Quotes from Coach Stoops and select OU players from Tuesday's press conference.
NORMAN, Okla. --
||Junior RB Chris Brown
Head coach Bob Stoops held his weekly press conference Tuesday to discuss Oklahoma's upcoming matchup with No. 16 Kansas.
The Jayhawks have won 17 of 19 games dating back to last season, while the fourth-ranked Sooners have won 21 consecutive home games. Saturday's contest is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by ABC (Ch. 5 OKC, 8 Tulsa, 7 Lawton).
Video video coverage of Tuesday's press conference by clicking the links above. Quotes from Coach Stoops, along with Jon Cooper, Nic Harris and Chris Brown are also available below, courtesy of OU Athletics Media Relations.
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
“As always, going back over last week’s game with Texas, I really thought it was a hard fought game. I am very proud of our players for the effort. It was two really good football teams playing, and as I have said before, hats off to Texas for making the plays there in the fourth quarter to win the game.
“I thought for a good part of the game, we were able to play well on both sides of the ball. Texas is an excellent team. They kept coming back, and we kept hanging in there. Down the stretch, there were some pivotal plays. There were some cases where we had a chance to stop them and didn’t convert them and they did. Colt McCoy made some exceptional plays. When we had people covered, he would find a way to pull the ball down and scramble for eight or 10 yards. If we had a blitz on, and he found a guy open, he was accurate enough to put the ball there. In the end, they made the plays in the fourth quarter that made the difference in the game.
“Some guys for us that we felt had exceptional games defensively were Travis Lewis, who had 19 tackles and played well, and Gerald McCoy, who had two sacks. Offensively, Sam Bradford, who threw for 387 yards and five scores which is pretty special, and Manuel Johnson, who was able to grab three touchdown passes. Overall, those were just some key guys who really stood out.”
“We have a long way to go, six games left, and our focus is on Kansas. They are an excellent football team. Mark Mangino and his staff have done an excellent job. I think in the last 19 games they are 17-2. They are used to winning, and are playing very well. It’s another big challenge coming in here to play. With this conference, it’s going to be like that every week, and Mark is doing it as good as anyone. It’s an exciting matchup, and we are looking forward to the challenge as always.”
On the running game:
“It’s an issue. Some games we have been able to run it and run it well, but there have been two games where we haven’t. We have to be looking for better ways to run it. Whether its scheme wise or blocking things, but also in those games, we have been highly productive throwing the ball so it is a little give and take. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses; I still feel that we should be better in some cases then we have been, but a little bit of it has been the way they (opposing defenses) have been defending the run, which has opened up the passing and no one can deny that.”
On the kick coverage team:
“We have made some changes again, and hopefully personnel will make the difference. Kicking the ball off a year ago, we led the nation and this year we are near the bottom. We aren’t doing anything differently, its people. We have got to get the right guys in there who can recognize and be where they need to be. Sometimes we have been where we needed to be and just didn’t make the play.”
On Kansas’ offense:
“They spread it out and get a lot of guys the ball. You’re going to get your normal shotgun plays and under center plays. They do a good job of running the football and pulling guards. Reesing does a nice job with a lot of short and intermediate passes. He also does a good job with his quick feet. We will again have to do a better job of keeping him in the pocket and limiting his running around. There is a lot of spread offense and checking at the line. Some no huddle and quick snaps like you see from most people.”
On Kansas’ defense:
“They do a really good job of mixing it up. They will run your basic zones of three deep and four deep, but they will zone and man blitz you some. They do their best of keeping you off guard and mixing it up.”
On getting the running game back on track:
|| Senior Center Jon Cooper
“There are a lot of things that need to happen, especially with the offensive line, because if we just blocked everybody we’d be fine. We need to gets some things going and establish a rhythm during the game if we want a sufficient run game to take place.
“Sam’s been playing too well and when we get in the big boy set and they’ve got so many guys in the box, there’s no reason not to throw the ball when we’ve got Juaquin (Igelsias), Manny (Johnson) and Jermaine (Gresham) that can run up there and catch the ball against anybody one on one. If Sam can get it to them, then there’s not reason not to do it.”
On moving forward to Kansas and the rest of the season:
“All our focus is on Kansas. All of the media is still talking about Texas, but we’re not watching anymore of that film. All we’re doing is paying attention to Kansas right now.
“The attitude on the practice field and in the locker room yesterday was still good. It does hurt; you never want to lose and you don’t come to a place like Oklahoma to lose football games. But you get past it and we’ll find out how good our team is this week.”
On practice after the Texas loss:
|| Senior Safety Nic Harris
“It is extremely critical to get the young guys up and make sure that they take their lumps early. They need to make sure to keep playing hard and hone in, bounce back and play Oklahoma defense like we have been playing.
“It is not necessarily difficult. Inevitably it could be a good thing or a bad thing to get that one loss out of the way. It didn’t hurt us too bad and now we have that off our back. We don’t have that bull’s eye of being number one. So now we can just come out and play ball because we don’t have that added pressure.”
On the OU defense:
“As a group in the secondary, we try to take away the strength of the other team. They were nickel and diming us and we also made some penalties on our side of the ball that kept a lot of plays going during the course of the game.”
“We looked at them a lot because they are a great team. They have a great passing offense and we have to make sure that they don’t nickel and dime us down the field like Texas did. We also have got to get some turnovers because the last couple of games we have had some turnovers. We also have to disrupt the passer a lot more.”
On the running game:
|| Junior RB Chris Brown
“We know that it has not been as good as it has been since the beginning of the season. We have to step up and take responsibility for what is going on in the running game. It is not just the offensive line, it’s the backs and the complete offense. It is something that we missed against Texas and also against TCU. This is a week were we have to establish our running game and get it back on track like normal.”
On balancing the offense:
“We have great receivers all across the board and we want to give those guys the ball a lot. I can see why we throw the ball a lot more than we run the ball. Hopefully we can get it balanced because we need it to be balanced through these next few games.”
On moving past the Texas game:
“It is just a must. You have to because Texas is gone and we have another great team in Kansas coming in. If we don’t get our act together the same thing will happen because they are a great team as well.”
“They only have one loss and they lost to a great South Florida team. We don’t overlook that because we know that they are a great team and that they are going to come in fighting us.”
On the Kansas defense:
“They have experience at the linebacker position. Watching them, they have great athletes and it is going to be another battle for us.”