Coach Stoops and the Sooners review the win against West Virginia and preview Oklahoma State.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Head coach Bob Stoops, QB Landry Jones, DE David King and WR Kenny Stills met with the media Monday in OU's weekly press conference from Norman.
It's Bedlam Week as Oklahoma (8-2 overall, 6-1 Big 12) plays its final home game of the season Saturday when the Sooners host Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. CT (ESPN).
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
"Going back through and recapping last weekend's game at West Virginia, I'm really excited about the poise of our team and the resiliency for us to come back and go down the field and execute the way we did to win the game. I thought to start that whole last drive out, Brennan Clay makes a great play with our kickoff return unit; he gets the ball in the absolute worst position that you can get it in and he finds a way to bring it out all the way to around the 45-yard line. Landry [Jones] was great throughout the whole day and, particularly on the last drive, really great with his execution. The offensive line protected him and the receivers did a great job getting open. A couple of guys, Justin Brown did a great job with the catch, Kenny Stills was good. We tried to run it and they stuffed that so then we went back to Landry, and the fourth down play, he audibled out of what we had and he felt Kenny had some extra space in there and Kenny put it right on his facemask for the touchdown. Again, really a great job with Kenny and Landry on that particular play. With that, the offensive coaches really executed throughout the day. A couple of disappointments on the day were just the turnovers; away from home those will really hurt you, and we were fortunate to overcome them.
"Defensively obviously we had a poor day, but give West Virginia some credit; they are an excellent offensive football team. In the end, I understand we need to make some adjustments and that's part of what it is for us, what we're asking our guys to do and some of our technique issues, we have to do a better job. In some instances we could have tackled better, but again with what we're asking our guys to do, we need to make adjustments to defend the run better.
"I was very pleased with the special teams, when you kick the ball nine times to Tavon Austin you're holding your breath. Going back on the last return of the day, we said that we've been covering great all day and we had to kick it deep to him, and our guys went down and covered great again. We missed that one field goal, which is kind of disappointing. It's unlike Michael [Hunnicutt]; he's been great throughout the year.
"This brings us to a position to play Oklahoma State here this week, another big challenge; they're playing excellent football. As you watch them they are very disciplined and sound defensively in how they play, they always are. Offensively they continue to be very productive running the ball and throwing."
On if playing seven defensive backs allows teams to run more:
"To a degree it does. Last week with [Tavon] Austin in the backfield, we needed to make an adjustment."
On if they made defensive adjustments:
"We made a few. At certain times we had a blitz where Gabe [Lynn], our defensive end jumped too far inside and got caught. So yeah, we changed some things up but obviously not well enough."
On if Landry Jones has the option to audible any play:
"To a degree, but usually Coach [Josh] Heupel audibles for him."
On if he saw Landry Jones audible the last play:
"I saw it plain as day, giving Kenny [Stills] the signal. We saw it coming."
On how he defines missed tackles:
"It depends on how much space. When you're in position to make the tackle, and you don't make it, it's pretty obvious what a missed tackle is. But also, we're aware that in some instances we can do some things better technique-wise in the amount of space we're giving a guy to tackle. Again, it's a little bit of everybody. We need to make some improvement."
On why the formation West Virginia used with running Tavon Austin off-tackle worked so well:
"Again, it's part of how we were playing some things fundamentally with our techniques up front. It's part of it, as well as the positioning of some of our defenders. I'm not going to sit here and tell you what we want to do to fix it. That wouldn't be very wise of me."
On the defense having missed tackles:
"We haven't had that [so many missed tackles] in a long, long time. Again, the interesting part, where I don't want to sit here and not give Tavon Austin, obviously he'll get his credit, and he should. When the other guy's running 20 times for 62 yards, he ran it 21 for whatever. They didn't run different plays with those other guys, so this guy can make some things happen and he hadn't been in the backfield."
On how he ranks this team in terms of tackling:
"It has been [good]. We had a bad game and a guy that made us miss him. It's not like our first game or we haven't tackled pretty well through the year. We didn't play very well overall. I thought we could play better, and again, I'm not discounting the skill of what [Tavon Austin] made us do. It is a little bit of both."
On if there is more pressure on players like Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris:
"We're asking them a little bit too much sometimes to make some tackles in some areas that are pretty difficult, so that's where we've got to make some adjustments and how we are playing some of our guys up front in front of them, too. We've got our hand it in as coaches to try to make some adjustments to give those guys a fair opportunity, too. He's [Jefferson] being a little too hard on himself. It's a little bit of there are some plays he probably could have made, but there's some too that were pretty tough with the guy we had out there."
