View complete coverage from Tuesday's press conference previewing the Wildcats.
NORMAN, Okla. --
||Junior FB Matt Clapp
Head coach Bob Stoops and select Sooner players met with the media Tuesday discuss this week's matchup with Kansas State.
The Wildcats are coming off a tough 14-13 loss at the hands of Colorado, while Oklahoma plays its second of three straight games against the Big 12 North.
Saturday's game kicks off at 11:30 a.m. (CT) and will be televised by FSN (OKC Ch. 37, Tulsa 27, Lawton 32).
Video video coverage of Tuesday's press conference by clicking the links above. Quotes from Coach Stoops and OU's players are also available below, courtesy of OU Athletics Media Relations.
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
“As always, going back over last week’s game with Kansas, It was a well played game overall. To win against another ranked team, and again, Mark Mangino and KU have done a great job of winning 17 of their last 19 games overall. Offensively, I thought we were incredibly efficient, obviously, with the numbers we were able to put up both running and throwing the ball. Sam Bradford was incredible again with 468 yards passing with three TD’s and no interceptions. I thought we were more effective running the ball, and that may have opened up some more passing lanes. Players of the game, offensively, were Jon Cooper and Phil Loadholt, both of which played a great game up front, also, Sam Bradford and Juaquin Iglesias. Juaquin had another excellent game, he actually had a chance to break Manny’s record that he set a couple of weeks ago.
“Defensively, I thought we were a little inconsistent overall. We gave up some big plays that we really haven’t given up all year, but the encouraging part is that out of the first seven possessions of the first half, we forced them to punt six times. We were able to separate ourselves and get a good strong lead.
“Overall it was a solid win, and it gives us the opportunity to go to Manhattan, Kan., and take on a good Kansas State team. Always when you go up there, it becomes a difficult environment to compete in. Ron Prince and his staff do a good job, and they have an excellent quarterback. He throws the ball well, has quick feet, and has some speedy receivers, so it’s going to be a big challenge. We are looking forward to the challenge at hand.”
On Nic Harris’s performance at middle linebacker:
“He did well. There were some things that I thought we could have been better at. We will get better at that. Nic will continue to work in there some, but there are other guys that we feel after practice yesterday and last week are coming along in a better way. That is something that we are working towards.”
On the defenses performance thus far:
“We are not at the level we are used to, so we expect more. But if you look at us compared to everyone else in the league, we are probably toward the top of everything. We want more. We don’t expect to give up a big play in the ways we gave them up. Now, we know that it’s going to happen sometimes. There were a couple of instances from Saturday that we haven’t done all year. That’s why I’m not alarmed, because I know what we can do. Some of it has looked really good, and others have needed to be better at times, at least by our standards.
“Some numbers are going to be skewed this year, as fast as our offense is snapping the ball and as fast as we are scoring, the other offense is going to get some opportunities. So that is going to change things a little bit from what we are used to. I mean we used to have eight minute drives that eat up most of the third quarter and they get one possession in that quarter. Those things aren’t happening as much, and that is okay, as long as we are scoring and being as productive as we have been. I am aware that things are a little different, and I’m willing, in some degree, to work with it that way.”
On Kansas State’s quarterback Josh Freeman’s running ability:
“Josh certainly can run, but I don’t see that as being their main focus. He has such a great arm and they have such precision throwing the football that I think they are trying to throw the football more than anything. He runs in some situations, and being a big guy with good speed it works, but I see that they are more interested in throwing it more than anything. As a good quarterback though, he can pull it down when he needs to and scramble, and when he does, he does a good job.”
On his thoughts about Sam Bradford being a Heisman candidate:
“I don’t know how he could not be one. I know it’s what are you doing now, but look at what he did as a freshman. You look at his numbers compared to everyone else that was in that category, his numbers were every bit as good if not better than some. This year they are as well. He just continues to be so consistent and so efficient and making good plays. He’s making tough plays as well. Those other guys are awfully good as well. I think as much as anything, he should be considered with those guys. There are so many games left. I think whoever continues to play well should be there in the end.”
|| Junior DE Jeremy Beal
“There are a lot of great offenses out there. I mean that is all you can say is that there are a lot of great offenses that can throw a lot of points up and a lot of stats.
“I thought we played pretty good against Kansas. At times, we made some mistakes and were inconsistent, but the stats would show that they had a great game and that is what good offenses can do now-a-days. It is not that we are playing bad defense, it is just that there are a lot of good offenses.”
On difference between playing last year and this year:
“Last year, when I first started playing, I was real uncomfortable and was not always sure of myself. But this year, I am a lot more comfortable so it allows me to not think as much as last year, which in turn allows me to play faster.”
On getting more action vs. Kansas:
|| Junior FB Matt Clapp
“It is a good feeling to know that Coach Wilson has the confidence in me to put me in and let me carry the ball.”
On offensive scheme after Texas game:
“Our mind set all last week after losing to Texas was to really get after it on offense and I definitely think we did that against Kansas.”
On DeMarco Murray:
“DeMarco has always been good in my eyes. I haven’t really noticed a difference because I believe he has always had it in him and has always been an offensive threat.”
On Brody Eldridge:
“Brody is a tremendous player and we miss him a lot. I took over some of his roles and I felt like I really had to upgrade my play since he was out. Brody is a good example to watch.”
On how the offensive line helped the run game against Kansas:
|| Junior OL Trent Williams
“I’d be lying to say I didn’t hear [talk of underachieving]. We knew we were underachieving in the run, and some games we didn’t play as well as we needed to. As an offensive line, we came together and decided that we needed to do something better with the way we were playing.”
“You credit a lot of it to our wide receivers because they’re so good and can get down field. It makes our job easier when we only have to protect against three or four in the rush.”
On Kansas State:
“Their defensive line is really good. They’re a real stout team from what I’ve seen on film.”
On defensive strategy:
|| R-Freshman LB Travis Lewis
“We think, in our minds, that it is possible to put a goose egg on the board for the other team. You hope for the best and if you can slow the offense down and let your offense score some points, than you can win at the end of the day and that is the ultimate goal.”
On topping Kansas:
“I think in the Big 12 you hope you can slow down these offenses. They (Kansas) put up 480 yards but at the end of the day we got the win. I think ,in the second half, we came out and played the defense we are capable of playing.”
On Nic Harris:
“Our roles didn’t change. I had to make and signal in the calls and get the defensive line corrected. We were just out there playing ball like we are used to. I think that Nic (Harris) did a great job of filling in. He had a week to prepare and he did a great job stepping in.”