View video and quotes from Tuesday's press conference previewing Texas Tech.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Coach Stoops, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and junior RB DeMarco Murray met with the media Tuesday to preview this week's game at Texas Tech.
The Sooners (6-4, 4-2 Big 12) and Red Raiders (6-4, 3-3 Big 12) kick off at 11:30 a.m. (CT) Saturday in Lubbock. The game will be televised regionally 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 through and reviewing last week's game as always, I thought it really was an excellent effort all around. It really began with the defense, forcing an early fumble and returning it for a touchdown and then playing so solidly through the rest of the game. They eliminated a team that after nine games led the conference in total offense and was first or second in scoring offense. To limit them as we did and make the stops we did is really positive. Brian Jackson once again had an incredible day and Travis Lewis. Many of the guys up front as always played really well.
"Offensively I was encouraged with how Landry (Jones) threw the football, throwing for nearly 400 yards. Also, taking care of the football, we had the one turnover that leads to a touchdown but outside of that there were no fumbles and no other balls that were in jeopardy. The execution was good. We ran for well over 200 yards. DeMarco Murray had another incredible day with roughly 230 all purpose yards, receiving and running. Trent Williams had an outstanding day going against their great pass rusher and was really just excellent throughout the day.
"I thought our kicking game was very solid once again. Tress Way had right around 47 yards punting the football. All of our cover units were really strong and good. We had 11 kickoffs and we really covered well the whole night.
"Now going to Texas Tech here this week, it's always challenging playing Mike's teams. He does an excellent job coaching and defending their offense is always a big challenge of limiting them, making your plays, getting your stops, hopefully getting to their quarterback and also stopping their running game and trying to get turnovers. Offensively, hopefully we can just have some continuity of being able to keep some balance, rush the football, protect the quarterback and protect the football. Those are things that you need to do to play good football."
On being linked to Notre Dame:
"I don't have any thoughts about it, there is nothing to talk about. Notre Dame has a coach and I have a great job. People just make stuff up, I don't need to comment on that. If there was some basis to anything, I would gladly comment on it. But just some guy making stuff up, I don't need to comment on that."
On getting DeMarco Murray the ball more:
"It's just trying to find different ways to get him the football other than just turning and handing it to him. The other night he had a good number of touches and a ton of yards. He can do a lot of things. He's talented in that you can use him as a part-time receiver or bring him back in motion in the backfield. There are a lot of options with him. It's not only his speed and his ability to make people miss him, but also his ability to run through. If you just get an arm on him, if they don't get their whole body on him they're not stopping him. He's so powerful that he runs through a lot of stuff too."
On the performance of the offensive line:
"They played really well Saturday. Second quarter we still had too many penalties, so we're still trying to work through that. I felt that way the week before. But as far as blocking, protecting and those type of things, they are improving."
On Brian Simmons:
"He practiced yesterday. So he is set to play this week, provided everything goes as it should this week."
On the team's performance on the road vs. at home:
"You have to look at everything. The opponent probably makes a difference, the style of defenses you're going against, the number of turnovers you get. Whether you're at home or on the road it all goes together. There are a lot of differences. I think it's fair to say we've had more turnovers on the road and probably haven't forced as many."
On Dejuan Miller:
"Dejuan has had some really nice games. I think what happened is maybe in last week's games he didn't have as many opportunities. In the week before, at Nebraska, he had some really nice catches and in the Kansas State game too. We've been very excited about the progress of Dejaun, he was fine the other night, it's just some games he has more opportunities in some games than others with the personnel that we are trying to work around. Sometimes it just works out that way depending on their coverage and where the quarterback is reading first. But we're very excited about his progress through the middle part of this year."
On running the wildcat with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles:
"It isn't a new revelation, we have always wanted it in their hands. It's just trying to find more ways to do it, even eliminating the quarterback every once in awhile and getting it to them immediately and trying to play hide-and-seek with the football and hopefully catching a seam and making a big play. It's not like we all of a sudden realized they're big playmakers, we're just trying to find easier ways to have them have their hands on the ball."
On the defense this season:
"It's been a neat group. It's probably been our best as far as wanting to practice well. I think intelligence makes a great defense. They're really smart. They see how an offense is trying to make gaps and how we can cancel it. These guys really want to get it, they really pay attention and ask questions. Even in the way they practice, they practice well. They have a strong pride to really perform well and they want to perform well in practice. It's really obvious to me, that they are a smart group and are really the best in the way they practice."
On Texas Tech's offense:
"Mike's (Leach) offense at Tech is very unique. Everyone has their different ways they want to move the ball, but is a definite different way than most spreads."
On the different quarterbacks at Texas Tech:
"I think both (Taylor) Potts and (Steven) Sheffield do an excellent job. They have good arms. You see all the familiar patterns and routes and spacing of their receivers like Mike (Leach) does. It looks very similar to me when I watch them."
On who will be kicking field goals against Texas Tech:
"We will see. Again, it's an ongoing battle through the week. Patty (Patrick) O'Hara looked pretty good there towards the end and we'll see if he can maintain consistency here through the week. I've always had him ready for really long ones. He has a really strong leg, he just occasionally loses control over it in practice, but he's been more and more consistent and I liked what he did the other night."