On Tony Jefferson:
"He hasn't missed many [tackles] through the year, and he's been a good tackler. There were a few occasions that that happened the other day."
"Daryl Williams will be out for a few weeks. Obviously for the next two games. He has a sprained MCL, medial collateral ligament, so he will be out for a few weeks, not sure how many. Hopefully he will be back for whatever bowl game there may be."
On the offensive line's pass protection:
"I thought the guys hung in there really well the other night in losing Daryl [Williams] fairly early. The guys did a great job. I know there were a few plays Derek Farniok went in, actually our first touchdown, went in after a guy's helmet went off and protected well. Through the game, they did a really good job. I thought Landry [Jones] had three, four occasions where he escaped the pocket, bought extra time and made some excellent throws on the run that were really big with him being able to slide out and make some things happen with his feet and buy a little bit of time."
On the run game:
"A little inconsistent, but overall, we had our times where it was pretty effective. Again, it opens up some play-action throws."
On criticism of Landry Jones after this game:
"You've got to be kidding me. Again, there are a lot of ignorant people. People don't know. People are pretty foolish in what their opinions are and how they understand football. Any guy away from home that goes 38 of 51 for 554 yards with the scoring drive to win at the end with six touchdowns and one interception… People don't know football. So, so what? There's a lot of ignorance out there in the world when it comes to different things, and they may be bright in whatever they do, but they're not very bright in football."
On if Ty Darlington will play a bigger role now following Daryl Williams' injury:
"He could. Ty can go in at center and move Gabe [Ikard] to guard on occasion. We will work through what some of our plans would be. We're always, the coaches, will be talking through what's our best way to go if things like that happen. Hopefully we don't get anymore."
On the challenges the Oklahoma State offense presents:
"All kinds. They've got excellent skill. They're excellent at running the football. Then they do a great job of play-action and throwing the football. We need to get some things improved and change some things up to hopefully defend the run first better to start with."
On Oklahoma State having three quarterbacks that play at a high level:
"I think it's fair to say, yes [the success of the quarterbacks is indicative of the offensive line]. Their line has played well. They run the ball well, always take some pressure off your quarterbacks. It opens up play-action passes where there's more space, and the receivers do a good job. All the quarterbacks have been good in their system, too, but all the guys around them have executed really well."
On defensive back Julian Wilson getting sick after the game:
"He had no concussion. Not sure why, but he didn't have any issues during the game, just got kind of sick coming up the ramp afterward. Maybe had too much Gatorade, I don't know."
On the pass defense:
"Not good enough. We had our times where it was decent, but it needs to be better as well."
On running down the clock late in the game:
"It was a little bit to use some time, but it was also we felt we had been effective, especially in there with Blake [Bell], getting some good plays, so we thought, 'Well let's get him in there,' and we'd be effective scoring and using some clock. Of course, it didn't work. Actually, before I called the first timeout, I thought we were going to get it off sooner than we did. Then, I eventually called it because we still weren't on the same page with what we were doing, so I eventually used a timeout."
On if he is glad West Virginia didn't just give the ball to Tavon Austin on the last drive:
"We were looking for it. Again, if they do that and you tackle them, then they should have thrown it. We were certainly aware it could happen and we were hopefully ready to come try and limit it."
On Landry Jones' game-winning drive:
"That's fair to say [there aren't a lot of opportunities for OU quarterbacks to have comebacks] because we haven't been behind a whole bunch. That's part of the issue. It's not like he has had a chance to do it a whole lot. To be honest, he just hasn't. To come back, again, he was awesome throughout the day but definitely in that last drive. The throws he made, he was throwing strikes. I believe he was on the run the one he threw to Justin Brown, over the middle, he escapes, runs to his right, throws it back inside, those aren't easy throws to make."
On other OU quarterbacks playing from behind:
"I don't know that Jason [White] was ever behind, maybe the last game against LSU. We were driving toward the end. We had one drop by Mark Clayton and we overshot Kejuan Jones right down the middle, wide open."
On if Landry Jones and his receivers are all on the same page now:
"I think that's been pretty obvious for the last several weeks. They're on the same page. We have been playing very consistently together and have been spreading the ball out to all of them, which is a big deal, too. Even the running backs here and there. I thought Damien Williams had a couple of excellent catches out there, and Landry made some great throws to him."
On the difficulty in finding a balance between pass defense and rush defense:
"There is. In the end, and some of what teams are doing, it's difficult to get the balance to cover like you need to and still support the run. Obviously, we're still working through that. In the end, we have through the year been much better defending the pass. That has limited the number of big plays up until last week. For the most part, it's put us in this position. Even in the games we lost, we were in tight, good football games. We are in the right direction. We still have to make improvements, though. We've got some things to adjust, and hopefully we can do some things this week differently that will help us. We are definitely going to work hard at it."
