View video and quotes from Tuesday's press conference previewing the Aggies.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head Coach Bob Stoops and select Oklahoma players met with the media Tuesday to preview this week's matchup against Texas A&M.
The Sooners and Aggies both look to get back on the winning track after disappointing losses last week. Saturday's game kicks off at 6 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on FSN.
For complete coverage throughout the week and broadcast options for following the Sooners around the world, visit Sooner Gameday Central
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"Going back over last week's Nebraska game, I just thought that it was a very excellent defensive game that just got overshadowed by our inability to come up with some key plays in positive territory. Too many times we moved the ball so well through the day, then we get to the 30-yard line or somewhere approaching the red zone and we weren't able to come up with the fourth-down, the third-down play and we had three missed field goals. In these tight games, with some of the personnel that we are without, we have to be able to make those plays. We have to be able to make field goals and have a chance to win 9-7 or we have to be able to come up with a third or fourth-down play to give ourselves the opportunity to pursue touchdowns.
"Give Nebraska the credit, they stopped us when they had to even though there was a lot of yardage in between in those series. But when we had to have it, we weren't able to get it. We had too many turnovers to win a game on the road, but the major one that gave them the ball at the one caused the only touchdown, surrendered the whole day for both teams. That ended up being the difference in the game and that turnover was costly. That wasn't all Landry's (Jones) fault. The receiver on the play didn't compete through the end of the play to force an incompletion or to contest the ball. Sometimes quarterbacks are left to handle all the criticism for it, but in the end it wasn't all him.
"Adrian Taylor had an incredible night, and Jeremy Beal once again. The defense as a whole really was excellent the whole night. They really only had one big run, but fortunately we got a fumble a play or two later, but that didn't make much of a difference.
"Here we are with another loss, which gets us going into this week with Texas A&M coming to town. Texas A&M is playing great offense. When you look at them they are leading the league in total offense and they are first or second in the league in scoring offense. Jerrod Johnson, their quarterback, is leading the league in total yards or passing yards. He has been really productive and playing great for them. It's another really big challenge hosting them at home. Their defense has given up some points and some yardage. They, statistically, haven't been quite as good as their offense. But look at the way they played Texas Tech on the road, it was really an impressive win for them and had a tight and hard-fought loss up in Colorado just last week. They are a very productive team when you watch what they have been able to do offensively. Again, it's another challenge for us."
On if offensive changes will be made:
"To a certain degree yes, but then again in four days practice, how much can you truly retool ten games into it with some inexperienced guys as it is? They are gaining experience in what we have been doing and let's face it, last week everybody was writing that these guys were finally coming of age, making plays and are getting comfortable in the system. So now all of a sudden to scrap the system, I don't believe that is the answer. The other night, there were a lot of yards there. We ran the ball in a lot of instances really well, we protected the quarterback well and we got good yardage. We weren't productive when we got to plus territory around the 30-yard line approaching the red zone. It's not like we didn't move the ball. So no, I don't think that is the way to go. To all of a sudden scrap everything you're doing and start a new at this point in the year, no. We can try to modify it and make some adjustments to a degree, which we always do, we work with it."
On if injuries have played a factor in the season:
"We've been talking about it all year. I'm not going to sit here and say no. It's just odd too because the injuries are unusual, [OU Head Athletics Trainer] Scott Anderson has never seen a fractured heel. The tendon that Auston English is having surgery on later today, Scott has never seen that tendon injured in all his years in training. We have never seen Brody's situation, it's actually in his neck. We've never had these before. So we've had a lot of odd situations and odd injuries that are really highly unusual."
On preparing the kickers mentally:
"We bring them off the sideline when the offense is going through plays, we always have music blaring and we have the defense yelling at them. In the end, that's about all we can do. I can't get 80,000 people in an away stadium to go to practice. I don't think anyone would show up to watch us kick the ball. In the end, no matter what you simulate you have to be able to respond in that atmosphere. Hopefully as they go forward they will be able to mature and be able to handle it."
On the team's mentality following the loss:
"They worked well. They had energy, moved around and hustled through Monday workouts like they always have. All we are worried about is this week. We are trying to be good enough this week to win this game. That has always been our mentality, again, no matter what our circumstances."
On the team's motivation through the rest of the season:
"We have to come out and keep responding and keep playing. We need to challenge the other players that regardless of their experience, they are here and need to play well, practice well and embrace the challenge. We need to play well, we are expected to play well and that is what we need to do. We need to invest in the week and get ourselves in a position to play well."
On the defense:
"They have been a really good group. You don't expect to have someone beat you who has seven first downs and you force them to have 11 punts, it's hard to believe. In the end, they are doing a really good job. They are doing a really good job preparing. They are really a smart group, being where they need to be, recognizing formations and what people are doing and being able to get on the same page and make adjustments to it. There's obviously excellent ability to tackle, quickness in getting to where you need to go. But I always think that when a defense is playing really well it's because they are playing smart."
On Landry Jones struggling on the road:
"In the end, it gets down to having that experience on the road, playing and being on the field more. He didn't have his best game, it's quite obvious. Why? It's hard to put your finger on, but I'm sure the atmosphere had something to do with it."
