some really big catches. I thought our kickers and kicking game overall was really pretty strong. In particular Tress Way with averaging 50 yards a punt on five punts was pretty special."
On the upcoming game against Baylor:
"Art Briles and his staff, they are 3-1, have done an amazing and great job there at Baylor. When you look at their team, in every category statistically, they are better. They've improved, they are playing really good defense overall. Even working through the quarterback injuries, like we have had to, they have still managed to be very productive offensively. They really do a lot offensively with personnel and formations, they really make you work to understand their offense and to be in position to defend it. They are just solid overall as a team. They are doing a great job, so it's another challenge with our first Big 12 game here this weekend."
On the team's mentality following the loss to Miami:
"Our guys yesterday had a great attitude in how they practiced, I've said that all along, there wasn't anybody hanging their head. They were very aware, after watching the tape, there are areas that we can make a difference and that are correctable if we will have the attitude to correct them and hopefully to be more detailed in those situations when they come again. We'll keep working to make improvement."
On the performance of the offensive line:
"It's playing well. A guy who was encouraging and had one of the best games the other night was Brian Simmons, he had a really good night. It's just been inconsistent. Trent Williams, for the most part, has played well through the year. They really do well for a period of time, for instance on the last drive we get the ball at the 50, we run two straight run plays for 20 yards. Then we get the ball at the 30 and then in the next couple of runs we miss a few people across our face, who penetrate and foul up the run game in the back. So it's inconsistent. At times it is really strong and good, I think we ran the ball for 145-150 yards, which is a good night. But then when we have to have it, we miss a block or two or let someone cross our face, then it isn't. So it just needs to continue to be more consistent."
On the offensive play calling:
"I think we're operating like we have for the last couple of years. In the end, we're in a situation where we are managing some things. Take the last two drives in the fourth quarter, we throw the football on second-and-five and we have a holding and an incompletion. Then you get the ball at the 50, run two times and get to the ball to the 30, you have evidence that you're running it pretty well and you're going with a couple of your best players in DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown. In the end, hindsight is always 20/20 and it's a lot easier to change your mind on Monday than it is during the game. I think we're calling the plays and working the offense like we have for the last couple of years and it has been very successful overall. We were one point different from Miami the other night, and one yard different from their total offense, so in the end it wasn't good enough."
On the defense's performance against Miami:
"It deserves to be criticized because it needs to be better. I think there were some critical third downs and some run plays there at the end that we didn't make the plays that we needed to make. We have to improve there as well to get off the field in those situations to have the opportunity to win the game."
On the performance of the receivers:
"I thought Cameron Kenney really showed some signs that are really positive for us. If he will continue to compete that way, he can only gain confidence from that, from being on the road at Miami and playing like he did. Brandon Caleb continues to be consistent in how he plays and hopefully some of these other guys can step up. They need to."
On overcoming injuries and losses:
"I'm not sitting here foolishly, not understanding that we have had some difficult injuries, I do understand that. But I still feel that as in the other night that where we could have made a difference had nothing to do with injuries. That's where we have to be more efficient and better and if we are we will have a chance to win every game. But every team we will play will have a chance to beat us too. We have got to be more disciplined and efficient in all of those areas that maybe in the past when you're putting up 60 you can overcome it. But now that isn't the case. We have to be more focused in all of the little areas and make plays that we are capable of making when we're in the position to make them."
On making sure the team isn't looking ahead to Texas:
"Believe me, Baylor can't wait to play us. I realize that, we understand that and our guys know that we have got to make improvement. Coming off a loss to Miami, we have to be a much better team this week. We are very aware of the quality of team that Baylor is from watching them. They are 3-1, have a better record than we do and have played a fairly tough schedule when you look at their early games."
On Sam's personal decision to play or not play:
"He's the only one that truly knows. Sam's a smart guy. If he's not going to play effectively, in other words to be able to sling it out there in a split second when he sees something pop open, then he understands that maybe he isn't benefitting the team and he knows that Landry has played well. In the end, he has to gauge how confident he is in making the throws and working the offense. Truly, he's the only one who knows how he feels."
On if the media had overhyped the team coming into the season:
"We should be expected to do well, but in the end we have had a couple of tough and tight games and we have dealt with some different circumstances. It's tough when you lose, arguably, two of the top-ten players in the country that are a major part of what you do. There's no denying it, that was a major blow."
On gaining consistent play from the offense:
|| Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson
"We're having a hard time getting some continuity. Whether it's the line, the rotation, some guys getting banged up, moving this guy to that group. It's getting some rhythm and consistency. Getting it at practice and getting if from one week to the second week to the third week and gaining some momentum."
On the offense's play this season:
"We've been battling. We've been close. We've been disappointed twice in two close games. As much as anything it's been our execution, our planning, and our preparation that's gotten us where we are. We're close. We need to plug it in, do it the right way, and roll out in a strong way."
On preparing for the rest of the season:
"Yesterday, we got our guys going in a positive direction. Some of our guys were a little out of sync, but we're not throwing the towel in and the ship's not sinking."