On if he would call the defensive schemes a little radical compared to what they've done in the past:
"No, I think we had a little bit too much faith in some of our base structure that we played. We will make some changes."
On if it will be tough to recruit defensive tackles and linebackers:
"We've got a good number of linebackers that still play and do well. I don't believe so because we still play our share of people that aren't doing that."
On Baylor beating Kansas State:
"With all respect to Kansas State, it isn't surprising because of the parity throughout the conference. If you're just off a little bit, it doesn't take much for anyone to beat you, and certainly a team that is as explosive as Baylor is offensively, anything can happen. As I say that, nothing surprises me in this league because everyone is capable of beating everyone else."
On if the team talks about the shot at winning the Big 12:
"It's more the only opportunity we might have at anything like that would be to play well and win this league. That's what we will talk about."
On Kenny Stills saying it is easier to play from behind when a game behind in the Big 12:
"I would think it would be equally motivational to stay undefeated. Kenny can explain that, why he feels that way. But to me, it shouldn't matter."
On if has talked to the team about late-season scenarios where the Sooners have won the Big 12 in the past:
"What really matters to my guys is practice today and the game Saturday. So how are we going to play well, do what we do, work the process? See where we are at Sunday. End of story."
On if it is difficult to create a new game plan for defense like on offense:
"Absolutely. We can't just all of a sudden radically change everything that you're doing. It's tough to do."
On Brennan Clay's kick returns:
"Brennan is a very versatile back. He can do everything. He can run the football. He's got great hands. He's always been a good pass protector and return guy. He contributes in a lot of ways, always ready to go in, and you always can count on him."
On what stands out about the seniors:
"I think what I've been really pleased about is really from the winter and spring on, they've really been a solid group with our attitude, our character, which I felt overall slipped last year. They have really maintained a consistent, positive work ethic attitude, discipline off the field. Our expectations are what we've been used to having around here, and they've done a good job of setting an example of how to do it and of influencing other guys to do it right. We've still got two big games left for them, but they've done a great job to this point."
On the improvement of Oklahoma State's interior defense:
"They do a really good job inside, outside, getting pressure. They are active with their defensive line and front. Bring their blitzes. They mix them in from time to time, so you've got to be aware, hopefully be able to pick them up, but they do a really good job of it."
On Oklahoma State's run game:
"It starts with the guys up front, when they run the football, they do an excellent job of blocking and picking up the right people. Then, [Joseph] Randle does a good job of just making good cuts, has great vision, can make people miss him, does all of those things. He's an excellent back."
On what he's seen from Oklahoma State's run game the past few weeks:
"I thought it looked pretty good last week from what I saw. I think from game to game what's emphasized more and what opportunities you have maybe moving the football other ways. They are still moving the football. I think from game to game they may choose to emphasize it more than different games. Still, it's always been effective."
On Oklahoma State being consistent in the run game, even with playing three different quarterbacks:
"They really haven't [missed a beat]. They've done an excellent job of all those guys. The guys around them have all executed well to help support that position, and then those guys themselves have played well."
On how much of Dana Holgorsen's impact is still seen at Oklahoma State:
"There are a lot of similarities in what they [OSU and West Virginia] do. There are a lot of similarities in what we do as well. It goes all the way back to [Mike] Leach. We understand that they have a lot of similarities."
On wide receiver Justin Brown:
"Justin's been absolutely fantastic as a young man. I am sure today it is still difficult for him, but he's really embraced it. He's had a great, great year. He's an incredibly mature and sharp young man. He's going to have a bright future after here. It's still tough, but as he went through the season, he found himself really being a total part of the offense. Landry [Jones] is comfortable with him. Landry will go to him as much as he will anybody. He's made plays. He's been consistent. He's been tough in a tough situation. It's just hard to follow the emotion and the friendships and all of that to have two teams you really care about now. He's really made the most of it, I would say, and I would like to think it's been a positive for him the way he's played for us and the great year he's had. He's really impacted us in an incredibly positive way."
On Justin Brown not wanting to be disrespectful to his Penn State teammates:
"I told him that early on. Don't ever get in that comparison game because it never comes out right. In the end, he loves his teammates back there and the teams he was on. It really bothered him what was going to happen there, and he knew the situation here could be positive, and I think it has been. He's just stayed away from it, as he should. Embrace what you're doing now without comparing."
On if the players embrace Bedlam as a big rivalry:
"Absolutely. How could you not? In the end, guys definitely do. It's pretty simple to."
