NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, QB Landry Jones, DE RJ Washington, WR Kenny Stills and CB Aaron Colvin met with the media Monday in OU's weekly press conference from Norman.
Oklahoma (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) meets rival Texas (4-1, 1-1) in the annual Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday at 11 a.m. ABC has the national TV broadcast.
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
"Going back and reviewing the Texas Tech game. I was very pleased overall with the overall execution of the team in all aspects. Offensively I thought we did a good job of mixing the run and the pass, particularly in the first two or three quarters. I thought we ran the ball effectively which help set up the passing game. I thought Landry Jones was really strong he had a good 260 yards and two touchdowns, I thought he really played well. We took care of the football, that was a major factor.
"Defensively I thought we played a really excellent game we limited them to barley over 300 yards and three interceptions, we only gave up one touchdown till the last five minutes of the game when we have all our twos and threes in I thought they played outstanding when limiting the run, and then we got pressure at the quarterback and forced some turnovers.
"Coverage was really strong, we only gave up one big pass the entire day. I think we tackled really well in space we made them compete for everything. Even their field goal attempts were 10 to 18 play drives where we made them really earn it. The kicking game was really great. Tress Way averaged 45 yards a punt and had a 70-yarder that was big. Michael Hunnicutt was really excellent with his field goal kicking.
"All the guys did a good job. It was a solid win and hopefully one we can build on. Hopefully we can get in a rhythm. We've had off weeks and everyone else has played five or six games. You really make your improvements when you're on the field in game situations so hopefully we can take some strides and keep improving. It was exciting to see some of the young guys get in and do well. Some of the players of the game, up front defensively Casey Walker had a great game and Aaron Colvin and Javon Harris with the turnovers. Offensively Justin Brown and Landry Jones were the players of the game.
"That leads us to this week, which is always exciting for everybody. Playing Texas that continues to be a great team, you see a lot of great personnel and speed. Offensively (QB David) Ash and their willingness to throw it more with him, and there is a strong running game that you have to deal with. Defensively, a lot of pressure and you have to be able to keep your balance. Always in this game, turnovers are always a big factor."
On whether the coaches made changes in the offensive scheme in the Texas Tech game:
"The offensive coaches did, they had some different wrinkles in what we're doing. Everybody forgets that we've only played three games so we haven't had the opportunity to put everything in that you want. When you have an extra week they did adjust some things."
On whether the offensive coaches put Landry (Jones) in a better position to succeed or if he executed better:
"I think it's fair to say in what we're doing offensively we put him in a better position and also he executed better with all of the guys around him. If you look at some of his throws, he was protected and allowed to do that. It all works together, he unfortunately takes too much of the heat when it isn't right and isn't as good as you want it to be, but it's everyone together."
On whether the status of suspended players has changed:
"None, I'll announce when there are changes."
On any injury updates:
"We're getting Nila's (Kasitati's) MRI today but I'm afraid he's tore his Anterior ligament is what we're expecting to hear. It's unfortunate."
On the young guys on defense:
"Some of the younger guys are coming on and figuring it out and showing that you can rely on them and that they know what to do. They're starting to play well. These guys have excellent speed and quickness so I think they're going to really help us."
On Texas being considered a throwing team:
"They really do both (run and pass). You'll see heavy sets where they have fullbacks tight ends and extra linemen. Then they'll substitute where they have one back and four wide receivers. You get both."
On if Texas has more confidence running that offense with QB David Ash:
"Yeah, just like you would expect. With another year in the system, yeah I think not just Ash, but all of them feel more comfortable."
On the play of FB Trey Millard:
"He played ok, he ran the ball really well. I thought he missed a block or two, which is unlike him but I have great confidence he'll correct it, he's a great player for us."
On running the three-back formation:
"The different ways you can run the ball are different for the safeties and linebackers and it can make you get in the wrong position here and there. There's some different reads in there."
On the Texas defense:
"They are talented and a good bunch. It's hard to determine with West Virginia and Oklahoma State offenses, how much of it is them. I believe they are a really good defense. They can get you in a bad place. They've been good at forcing the quarterback, getting sacks and forcing turnovers."
