After a 63-21 win against Texas, OU hosts Kansas in Norman on Saturday at 6 p.m. (FSN).
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, quarterback Landry Jones, fullback Trey Millard, safety Javon Harris and defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland met with the media Monday in OU's weekly press conference from Norman.
The Sooners throttled rival Texas, 63-21
, in the annual Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday. Oklahoma next hosts the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick at 6 p.m. on FOX Sports Net.
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 reviewing our game with Texas over the past weekend, I want to compliment our players for working so well over the week and playing so well on Saturday. They played outstanding in every part of the game. Both lines of scrimmage were major factors as it always is in games like that.
"I thought the offensive line did an outstanding job. When you rush for 343 yards and protect and throw the ball for 334 yards and only have one sack on the day, they just did an outstanding job. Guys like Lane Johnson, Darryl Williams, Gabe Ikard, they played outstanding.
"Trey Millard had a huge day like he usually does blocking, running with the football, running after the catch all the things he does. Damien Williams again is really special running the football. He's a tough, physical runner. And Landry Jones becoming the all-time winningest quarterback here says a lot and he just had another great game delivering the ball, receivers caught it well and I thought the execution was really good.
"Defense was equally outstanding in that if you think about it our one defense doesn't surrender a point the entire game. When they were on the field they had only given up 139 total yards. Our backups out there learning how to play the game gave up a couple late but they played great. Our run defense was incredible; again our guys up front, Jamarkus McFarland, Casey Walker, David King, R.J. Washington, Chuka Ndule, I thought those guys played outstanding in how physical they were, getting off blocks, tackling.
"The guys around them, Tom Wort had a huge day. Aaron Colvin again had a huge day in covering and supporting the run. A special guy who had a huge play, Jaydan Bird, when they went in their heavy extra linemen set on the goal line we put Jaydan in there and he put his hand on the ground and he comes through and fights off the tackle and makes the safety. Those guys again played so well. I thought the pass defense had a lot of good pressure through the day and we didn't give them any big plays and just played great discipline defense.
"On special teams, Michael Hunnicutt I thought was outstanding. He had five touchbacks and made all his field goals. The kickoff and punt return units were fantastic. Tress Way dropping the ball inside the one was a big play in the game. We're on to Kansas this week and it'll be good to be home after being gone for a few weeks. It's only our sixth game and we've still got a long way to go. I still feel we have a high ceiling that we have to keep pushing to make improvements and hopefully now we can get into a rhythm."
On the defensive line improving:
"They're playing great. They're physical, tough and have maturity. I said coming into the year there are a bunch of guys who have played a lot of football. David King, Casey Walker, Jamarkus McFarland, R.J. Washington, and Chuka, he's come along through the spring and is a guy who is a starter in our eyes. Those guys are playing like they're capable of and it's not surprising to us."
On if they knew Blake Bell would be a good runner:
"Yeah we did, we knew how big and strong he was when we recruited him. He was a good athlete in high school. We always recruit our quarterbacks first on if they can throw the football and if you can run with it, it gives you a little extra dimension."
On Jalen Sounders:
"He's a very quick, shifty receiver, he's got great hands and has a great knack for that slot position. He's not a huge guy but that doesn't matter, Ryan Broyles wasn't either. He's going to bring a lot to what we're doing."
On the team handling prosperity and adversity:
"I guess it all depends on the team or person. Hopefully it shouldn't. They should understand what they're doing correct as well as what they're not doing. We'll continue to improve the areas we can and keep pushing for more. The mature teams do that."
On if we saw the "Mike Stoops" defense returning in the Tech/Texas games:
"I believe we did. I believe we played well against Kansas State. We gave them 17 points on defense and not a lot of people are keeping them lower than that. We are very conscious of being disciplined physically and being fundamentally sound. The last couple of weeks I think the defense has only surrendered one touchdown to those teams."
On the teams' expectations of themselves:
"So far we have been a more disciplined team, a more accountable team to each other in a lot of ways off the field, in the locker room and on the field."
On handing out game balls after the Texas win:
"The whole defense was a player of the game, and the whole offense was for offense. They all did things. It all works together, and all the guys with big plays are recognized. It really was a team deal."
On Aaron Ripkowski and Jaydan Bird:
"We are doing our best to manage those guys to get them in good situations. They've done well helping us run, helping us pass, helping us in play-action. Those things all add up. Jaydan's done a great job. He was a 2,000-yard rusher in high school, so he gets it. He knows where he needs to be, where he needs to get to."
