Coach Stoops and the Sooners review Iowa State and preview Baylor games.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, quarterback Landry Jones, running back Brennan Clay, receiver Justin Brown and defensive end Chuka Ndulue met with the media Monday in OU's weekly press conference from Norman.
Oklahoma (6-2 overall, 4-1 Big 12) host the Baylor Bears on Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. The game kicks at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised 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
"In reviewing the Iowa State game this past weekend, I was really pleased with the overall play. Offensively, Landry had another exceptional day throwing for over 400 yards and 4 TDs. Brennan had a great day with over 200 all-purpose yards and 155 rushing yards; he really ran the ball well.
"I thought our guys up front were really good blocking, pass protect, everything was good-it was one of their better games overall. Daryl Williams at tackle had another outstanding day. Some big plays, Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski had great days blocking and then Kenny Stills, Sterling [Shepard] and Justin Brown, all of them had good plays.
"Defensively again, Tony Jefferson, David King I thought they did a great job in the first half. The line gave up a little late in the game, but they all contested plays and forced Iowa State to have to work to get points; they didn't give them anything easy.
"It was a good game to go on the road up there. It was pleasing to go up and win. It brings us back home where we have a really explosive Baylor team. It'll be a big challenge to win with them. Like always in this league it's always tough to get ready to play these teams that are so explosive offensively."
On the evolvement of Brennan Clay:
"Brennan is doing great. I think he did a great job the other day in finding space and waiting for some blocks to develop. I though the guys up front did better blocking and creating space for him."
On if right now is the best stretch Landry has played:
"He's had a lot of good ones, it's just hard to go back and remember every one. He's had parts of games where he's played really well. The guys around him are playing more consistently."
On if it's a challenge having so many receivers:
"No. I was asked after the game if I was so surprised that there were so many one-on-one battles. Well, when you put four of them out there someone will be one-on-one, you can't double them all, and that's part of what's been good. For Landry, he's been able to trust them all and get the ball to all of them."
On Geneo Grissom moving back to defensive end:
"He's just moved back. We thought it would come together and it just hasn't. He still works tight end at the goal line and some of those packages, and if something were to happen to Brannon Green he will go there. Right now our tight end position is Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski until these guys can further develop. You guys know I love tight ends but we just need to get them to where these guys are."
On if its hurt the offense at all:
"It sure looked good the other day."
On if they subbed receivers in more frequently:
"You just have to with the pace you're going. The guys that are getting in there are doing a nice job."
"No different, we're just going to have to go through the week to see how Lane [Johnson] and Damien [Williams] are. Bronson [Irwin] finished the game, he just has a sore ankle."
On the offensive line depth:
"It's been a challenge with the guys banged up as they have been. We're doing our best in practice to manage it, and there's always a fine line between how much you're doing. They're a hard-working bunch and they've gotten better. It's been fun working with them, the way they work and take a lot of pride in what they're doing."
On if the defense is remembering what happened last year against Baylor:
"I would think they would be, not only because how they played last year, but also because of what Baylor's doing this year with all the yards and points they're putting up."
On the defense under Mike Stoops:
"Mike, Coach Kish, Bobby Jack and Jackie Shipp have all done a great job of being really good at asking our players what they need to do. Mike's been very diligent about not having mental mistakes. What we've done is complicated enough but simple enough to not have breakdowns and give up a big play. They (the opponent's offense) are bound to make their plays, and that's going to happen, but even the ones they make are well contested, forcing them to make plays."
On the younger players:
"It's been fun and exciting to see some of the young players, Frank Shannon and Aaron Franklin at linebacker have great speed, and now they're comfortable in what we're doing and you can trust them. It's a real positive."
On Brennan Clay starting at running back:
"The coaches thought Brennan was more ready."
On the depth at running back:
"We're ok. Hopefully we get Damien back and that will help too."
On Javon Harris' improvements since last season's Baylor game:
"He's just played really well. He's worked hard, and what we're asking him to do, he's in a very comfortable position. It's through practice and hard work."
On the Baylor defense:
"It's very sound. They're a cover-4 team, cover-man mostly. They'll sneak in their blitzes here and there, but like everyone does, they'll pick their times to do it. They played really well last week against Kansas; they do a good job."
On Stills, Jefferson and Clay:
"They all have done really well. It's fun to see them mature over these three years. They're all wonderful young people, great teammates. They're very personable and always engaging while recruiting. They all have had excellent careers."