On the secondary: "I though the guys were excellent, the last several games. They've really covered well (against) a team (Texas Tech) you don't hold down much."
On Aaron Colvin being physical:
"A corner can only be so physical. Aaron played safety a year ago and he's a great corner and athlete. He has great ball skills and is highly competitive. He's a guy who takes great pride everyday of how he plays. I think he's really played great."
On the pass interference call at Texas Tech:
"Well, they can't hear me on the other side. I was yelling at the guys on my sideline, and they didn't seem to care. My only thing was if they're going to call it on that side, they should call it the same way on this side. I think all coaches want it to be called similarly, the same on both sides."
On officials doing a better job of emphasizing what is and isn't pass interference:
"I think it's all judgment. We're aware of how they are supposed to call it, and it just gets down to judgment. I just think you have to stay competitive with it, and that's all you can do. As long as it's the same for both teams. They hardly ever call offensive pass interference. Offenses can do anything to a defensive back, but a defensive guy hardly touches someone and it's pass interference."
On Texas being a step up defensively:
"They're great rushers and defenders. Definitely it's a handful to manage."
On his expectations for this week in practice:
"I just expect them to continue to work hard in practice and in their preparation. When we start playing week-to-week we can continue to take steps and make improvements on the field."
On having the same competitive fire and thirst in his 14th year of the OU-Texas rivalry:
"How can you not? I know what it's like to walk out of the tunnel (at the Cotton Bowl) and the importance of this game. It's impossible to not be."
On what it's like to walk out of the tunnel at the Cotton Bowl:
"It's incredibly exciting and exhilarating. It's what you want."
On Texas QB David Ash:
"Overall, the execution throwing the football and knowing where he wants to go with it. He does a good job."
On using Blake Bell in different spots:
"I think it's different in all situations. I think it's how we feel confident in it and how they are dealing with it. It's always going to be a little bit different."
On Texas using the Wildcat and different running backs:
"Very quick, excellent running backs, all those guys run the ball well, find seams, have excellent speeds, make good cuts. They are in that Wildcat a fair amount, so that's something we'll have to spend some time on."
On the team's schedule during a typical bye week:
"We go through the week much like a game week. Monday and Thursday we spend more time in the film room, and Tuesday and Wednesday are heavy work days. Thursday we went the entire period, 60-70 plays, against each other. Good against good, rotating back and forth. It's hard to make those improvements if you're not playing games. I think games are where you take the most steps and learn the most."
On playing against Mack Brown for 14 straight years:
"I'm fortunate to have been at a place that long. It's about the players and the team, not Mack and I."
On trying to get WR Trey Metoyer more involved:
"You can't force it to a guy. You're best on offense when you go through your progressions. You don't sit there and try to get a guy a certain amount of catches."
On getting a lot of guys the ball on offense and how it puts pressure on the defense:
"I think that's when you're operating the best. You're not trying to force the ball to any particular guy, you're taking what they give you. All coverages have to be consistent by going through your read progressions and getting the ball to everybody."
On who did well on the offensive line:
"Lane Johnson did really well, Gabe Ikard overall did pretty well."
On the similarities between offenses Texas has faced and OU's offense:
"We have a lot of the similar concepts that Oklahoma State and West Virginia have, so to a degree there are some similarities for sure. It also allows us to see what they're trying to do in regards to defending them as well. I imagine they'll have some different wrinkles for sure. But you can only be so different."
On how the offense got into a rhythm against Texas Tech:
|| QB Landry Jones
"We just played. It's pretty simple, we just played a lot better all-around the board from the offensive line, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and fullbacks. Everyone just stepped up and played the way that I think we are capable of playing. Maybe we missed some things, but as a whole and as a whole game we played like we were capable of playing around this place. We are starting to figure out who is capable of what and who has been ready to play. So, I think we are moving in that direction right now for sure.
On preparing for games:
"There is some difficulty there but there is no excuse to come out and play the way we did against Kansas State. It is just one of those things that you have to come out every week ready to play. Regardless if you have a bye week or if you are playing back-to-back weeks, you have to be ready to play and ready to go."