On if Oklahoma State winning the Big 12 last season helped change the perception of the program:
"I don't know. You would have to ask them. I've always had great respect for what they were doing before last year."
On if the Bedlam game has increased in significance as Oklahoma State has improved:
"All I know is that I've got to play it. It's been a rival game. It didn't start last year. It has been for a good number of years."
On the ability of Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh to run:
"You can't lose the extra blocker. You've got to figure out how you're going to handle it when they're running those plays and how you're going to support it with what defensive backs."
On what defenses are doing to stop the Belldozer:
"Occasionally, they are going to beat a block or get underneath you or do something that crosses you up. It wouldn't be fair if we were always successful. It doesn't happen. They made some plays. They beat some blocks."
On why he felt the need to kick the ball deep at the end of the West Virginia game:
"I always do because every time you try to pooch it or squib it, they end up sitting there with the ball at the 35, 40. Why not just kick the ball out of bounds if you're going to get it at the 35? I'd rather do that. In the end, I just felt 'Hey, we've been really good at covering them, we've got to do it one more time.'"
On if he considered kicking the ball out of bounds the last kickoff against West Virginia:
"I didn't even think about it. They asked me what I wanted, and I said kick it deep. We've been covering. We've got to do it again."
On the squib kick:
"My point also is we did it at the end of the half here when it was five seconds. That's a different deal. You have timeouts in college football by getting a first down. It's different, so 25, 30 seconds is an eternity when you're getting timeouts on first down. You go to the line, you can snap it without using any timeouts. Those are timeouts, those first downs."
On Brennan Clay's clutch returns:
"He really has been a huge spark in three, four games. The guys blocking for him, Coach [Cale] Gundy is in charge of that unit, and they've all done a good job of just being technique sound and picking up the right guys. We've done a better job overall."
On the interaction between him and Mike [Stoops] on the sideline:
"No different [in the West Virginia game] than any other game. We are talking through what adjustments we can make. That is no different than any game. We will often talk about what we can do or how we are going to change it, but that happens every game. No, no different than any other game."
On his performance against West Virginia:
|| QB Landry Jones
"I think that was probably one of the best games I've played in my college career for sure since I have been at Oklahoma. It was one of those games where we just really played well and the offense played well. We did a lot of good things in the passing game and I am just really blessed to finish it out like that."
On calling the audible:
"That was something that we kind of saw right there. Me and Kenny were on the same page and I signaled him a route, to run a slant route across that guys face, and he did a good job."
On winning the game from behind:
"At the time I was more wanting to just win the game. Now looking back I am glad we were put in that position and I am glad that we got to come through it and be on the good side of it this time. It was so much fun and, like I said after the game, I am really thankful for what God has done through me at this university and him just being able to be with me out on the field. It was probably one of the most fun games I have ever played.
"It is just a confidence booster. I don't know if I have ever doubted myself in those situations. Those situations are just a matter about executing football. It's not any different than any other situations. It's going out there and playing ball at a high level. It was definitely a confidence booster, but I don't think I ever doubted myself in any of those situations."
On the huddle going into the last possession:
"I don't know if there was really anything or anyone on the sideline who gave a dramatic speech or anything like that. In the huddle I was just like 'We have got to go score.' Everybody knew, it wasn't like we didn't know we had to score. It was one of those situations where we have to get this done and go score a touchdown."
On the loss against OSU last year:
"It was more about how we played as a team. They flat out beat us in every aspect. Usually we feel like we had some success in some part of the game, but last year they flat out beat us. It was tough being blown out like that on the road. Hopefully this year we will turn around and play a better game.
"You always want to be in a BCS game or you always want to be in the National Championship game. But sometimes in life things happen and you don't get the opportunity to play in those games. Last year we were fortunate enough to win our bowl game. Yes, we would have liked to compete in a National Championship and BCS bowl game."
On being in the running for the Big 12 Title:
"It is good news for us. Now it is kind of out of our hands, but that would be huge for our program if we are able to sneak in there and get one this year. Some things have to happen for us for that to be a possibility. You never know what is going to happen in college football."
On Senior Day:
"I think [my family] gets more stressed out for games more than I do. Especially [my wife] Whitney and my mom and dad. I think they carry me better than I even realize it. I feel like it will be tougher on them than me."
On being named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week:
"In football, yes there are individual accolades and all these things, but typically every year the Heisman Trophy winner, in the past couple of years, have gone to a National Championship or has been on a really successful team. With all individual accolades there is team success that comes along with it."
On how fans will remember him:
"I hope they remember me well and I hope they remember me as a guy who came here and wanted to play for God and wanted to affect his teammates and live for His glory here. That is kind of how I would want to be remembered as someone like that. Hopefully they will remember me well.