On getting the ball to DeMarco Murray:
|| Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson
“The problem I had at Nebraska, we felt like the injury situation we had with Brandon Caleb out--we needed DeMarco at receiver. And you get tired when you’re out there because you’re running and when you go through a progression you might get it, you might not. He played a lot in that game and didn’t get the ball but I want to say about 11, 12, 13 times and that needs to be 18-23, maybe more. Not to force it to him by any means, but when the ball is in his hands, he definitely is electric. He can definitely make plays. He’s very solid in the pass game, but when you say let’s play him at receiver there’s a lot of plays we’re trying to get to Ryan [Broyles] and still he’s getting some because you can easily double cover a guy or coverage takes you to the other side of the field so we’ll try to keep working him in to the pass game. More than anything I would just try to get him a little more involved at tailback. Where I thought the game before we didn’t have him as much at tailback in the game. We didn’t run it as much as we needed to.”
On why the scoring is down in the league:
“In our league, I think there’s definitely some significantly better play. Although I thought last year, you know, Texas and our defense were both pretty solid. This year Nebraska’s picked it up and you’ve seen Texas Tech has improved statistically at every phase. I mean they did a nice job last week at Oklahoma State who has a proven outstanding offense. So yeah I think the more you see things, like when the wishbone came out, everybody’s going to do it in time and guys have gotten a little better at defending it, so I’m sure everybody’s seeing it. Last year was the first year of the spread. Last year you had some more talented players playing with [Sam] Bradford, [Jermaine] Gresham and those guys. With graduation we lost some good guys so I’m sure that’s a little bit a part of it. To me, I think, other than turnovers, our lack of production has been with the increased number of penalties we seem to have that get us in first-and-twenty.”
On getting Landry Jones comfort level:
“My comment was during the game when early I thought he missed a couple things that were really there. As well as he played, there was a couple early he left like ‘wow’, we just didn’t see it and what not. My comment to try to get him to settle down to Josh (Heupel) during the game was what do you see, what are you comfortable with? Typically a young guy likes everything. Just call that, I like it. In reality, if you had a choice and you could pick your first choice, what’s your first choice? What’s your second choice? We have each week 60-80 pass concepts with formation varying more than that probably.”
On the issue of penalties:
“To me, there’s two choices that you make. One, we’ve kind of gotten a little thin at spots but maybe we need to play another guy. We’ve tried the last couple weeks. Like I said at Nebraska, we have to see how we do things in practice and how we relate to those mistakes and try to get those corrected in our teaching format whether we’re doing some things post practice, and not necessarily negative, but in a concentration mode deal. To get you when you’re too tired to think and play with great discipline.”
On last year’s game against Texas Tech:
“They were playing really well and we were really ready and played a good game. The year before, they were really ready and came out and got all over us. Last year’s kind of the past; different team, different guys, different quarterbacks. Both teams were really hot. Our crowd was unbelievably energized. That crowd was different. Our team always plays well but outside of playing well that was the most unique crowd experience that I had ever seen in my time at Oklahoma and it was huge. Our team fed off that.”
On Texas Tech’s defense:
“They’ve gotten a lot better the last few years. Stat wise, they’ve improved statistically in yards given up and points given up. Last week they held Oklahoma State to 90 yards in the first half. I think they had in the ballpark of 90 yards passing. They’ve picked their spots of when to blitz but it’s similar to Nebraska’s defense in a four-across, four-three defense that is very stout up front. They lead the league in sacks at 33 and it’s because of a great deal of blitzing. They make you snap it again and again and again. The first thing I always like to do is pull up all the clips and look at yards gained.”
On wide receiver Dejuan Miller:
|| Junior RB DeMarco Murray
“I think some balls just haven’t gone his way. You’ll see glimpses of him doing well while catching the ball or running after the catch. I think he’ll continue to improve the more he plays. He’s been doing a good job this year.”
On playing on the road in Lubbock:
“We know the past two times we’ve been down there we’ve lost. Last year we beat them here at home, but it’s always a crazy time when playing down in Lubbock. Their fans are pretty crazy. I think we need to be immune to it and settle down.”
On performing his best toward the end of the season:
“I feel like I get stronger as the season goes on. I know everybody gets banged up a bit, but I need to push myself to continue to play hard and practice hard. I need to think like that.”
On the atmosphere of last year’s game against Texas Tech:
“I remember how loud it was. I’ve never been a part of a game that was that loud, besides maybe the Miami game, that one was loud too. Last year’s game was one of the greatest atmospheres I’ve ever played in. I’m sure their (Tech’s) fans are going to be going crazy for them and making it as loud as it can be come Saturday.”
On Texas Tech wanting revenge after OU ruined their perfect season last year:
“I’m not worried about it. They’re going to play us hard regardless, and we’re going to play them hard. We’re fighting for the best bowl game we can get in and I’m sure they are too.”
On Coach Wilson wanting to get him the ball more:
“It makes me feel good. I love having the ball and I feel like I can do a lot of things with it, whether it’s receiving or rushing.”