On the OU-Texas rivalry game:
"You can't ride the wave. There's a lot of emotion that goes into the game. It is just a different type of game, I think, because there is so much tradition playing in a neutral location. So there is a lot of different things that go into this game. But, you can't ride the wave you just have to stay neutral with it."
On getting rid of the ball quicker:
"It's more of just letting my guys make plays. Seeing defenses and not trying to force it into tight spots is more of what we're trying to do and more of an emphasis I made."
On playing against the Texas defense:
"Year in and year out Texas is going to have great athletes. Guys that can run around and guys that can make plays. So it is going to be a big challenge for us. They do a lot of different things on defense. Their defensive coordinator does a good job pushing up his schemes, brining pressure then not bringing pressure in coverage. So they do a lot of different things on defense. It is going to be a big challenge for us for sure. They do a lot of different things. We'll bring pressure sand play coverage. Every year Texas is going to have a lot of good players on their team and a lot of different guys that can make a lot of plays. So, we are going to be on our toes and we are going to be ready for it and hopefully go out there and execute it like we want to."
On being in contention for leading OU in winning games against Texas as the starting quarterback:
"It would be a big honor just to be in that category and in that talk. I've played at this place for a long time now and I just have had a really successful career and by the grace of God he has allowed me to play at this place and gave me these talents to do different things on the football field."
On talking with previous OU quarterback Steve Davis:
"Steve Davis had written me a letter and I got to talk to him before the Texas Tech game so I got to talk to him a little bit which was great to here from a guy who has been in my shoes and a guy who has played a lot of football at this place. He just really wanted to encourage me to keep going and keep leading those guys and keep fighting regardless of what happens in the next game or the last game. You're focus is on this game and always to lead those guys. I knew that he had won a couple National Championships and things along those lines. But I didn't know that he has the wins record until later and all this talk kind of came up. I think I just kind of overlooked it. He is a great guy and a great role model to look up to as a quarterback who has played a in a lot of big games around this place."
On this being his best performance since having Ryan Broyles:
"I think so. I think this is the most in rhythm I have felt in a long, long, long time dating back even last year. I think what we did offensively was great and I think Coach Heupel did a great job of developing a scheme and developing plays for us to get us in rhythm and all these sort of things. So, I think a lot of credit goes to him and a lot goes to our offensive line for putting the running backs in good position and making a good pocket for me."
On what helped them get into an offensive rhythm:
"I think maybe some of the things we did with formations and using Trey [Millard] quite a bit and some of the different things we used with him. I think that was one of the big things for us is just getting into formations that we like and kind of creating leverage off of that."
On the number of talented receivers:
"Derron (Neal) and Lacoltan (Bester) came in a did a really good job for us. Having those guys in the game gives us more depth that we have at wide receivers just in case someone gets gassed and gets tired so you can put in another guy with fresh legs out there."
On the sideline talk during the Texas Tech game:
"Just different things that we are seeing out there on the field and making them aware of it so everyone is on the same page.
On Trey Millard being used in different formations:
"He is capable of doing a lot of different things. It is nice to have guys like that. You put Trey in the back field and you wide up at tight end. There are just different things you can do using him with all of our different schemes we want to do."
On Damien Williams being important in the passing game:
"We started noticing that he had good hands in the offseason. Sometimes with all of our explosive wide receivers and tight ends and things along those lines, people kind of forget about our tailback. I think in a couple games even since I've been here DeMarco [Murray] was a leader in receiving as well, so it's not too surprising to me that Damien played the way he did. I knew that he is capable of doing those things but it is nice to have a back who can do a good job in the pass game."
On how satisfying this win was after the Kansas State loss:
"It is great. You just have to realize what kind of player you are. It always feels good to play great. There not much like it, especially after the way I played against Kansas State."
On how he felt he played against Texas Tech:
"I felt like I moved around the pocket pretty good this last game and made some plays down the field that I need to start making."