On the approach of lining up and playing with no mystery:
"We are simpler, so there's less chance to blow it ourselves. It's never been our philosophy to trick people."
On the defensive secondary:
"They're playing technique better; we aren't having mental errors. We are playing at a much higher level."
On Tony Jefferson:
"Tony's playing great, tackling well, had a great day out there on Saturday. Tackling well, covering well, communicating and making sure everyone's on the same page with the other guys."
On the running backs:
"Give the credit first to the guys up front who are making space for them, because if they weren't averaging that, that's where the questions would be. They are blocking really well, creating seams, staying on their feet and finishing blocks. Damien is running the football very physically with great balance. Trey [Millard] is the same. Dom Whaley and Brennan Clay both got in there and had nice runs. They all did a great job."
On Casey Walker:
"Casey is another one of those seniors who's played a lot of football for us, so he's very physical and active. He had a great day Saturday."
On Frank Shannon:
"He played really well. I'm pleased with everything Frank's been doing. He had a good game."
On David King crediting success to defensive guys spending more time in the film room:
"I don't always see all of that, but what I have seen is guys know what's coming and knowing what to expect better."
On the expectation that guys are prepared:
"Whatever you have to do, you're the one that's going to be playing Saturday. You have to go out and represent yourself well, so if you don't get it on Tuesday or Wednesday, you'd better do something to figure it out. I do have a high expectation that they would expect that out of themselves. For me it's things that you work on all week in practice. If you're not ready for it, that's inexcusable. You may still be beat on it, but to be mentally not prepared, to me, that's on the player. They need to get it done in those cases."
On the offensive line playing well despite injuries:
"They were tired. They don't have as many guys to rotate with now. They really sucked it up and I thought they were awesome Saturday. I still think they'll keep improving. We have to rotate a tackle and guard occasionally. It was really great to see the second-team line taking a drive all the way down and scoring. Those guys came in and played well."
On guarding against a letdown after a big game last weekend and a big game in two weeks:
"We have a big game this weekend. It's pretty simple - we have to play. We're aware of that, and through the years we've had a pretty good record after playing Texas. Our season doesn't begin and end with Texas. It never has, so in the end we'll be ready to play like we are every week."
On the Kansas offense:
"They do a really good job of getting a lot of different sets, combining the run with the pass. Dayne Crist has thrown the ball well. They have good balance and I see a lot of good players. In a lot of their games right there at halftime it's an even game. Overall, they've been very competitive."
On the offense:
|| QB Landry Jones
"The offensive line did a great job on Saturday protecting and our guys in the run game, I think it was a total game. Everyone was playing well and everybody was moving in the right direction that we need to be moving right now."
On if offense has shifted since doing well at the Texas Tech game:
"I think we're creating more of an identity of what we really want to do and I think Coach [Josh] Heupel is doing a great job getting the game plan, calling plays, getting us into a rhythm. I think we're coming into our own and starting to build some momentum, but the key is keeping that and building on the games we've played."
On Jalen Saunders:
"One more guy. He's one more guy the defense has to account for. We can move different people to different spots and have more depth at the receiver position. He can come in, give Kenny [Stills] a breather and do a lot of different things that maybe we couldn't have done without him."
On if this is the best receiving corps he's had:
"It's the most depth we've had, for sure. Yes, Ryan [Broyles] was a great player and he did a lot of great things here, but I don't know if we've ever had the depth we have now at wide receiver."
On WR Justin Brown:
"He's a big body out there. He's going to be taller than most of the corners who play him and he's going to outweigh most of the corners we play, so he's one more guy they're going to have to account for and one more weapon on this team that can do a lot of different things for us."
On injuries on the offensive line:
"It makes you nervous just because we're not as deep on the offensive line as we are in some other positions, for sure. With things like that, you can't really help it and you can't really do anything about it, you just have to have the next guy up and come in to play."
On hearing the news that Jalen Saunders was cleared to play:
"We were just really excited for him. We've known it's been going back and forth with compliance whether he was going to play or not get to play. It's been one week of 'Yes, he's going to get cleared' to the next week and 'No, there's no shot,' until finally he gets cleared so everyone's excited."
On staying in a rhythm when QB Blake Bell comes in near the end zone:
"It's just taking care of business. It's just one of those things that when we get down there close, that's the package we use in short yardage and goal line situations, so for me it's just taking care of business and doing what our offense is supposed to do."