On if he is more dejected after this loss:
"I don't know that I felt very good after any of them. At a certain point, sure, everything that has happened throughout the year aggravates you, it motivates you to do better. We're constantly searching for ways to overcome it so that's what we're trying to do: To get better in certain areas, to not hurt ourselves with foolish penalties, to execute better in critical situations, to make a field goal when you need to make it. We are just looking and constantly searching for ways to make improvement."
On losing four games by a total of 12 points:
"Yeah it makes it aggravating, because you see that if you had a little bit better play here and there and you have the chance to change the outcome. That's how it goes. We have to find a way to do it."
On the offense is staying on track:
|| Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson
"I wouldn't say we're off track but I don't think we're on going as fast or as clean as you want to go. You can talk about all the things that have happened to us but in every game the key thing for me, offensively, going back to last year, is turnovers."
On if the offense has regressed from last year:
"Last year we only had ten turnovers. This year we've had ten in our last two losses. Two were on the special teams, but our offense has turned over the ball eight times in our last two losses. That's the number in winning or losing. Last year we had fourteen games and only ten turnovers. We protected the quarterback. This year we had a boat load of negative plays and penalties. That to me is the only regression this year."
On replacing starters of the offensive line due to injury:
"It'll be Stephen Good to do more protection and run oriented playing. Stephen would be our next guy at tackle. Tavaris Jeffries couldn't be with us last week due to a family situation but we have him back at guard. Tyler Evans will be at guard, Brian Lepak playing center guard. We'll have five bodies inside. We have Cory Brandon and Trent Williams at tackle and complement that with Stephen Good "
On the potential of Jarrett Brown and Justin Chaisson:
|| Sophomore DE Frank Alexander
"Jarrett Brown and Justin Chaisson, they're going to be two good players. They're young right now, but it's kind of the same situation with everybody when they first come in. We didn't know the defense well but you just want to go out there and play and those guys, they're really buying into the system now. They're going to be tremendous players once they get going and know the defense and get confidence in themselves. It will be real nice.
"Jarrett, he's going to be nice. A lot of people don't know that he only played one year of high school football so he got a scholarship off of one year of football. So he must be doing something well. Once he gets down the game and knows what to do and gets confidence in himself, it will make him a much better player. I know he's working out with [Coach Jerry Schmidt] right now, so I know he's going to put on some weight and get stronger in the weight room."
On the players that he has taken under his wing:
"R.J. [Washington] and David [King], even though they're older than me. I'm in my third year, but I'm still the youngest in the DE room, besides Justin [Chaisson] and Jarrett [Brown]. I've been trying to look out for them and make sure they know what to do because I had to go through the same situation they had to go through. Just letting them know that you never know what might happen so you have to be ready at all times.
"Just like Saturday, when Auston [English] went down, I had to step in again like the same situation from last year so that's basically what I try to get them to see. You can't think about what's going on right now, you always have to stay positive and you never know what situation you might be in."
On who took him under their wing when he first got to Oklahoma:
"When I got here, it was Auston [English], J-Will [John Williams] and Alonzo Dotson. Those guys were here when I got here so they took me under their wings and taught me what I need to do and taught me all the details I needed to know about the defense and how to put this together and put that together and make it very simple. So I appreciate them taking their time out to work with me."
On what really helped him improve his game:
"Just to go out there and be relentless. You can't think about any mistakes, you just have to go out there and play and react, react to the keys. You can't think about messing up because if you go out there with too much on your mind, you won't play a good game like you want. So you just have to go out there and have a clean mind and leave it all on the field. J-Will [John Williams] used to tell me that all the time. Once you get your opportunity, you have to go run with it and don't look back."
On his friendship with Landry Jones and Tress Way:
|| Freshman C Ben Habern
"I've been with them since the whole recruiting process, so we kind of already knew each other before coming here. We've been going to church together and stuff like that since we were freshmen. Everyone has rough games. Obviously we didn't play to the best of our ability. We just need to bounce back from it."
On Jones and Way bouncing back from the loss:
"I honestly feel like they've both handled it really well. After the game, I texted both of them saying we need to bounce back from this and we'll be all right, everyone has a bad game, things like that. They're both staying positive about it. Even in practice yesterday everyone was positive, Landry and I were joking around before practice. I'm excited to see how well they do on Saturday to not really prove themselves, I feel like they've already done that, but to bounce back from the game."
On Jones' performance against Nebraska:
"As a freshman quarterback, playing at a big time school like Oklahoma, you're going to throw interceptions and have games where you don't play to the best of your ability. You can't really go to Nebraska and play the best game of your life. That's one of the hardest places to play. It was really loud and a prime time game. It just didn't turn out the way we wanted. I feel Landry had handled it really well and it's just one of those things he needs to learn from."
On losing Brody Eldridge halfway through the game:
"Jarvis Jones came in and did a great job. He played guard at the beginning of the year against BYU and already had experience there. When Brody went down we were upset and sad for him. Stephen played left guard all of spring and even some in two-a-days. We were confident in him moving over to the left and Jarvis coming in at right. I felt Jarvis did a great job at blocking Suh and Crick. I feel like he did a great job but obviously we came up short in the game."