On key offensive players despite injury:
"We still have some playmakers and some young receivers. Cameron Kenney has started to make some plays. You've seen Brandon Caleb do that too. We have two very good players at the running back position. We have some inconsistency but some talent at the offensive line that should continue to come in a strong way. The type of quarterback play has been very solid. Landry did a great job of giving us a chance to win in a tough environment."
|| Junior QB Sam Bradford
"I felt good at practice yesterday. I got back in it a little bit, threw a couple balls, a couple passes. It's just always good to get back in the feel of things and get back out there with my teammates."
On how much of the decision whether he will play or not is his:
"To be honest, I don't know. I think I have a big percentage of that decision but I think overall the coaches are going to have to watch the way I practice this week. Ultimately, they'll probably decide if they feel like I'm ready to help this football team win this week.
"It really just has to go through the week without any excess soreness after throwing. That's the big deal. After the week without taking any steps back, as long as that happens, then the doctors are fine."
On the importance of getting to play in a game before Texas:
"I think that definitely is important. Obviously that's something that I've talked to Coach Heupel about, to get a game under my belt before Texas would definitely be beneficial for me and our offense."
On whether or not he is definitely coming back to play this year:
"I don't know if I can give you a definite answer but I do feel like right now, yes, I will be back at some point."
On how his shoulder felt last week after a week of practice:
"It did get sore as week went along. I think the main thing is that by the end of the week I just didn't feel comfortable with the amount of preparation I had and I think our coaches will tell you the same thing. They just didn't feel comfortable with the reps that I was able to take and the throws that I'd been able to make last week."
On concern of taking a hit:
"I really don't think there's much concern for me taking a hit. From everything I've received from the doctors it's like taking any other hit. You can't do much more damage. The odds of me hurting it now were just like the odds of me hurting it before anything happened to it."
On working on different situations of throwing in practice:
"I think that's part of the whole process: being able to make all the throws. All the throws don't happen in the pocket, they happen outside the pocket, off-balance, where there's more stress put on your arm, so I think as the week goes along I'm going to have to figure out the throws I can and can't make."
On playing without Jermaine Gresham, Sam Bradford and Ryan Broyles:
|| Freshman OL Ben Habern
"We're Oklahoma so we're going to have athletes no matter what. So when we have big time guys go down, yeah it hurts, but at the same time we feel like we have guys that can come in and do the job and it's already kind of improving with Landry. Sam's an incredible player and he'll do big things wherever he goes, but Landry's already come in as a redshirt-freshman and done a great job, broke the school record against Tulsa and I feel comfortable with him, definitely."
On the start of Big 12 play:
"I feel like it's our second step in our progression of our season. Our first step was non-conference games and now we're in Big 12 play and it's like a new slate for us and we still have our goals for a Big 12 Championship and the Big 12 South title so we're looking forward to that. We came out yesterday and we were excited and everybody was vocal in practice and we're just ready to go against Baylor and the Big 12 teams to come."
On having two losses by two points:
"We feel like a couple things just didn't go our way and if they did we would have won the game. So that's difficult but at the same time it's our fault. We didn't play to our best ability and we have to take that into factor against Baylor and Texas and the teams to come."
On the attitude of the team after the Miami loss:
"Yeah we were down against the Miami loss because we just fought so hard and it was just a tough game for us. On the plane ride home everybody was pretty quiet and we were upset because we know that we could have played better and we felt like we could have won the game if we would have done some things differently.
"But the next day we went in to get rehab and watched film and everything and we felt comfortable. Especially in practice yesterday everybody was vocal. The leaders, Brody [Eldridge], Sam [Bradford] and Jermaine [Gresham] and all them were talking and encouraging us because we know that Big 12 play is up and so it's another slate for us."
On the defense's reaction to trailing in a game:
|| Sophomore DB Sam Proctor
"Last year was a little different, being up at halftime by 30 or 40 points. That hasn't been the case this year. We've been put in situations where the defense had to make stops and big plays to set up points. We're trying to accept that challenge. We don't know how the game is going to unfold; we can only control our part."
On Sam Bradford's decision to come back and play:
"That's big for a guy like Sam to make the sacrifice that he made with the opportunity he had in front of him, to come back and work with us this year. He's a very low key and down to earth guy. That says a lot about his character."
On the inconsistency of the secondary:
"We have to play all four quarters. Sometimes we come out and might play three good quarters but if you have a letdown in the fourth quarter, that's what people are going to remember. They're not going to remember the first two interceptions or the tackles. Our inconsistency is about finishing the game all four quarters. We can't continue to have the let downs in the secondary we have at the end of the game."
On playing with a clean slate:
"In non-conference play we were 2-2. We were two points away from being 4-0, but that's over. Now we have the Big 12 season which is the equivalent of a playoff season. We have a chance to go undefeated in our conference and that's what we look forward to doing."
On Baylor's offense:
"Art Briles runs the same offense that he did at the University of Houston. There's tons of motion, a lot of screens, different things like that. We have to know what to expect and be ready to play."