On being 12 wins away from Barry Switzer:
"I'm very appreciative and humbled by everything. I have great respect for what he did here for this program. I feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to have worked with the people I have. All the assistant coaches, the leadership in our administration with Joe Castiglione up to President Boren, everyone has had a hand in it. And a great group of players, so hopefully I have more in me, more years to come, but you never know. I've been pretty fortunate for 13-and-a-half years here to done what we have and hopefully there's more to come."
On having statue while still here:
"They've asked and they have it ready to go, but I don't want that. That'd feel weird. Not until I'm done, but who knows when that'll be."
On Landry Jones not missing a start or coming out of the game:
"I think it is toughness. He's a big strong guy, more so than people realize. There's always some good fortune, he's been protected well and hasn't been in a position where he's been hurt."
On Justin Brown's impact:
"Justin had another huge day. He's a great player, a big, strong target. He's a guy that you can throw to even when he's covered and will have a great opportunity to come down with it. Landry is comfortable with him, knowing where he's going to be and timing. Justin has made a huge impact. He's done a great job."
On Baylor's offense:
"They have great schemes, great speed across the board. Their quarterback in an experienced guy. You put that all together and they haven't missed a beat.
On being called for more personal fouls:
"It's just the way it is sometimes. To me what matters more are the non-playing penalties, not having procedures, having delay of games, lining up offsides, things that you can control. When you're playing and get a call or don't get a call, that's the way it goes. To me it's the ones that you can control, and we haven't had many. Those are going to happen when guys are aggressive and playing hard."
On being tolerant to kids being on Twitter:
"It's just today's world; I'm trying to stay young with them. If you think you're going to do everything like it was way back when, I don't see it happening. As long as they're responsible, it's ok. As long as they go to class, work hard and are good kids, I don't care how they look."
On watching the kids mature:
"It's natural for them to become leaders. Kenny Stills has become more aware and more serious about the team and having something to stay. It's natural that it's different in his third or fourth year then his first or second."
On spreading the ball among the offense:
|| QB Landry Jones
"I think for us, the more people we can get in the fresher we will be, especially with no huddle. It is better for us for sure in spreading the ball around so they can't stay on one guy or double one guy."
On his stretch of success in the past couple games:
"I think this is some of the better football I have been playing. That is for sure. These last four or five games I have been in rhythm and played really well. I have been going through all my reads, stepping up in the pocket and making some plays like that. I think since Kansas this is probably one of the better stretches I have had in my career."
On what he credits to playing more fluently:
"I have always been saying just cutting it loose and having fun. There is no magic potion to this game. It is just going out there, playing with passion and having fun and doing what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it."
On feeling comfortable with Justin Brown:
"Probably over this stretch in this last couple games just getting the feel of him running routes and doing different things. I think during the K-State game we started becoming more on the same page and we just have grown from there."
On Justin Brown's maturity level on and off the field:
"He is a senior and he takes care of his business and takes care of his body, keeping his legs fresh. He watches film and knows what the defense is going to do and knows what he is going to do on each route and how he is going to attack. He has different kinds of leverages. He is a very mature kid and we are really blessed that he is on our team."
On what he feels he can still improve on:
"I think there are different things that every quarterback needs to work on. I would like to still be better in the pocket moving around and making plays there too. I think that is still something I can work on and perfect that skill."
On converting to middle routes:
"They are doing some things that allowed us to hit some of the balls in the middle of the field. I think it was Justin [Brown] and Durron [Neal] had two big third-down conversions and Kenny [Stills] had one too, two big third downs catches on some of the deep throws we had."
On Robert Griffin's winning drive in last year's game against Baylor:
"Previous to the last drive, we drove it down the field and scored a touchdown and then I think we went for two and jumped offsides and eventually the field goal tied it up there. At that point it is out of your offensive hands and your defense has to go up there and make a play. Robert Griffin made a great play at the end of the game to win the game for them. Yes, I would have liked to won that game. But, that is something that just happened and this week we are going to be prepared and play the best football we can. You don't ever appreciate someone beating your team. You always want to win the game, that is first and foremost."
On Bob Stoops as a head coach:
"Coach Stoops is a great coach and he has done a lot of great things around this place. He has built a tradition of winning and being successful. That is kind of his personality. He wants everyone to become the best player they can be. He is always going to push you towards that and push you towards greatness and he doesn't settle for anything less than that."
