View complete coverage from Tuesday's press conference previewing Saturday's game.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops and select OU players met with the media Tuesday to discuss this weekend's top-five clash between Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Gameday Central
The No. 2 Red Raiders are the highest-ranked opponent the Sooners have faced at home since defeating No. 1 Nebraska in 2000. Saturday's game will be televised nationally by ABC beginning at 7 p.m.
Video complete game week video coverage above. Quotes from Coach Stoops and OU's players are also available below, courtesy of OU Athletics Media Relations.
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
"We are excited to be into game week finally and off of the bye week. We got some extra work done last week in preparing for this big game, as did Texas Tech. We are really excited about the challenge before us. It is a big challenge; Tech is a really good team. Mike (Leach) and his staff have done an excellent job in all parts of the game, not just offense. Their defense is playing well and they have a lot of good players across the board in all parts of the game. This again, is a challenge for us here at home to come out and play well as a team. Of course you have to be excited to be in this environment, and have this game in front of you, and we just have to be a our best to come out be ready to play come Saturday night."
On if the crowd can have an effect on the visiting team:
"That is something that our crowd will hopefully take an active interest in for this game. They are a no huddle team that does a lot of communicating at the line of scrimmage, and the louder you are, the more difficult you make it on them and it can influence the game. That is something I hope our crowd takes an interest in and not just cheering when we are going into the end zone, but actively cheering and making noise when they are trying to communicate and get something going. Hopefully it can take away from something they are doing, and hopefully we will have that from our fans come Saturday."
On why the team has been so dominant at home:
"I don't know that there is one answer why we have been so successful at home in the last 10 years. I think maybe, just our overall focus and our play are probably the biggest reasons."
On trying to cover Michael Crabtree:
"He is just a great athlete. He is a big guy with great speed and great hands. He is competitive and is just one of those special players that you always have to be aware of, and pay attention to. He is big number five. You can't miss him. They will move him around some, although he does have a generally standard position."
On the Tech defense:
"They are, for the most part, a base 4-3 with a cover 4. They are very sound and disciplined in how they play. Disciplined in their structure, and they aren't much on giving you a bunch of different wrinkles. They like to play much like their offense, they do what they do, and they do it well. They do a very good job of playing fundamental good football."
On pressuring the quarterback:
"Tech's splits in its offensive line aren't as wide as they used to be. They will still stretch it out a little, but for the most part they have brought it back in to where they are fairly normal to most teams. Their protection is good because they have good offensive linemen. They are physical, move well, block well and run block well. They are just a solid offensive line."
On if there is an advantage of having played in big games in the past:
"They have been in big games too, so in the end you have to go out there and play for it. I don't see that as much of a difference."
On Texas Tech's ability to run the ball:
"I have always respected their run game. Maybe more than the media talks about. They will always hurt you with the run game when you allow them too, and even when you try not to let them. We have to be aware of it, and we are. From watching tape, their backs do a great job, and their linemen block well."
On senior night:
"They are a great group of guys. With the game and its implications, you don't want to forget those guys, and we don't. Then again, we have another game after this week and then more to come. They have been a great group of seniors and kept a great attitude. I really thought, that this year, they have stepped up and have really shown a lot of leadership through the year, maybe even more so than we have had in the past. It makes you proud as a coach to see that those guys can take control of the team and what they expect."
On facing Texas Tech's red zone defense:
|| Sophomore QB Sam Bradford
"We know that they have a very good red zone defense and a lot of teams have been able to move the ball on them, but when they got to the red zone, they failed to score any points. We know that once we get down there, even if we've been controlling the ball and the pocket, we need to put points on the board.
"They don't give up many big plays, they keep everything in front of them. They're very disciplined and I think they're a very good defense."
On Texas Tech's quarterback Graham Harrell:
"From what I've seen of him, he's very patient. I think he does a great job of buying time in the pocket, sliding around and moving to buy an extra second of time to find an open receiver. Once he finds an open receiver, he's very good at getting the ball there."
On feeling the buzz on campus of this week's game:
"In class talking to my friends, just talking to people, everyone here is excited for this game. Even the energy in the locker room yesterday, I felt as a team, we had the most energy for a Monday practice that we've had in a long time. I think everyone is excited to play on Saturday."
On the progress of the no-huddle offense throughout the season:
"When we first started practicing it, I really wasn't sure about it because I was uncomfortable in it. I felt like everyone was just in a panic because no one really knew what was going on and we were just going ninety miles an hour. I think once we all had gotten used to it and played in it for several months now together, I really enjoy it and think everyone else does too."
On defending the Tech offense:
|| Senior Safety Nic Harris
"They are extremely good at what they do and have the opportunity to space you out. It's our responsibility as backs to make tackles. We need to have a good week of preparation."
On creating turnovers:
"We need to make sure they don't nickel and dime us and whenever we are given the opportunity to make a big play, that's exactly what we need to do. We need to limit the yards after the catch and create turnovers and we should be fine."
On the defense's preparation:
"As long as we have a great week of preparation ,enforce the game plan, come out and do what we need to do and make tackles, I will be comfortable with our defense."
On containing Crabtree:
"He is a great player and a big guy who can separate himself from the coverage, and I feel that Graham and Crabtree have one of the best quarterback-receiver threats in college football today. The thing we need to do on defense is make sure to limit his catches, limit his yards after the catches, and if we can do that, and make them one-dimensional, take away the run-game and we should be fine."
On the magnitude of the game Saturday:
|| Senior WR Juaquin Iglesias
"It is as big as it gets. Just for the fact that all of our goals are still in reach, and if we win you never know what's going to happen in the BCS. We are just going to try to treat it like another game, and we are just going to try to keep going and keep focused out there."
On if this is the best Tech defense he has seen:
"I would say so. They are more experienced, and they were able to stop us some last year too. I think the thing that is different about them is that they are more physical. They react to the ball faster and come at you more. We have to bring the game to them."
On if Tech impressed him when they played Texas and Oklahoma State:
"Yeah, they got after those guys, and I think they brought the game to them. They were playing at home and were fired up, and the intensity showed. They did a great job, and they are playing really good defense right now."
On OU/Texas Tech hype:
|| Junior TE Jermaine Gresham
"To us, it's just another game that is a block in the way of our destination, so we just really try to take it one game at a time. It would be easy to get caught up in the hype, so you just have to try to block it out and stay focused, know your assignment and exactly what you have to do."
On the added pressure of this matchup:
"Tech's defense is physical, they play hard and fast. We approach every week the same no matter who we are playing, every time we get that ball we want to score a touchdown, so I don't feel any added pressure. I have faith in our defense just like they have faith in us; whatever we do, we do it as a whole."
On anticipating this week's game against Texas Tech:
|| Sophomore RB DeMarco Murray
"We are going to have to put up points and they're going to have to put up points. Both teams are going to have success and it'll be like a roller coaster, and we're going to have to stay focused."We know we have to run the ball and take care of the ball. It all starts with the offensive line. They just have to continue to create holes and protect Sam. I think we'll have a good shot."
On the offense picking up after the Texas loss:
"It's just the fact that we challenge ourselves. We have to help Sam [Bradford], the receivers, the passing game and what not out. We just have to keep being more physical at the line of scrimmage. The line of scrimmage sets the tone for both sides of the ball."
On playing such a big game at home:
"Whenever you're playing at home, you always have a little comfort with the crowd behind you. So it's going to be a great atmosphere coming in. People talk about the 2000 game against Nebraska, so hopefully our fans will come in here and help us out."