On overcoming the mental challenge of losing to Kansas State:
"There are some high parts and there are some low parts, that's for sure. At night you are just thinking to yourself about what I could have done better, especially right after the game. That's the worst part. But when Monday rolls around you just have to put it behind you and fight those doubts of whether you can actually make plays or not make plays. It is just one thing you have to fight. One week you are the worst person in the world and the next week everyone loves you. It is just one of those things you have to realize what you are. Like I said, don't ride the wave, you always need to be somewhere in between. You are not as bad as you think you are and some nights you are not as great as you think you are. So it's always somewhere in between those two lines."
On continually learning what type of player he is:
"You still continue to learn and you continue to make plays that you maybe you didn't think you could make. Just in the heat of battle what type of person you are; that's what I think is great about sports and what is great about football. You can't really hide in the heat of things and you're always learning and sharpening yourself."
On QB David Ash improvement:
|| DE RJ Washington
"Great player. Last year he was good, he had all the tools he needed to shred a defense. I think this year it's giving him the confidence to just have that starting role instead of, "You go in this series, you go in this series." I think Texas letting him start and just letting him play his game, it's given him nothing but confidence. When you have more confidence in yourself and you know your coaches are behind you, you're going to play better, you're not going to worry about making mistakes, you're going to loosen up and go play. He's been playing great every game for the most part."
On concern of run game:
"The running game is always a concern regardless of who you're playing. You could be playing a passing team but if they can the run the ball, they're going to run the ball. So running game you always have to stop the offense's running game. If they can it'll shorten the game, you'll be out there longer. If you see somebody start getting run after run after run, if you're out on defense, they might have gone 20 yards on six plays and you'll still be (panting). You can't just let somebody run all over you all the time because not only will you be winded, it'll take away from your energy, it'll take away from your team and it'll let them get whatever they want to get. If you let them run over and over and over again then it opens up the play action and they can pick what they want to hit you with. That's never the position you want to be in when you feel like you've got your back against the wall type thing. It's not ever what you want to be in."
On third-down conversions:
"It's definitely a concern. K-State, these last couple of games they've been getting a lot of third-down conversions on us, which is never a good thing. I think it's just tightening up the screws more and more and just keep working on the little things and getting even better than last week. The week before that we were trying to get better from that week. It's always getting better. The great teams, throughout the year, it's not how great they started and what they were doing in the beginning, it's did they get better each and every weekend and were they working towards being the best they can be. I think as long as we keep doing that, as long as we keep improving, I think it'll be all right. They do a lot of things that we've got to stop and we don't have a choice, we've just got to go do it."
On seeing more time on the outside:
|| WR Kenny Stills
"No, I feel like we're getting pretty comfortable in what we're doing, running the four receivers with me and (Sterling) Shepard on the inside. So I don't see anything changing."
On game day environment:
"It's a lot of fun for us. It's one of the reasons you come to Oklahoma, to play against Texas, to play at a neutral site, to play in a huge game. It's a big week for us and we're excited and we're going to have fun this weekend."
On getting a win on the road:
"It builds a little bit of confidence being that we were struggling a little bit two weeks ago. It's good to have our confidence back and be able to prepare this week without that monkey on our back."
On gaining momentum offensively:
"Coaches are always taking to us about improving each week and I feel like that's what we did this past week. We took a huge step with not turning the ball over and playing well on defense. We're striving to get better each week."
On being more comfortable at cornerback:
|| CB Aaron Colvin
"Definitely. I think corner is where I excel at. I can play both, honestly, but I feel very comfortable at corner."
On Texas offense running the ball:
"They're just as good at both, running and passing. Kansas State would be a good game to look at, but we have to see some of the flaws we had at Texas Tech because Texas will exploit all our flaws."
On QB David Ash:
"He looks a lot more comfortable. He looks like he's been there for a while; he looks somewhat like a vet. Hopefully we can make him a little uncomfortable this week and see where that leads us."
On confidence level of defense:
"I feel like we're proud of what we did. But just looking at some of the guys today, we're just anxious to play this week. That was just a stepping stone, it was a good win for us, and we did a lot of good things. We have a lot of tough games still coming up."