On Coach Stoops being tolerant of young players:
"I don't really care what people look like as long as they can play and do their job. I think that's the way Coach Stoops is too. He doesn't see the kids from the outside, he sees them from the inside and what their talent level is and what kind of personality they have. I think that is kind of the test to him. He doesn't really care where you came from or what kind of tattoos you have or how you wear your hair, as long as you are a good kid and as long as you have some talent. I think that's what he sees in people. I think he does a good job of recruiting kids. I think that's the kind of thing that draws people to him, is not seeing people on the outside but seeing what they have on the inside."
On the Cali trio:
"Each team and each year has a different feel. When Ryan [Broyles] was here we had a different feel and now that Kenny [Stills] is kind of the number one receiver in that room now it has a different feel along with Brennan [Clay] and Tony [Jefferson]. All three of them are very outgoing and easy to talk to. They are really great teammates and you can't say enough about how great of kids they are."
On being happy for Brennan Clay after his performance against Iowa State:
"Brennan is the type of kid that regardless of what happens under the circumstances, if he is playing a lot or not playing a lot, he comes to practice every day. He works hard and he is humble. When something good happens to those kind of people you always want to cheer for them and get behind them. We are just really appreciative of Brennan and what he has done at this place and how hard he has worked and how consistent of a back that he has been."
On the running back position:
"This place has typically recruited really good running backs. This is a testament again to Coach Stoops and the staff for recruiting good kids and recruiting very talented running backs around this place."
On the team's confidence level:
"We lost to the number two and three ranked teams in the nation. They are good teams and did we have a chance to win those games? Yes, we did. They are gone but this team has not forgotten what they are. Just because we lost two games we are not going to be some slack team that is going to go up and not play hard and not play well. We always remember who we are and what kind of talent we have. With the last couple games we have at the end we are going to go out and try to play our best football."
On his confidence going forward after a big day at Iowa State:
|| RB Brennan Clay
"It builds confidence, of course. We know going into this game, Baylor is another game, and we're going to go out on Saturday and execute just like we always do."
On taking pressure away from the passing game:
"I'm sure it opens up; they have to bring down the safeties and Landry [Jones] is able to hit those hole shots. It opens up the play-action game tremendously. The front line did a great job; we were able to execute the run game and it opened up for Landry."
On challenges Baylor's defense presents:
"They're good. Their offense puts up a lot of points, they move up and down the field efficiently. They're defense does give up a little bit of points. It's probably because they're on the field so much. It's going to be a good game; it's probably going to be a shootout."
On feeling like the team can have success because of their defense:
"I feel like we can have success against everyone, Baylor included. We're going to go out and execute and move the ball like we always do."
On his performance at Iowa State:
|| WR Justin Brown
"It felt good to contribute. The offense was clicking, [both] running and passing. It feels good to have everything combine and come together like that."
On his second touchdown reception off a tipped ball:
"I found the ball and the defender tried to make a play on it. It came back to me so I just tried to grab it and get my feet in."
On confidence the team gained from the Iowa State win:
"We gained a lot of confidence. Once you get a win like that on the road, it's definitely huge for your team, in general. We just have to come out here and practice hard this week and be ready for Baylor."
On grading his personal performance on Saturday:
|| DE Chuka Ndulue
"Well, I missed a sack. I've missed a lot of those so far. That's my main issue right now is to stop missing them. I see more of the negative than the positive. That's pretty much the issue; I've got to work better on my pass rush."
On his biggest concern with Baylor throwing intermediate passes:
"My biggest concern is sacking [Nick Florence]; it really is. I don't know what else I can do. It's just to make sure I don't miss when I get back there. That's it."
On improving throughout the season:
"I feel like I'm improving. I feel like I'm better off than I was before. But at the same time, there are things I need to improve right now. My main concern is staying positive and finishing the season. We've still got five more games left, that's a chance to improve in those games and get ready for next season."
On learning from senior defensive lineman:
"Yeah I'm trying to learn from them as much as possible. David [King], R.J. [Washington], Stacy [McGee], Casey [Walker], Jamarkus [McFarland], all those guys are gone next year. I'm trying to be around them as much as I can be before next year. When they leave I'm the return man next year. It's kind of slowly dawning on me I need to learn as much as I can so the younger guys like Jordan [Phillips] and Marquis [Anderson] and all those guys, when they get out there they should know I can help them and tell them what to do as much as I can when they go out there."