On Bell taking over in scoring situations:
"I don't know about difficult, but sure as a competitor I want to go in there and throw touchdowns and be in the game when we score touchdowns and that sort of thing, but that's our short yardage package and that's what we do."
On the difference in the team between this year and last year:
"I think it's more that we're just cutting it loose and we're playing ball. Not thinking, not worrying about if we don't score this many points we're not going to be No. 1 anymore or things along those lines. I think this year we're just out there to win games and how are the games going. We're just going to cut loose and have some fun. You've got to get out of your own way. You've got to just realize that this is a game and it's supposed to be fun. Why play tight? Why worry about thing that really, you can't control. All you can control is one play at a time and one moment at a time and whether you're going to trust yourself and play ball."
On not letting down against Kansas:
"In this league everybody can put up points, everybody can score. They've got good players. You have to be focused each week on the next game up. Kansas is a good team and they're going to come in here and play hard. If we don't execute the way we're capable of executing, Kansas has the capability of coming in here and beating us."
On believing OU can still compete for a national championship:
"It's pretty consistent each year. One team will be in there with one loss. In 2008, we went to the national championship with one loss and lost a tight game. We didn't get blown out by K-State either, so it's kind of the same situation that we're in now. We just have to keep this momentum and keep building on it."
On being complacent after a big win:
|| FB Trey Millard
"I think people think that, but I think with the loss we had to Texas Tech last year guys know that every game is important, and we need to come out here at home and get a victory."
On the difference of level of play:
"I think just execution. I think the Kansas State loss showed us some of the mistakes we were making and really made us focus on correcting them in practice and games and we've done that so far."
On having a big role offensively:
"It helps you focus. You know that since your role is bigger you have a bigger responsibility to the team. It just makes you focus that much more."
On remembering another game having that much success running the ball:
"Personally, no. This was probably my best game of my career so far. It was just a great feeling to do it against Texas."
On his 73-yard reception:
"I caught it and I saw there was a lot of space out in front. I saw the two guys converging on me, and I just saw a little gap and tried to make it. Luckily I broke that tackle and there was a lot more grass after that."
On the team's performance overall:
|| S Javon Harris
"Overall it was a team effort. It was a great win for us. We went into the game with a great game plan. You've got to give it to the assistant coaches and Coach Stoops coming into the game. It was a great team effort. Now it's on to Kansas. Now we go week by week and continue to get better. We've got to polish up."
On creating turnovers:
"Focusing on those things, focusing on getting turnovers. We didn't have as many as we wanted to the first couple games. Just going in here and knowing we need to go ahead and get this ball. Like I told my guys, "It's a no fly zone; the ball goes in the air, it needs to be going the other way." Just focusing on all those things, getting the ball out when guys are running the ball, getting the ball when it's in the air. Guys are covering really well and the d-line is putting pressure on the quarterback. We are just going to continue to work on that."
On the secondary's biggest improvement from last year:
"I would say it's just been awareness. Guys going in here and just trusting each other on the field; we know what each other can do. As far as in the secondary, we are going to continue to do that. We don't want to give up the big plays. For us that's one key, just go in here and continue to work hard on not giving up the big plays. The ball is in the air, get it, guys running, make the for sure tackle. That's one thing, guys are playing really well right now and we are going to continue to get better."
On if it's tough to not look past Kansas to Notre Dame:
|| DT Jamarkus McFarland
"Oh no. A lot of these guys coming back from last year losing to [Texas] Tech, I feel like we learned the hard way. We've got the right mentality right now. We know we've got to go in each week, get better, not make the same mistakes and be willing to play every play like it's our last no matter who the opponent is."
On the maturity of the team since the Kansas State loss:
"I feel like maturity but also humbled. A lot of guys are not settled with just making big plays and getting an interception and celebrating then; they want more. Everyone wants to go out and score again, everyone wants to go out and make another tackle. I don't feel like we've reached our peak yet."
On if it was the team's best performance with DT Casey Walker:
"I thought we got better this weekend but it's kind of shown what we've been working on. Letting us talk a little bit more, be freelance; be more vocal with each other, read our keys and calling it out. We're just growing day by day.""
On the defense getting better each week:
"Oh yeah. Even some of the younger guys are playing; Julian Wilson and all those guys are really fitting into our defense well. Stopping third downs and stuff like that is really big on us, especially on the front for our big guys, third down; we like to get off the field and go over and get some water. I applaud those guys, him and Gabe Lynn and all those, taking up those little slant routes and stuff like that. I feel like they're going to continue to get better."