"There have been a lot of great players here, especially with the guys I came after. Sam [Bradford] had done so many good things around this place. There are some high expectations here, but at the end of the day I wanted to be who I was and I didn't want to be Sam or Jason [White]. If you try to do those things then you can't live up to the capabilities of who you are as a player or as an individual. You can take some of the good things in those people's games and then implement them, but at the end of the day you have to be who you are. Outside opinions and other people, people are going to say what they say and people are going to like other quarterbacks for different things. For me it is more of how can Landry Jones be the best player he can be."
On his experience at Oklahoma:
"The most pleasing is the success on the field and being a part of this team and getting to know a lot of great individuals and great teammates. All the guys that you play with, that's what you always remember. Probably the more stressful or more weighted thing is just the expectations of this place. We have won so many games around this place and this community expects a lot out of their players, which is great, but you sometimes feel the pressure of that. At the end of the day you have to live up those expectations and you have to play well.
"I have had a great career here and this place has been able to set me up for my future if I go play in the NFL or if I don't. I will always be grateful with what this place has done for me and how they have treated me here. It's far and beyond better than a mixed bag."
On the pressure of being OU's quarterback:
"It is something that you get used to. In high school you feel it, but it's on a bigger stage than anything else. It's on a national stage. It is just something you have to get used to."
On Oklahoma State's defense:
"They are tough, physical, play well as a unit, so we have a big challenge ahead of us."
On playing against Oklahoma State:
"Oklahoma State, yes, maybe I haven't played well in those games. I don't know if it is necessarily the high of that game. It is just going out there and trying to execute plays and play to the best of your abilities. In the past I may not have played as well as I should have. I am definitely going to try to step it up and play a lot better this week.
"I think the quality of the players and for the last couple of years, each of our programs have been really competitive and been in the talk about BCS games. I think just that in and of itself, and we are both in the state of Oklahoma, those two things add a little extra to this game."
On the comfort level with receivers:
"I think those guys have grown a lot in the way they play and the way they prepare and how hard they've worked. You can't say enough about how much we have progressed as an offense with those guys and how explosive they are."
On Justin Brown:
"I can't say enough about Justin in what he has done and how he has just come in here and worked hard and been humble. He didn't really pout or whine about his situations. He just wanted to come and play football and compete for championships."
On staying healthy:
"I have been lucky around this place and have taken a couple shots, but I really attribute that to God protecting me out on the field. That is what I attribute it to. Even in high school it's been a long time since I've had a ding or anything like that. Kenny [Stills] in the same way. He is a great player, plays hard and plays physical, but it is one of those things you can't really explain why guys get hurt or why guys don't get hurt. For me I attribute me not being hurt and being able to start almost every game since I have been here to faith and God protecting me out on the field."
On the conversation between him and Kenny Stills after the West Virginia win:
"Everybody was celebrating and everybody was going crazy. I don't think there was a specific hug or anything like that, it was just more understood of whenever we need each other we are there. That is kind of how it has been for me and Kenny this whole year and this whole time he has been here. We just understand when someone is in a bind you can go to them."
On going in on the 4th down after the Belldozer was stopped:
"There wasn't really a conversation about it. It got stopped because someone missed the block, so they called our four wide receiver package out on the field so I want out there. Going through my mind I just thought I had to push the ball pass the chains and if there was a play to be made I had to make it."
On what was going through his mind in the final 20 seconds:
"I was just praying that they don't score, or if they do score we get another opportunity to get the ball back. So in those situations I am just watching the game and hoping that our defense does a good job and they did. They did a great job in those last 25 seconds of stopping those guys and playing hard."
On WVU's Tavon Austin:
"He is a great player and I don't think anyone would have been shocked that he could put up those numbers because of what kind of player he is and how much talent he has. Great players are going to do great things and are going to have great games; unfortunately for us he had a great game against us."
On building the program from last year:
"I think it is more of the fact we decided to do what was right. We came to this university to go to class and get an education and that all translates over into football. I think it was just attention to detail and doing things right off the field."
On fixing problems on defense:
|| DE David King
"For starters, when they put Tavon Austin at running back, it wasn't something we had prepared for, but credit him for coming in and he just ran all over us. Coach Stoops said we'll have a better game plan this week, so just put the faith in the coaches to have a game plan and put the faith in the players to go out and execute it. We're going to continue to prepare at the level we've been preparing at throughout the course of the season. We'll just come out on Saturday and just try to put it all together and have a dominant performance."
On Oklahoma State also having a good run game:
"Yeah, you have to stop the run game to win the game. If you stop the run game, you make them pass. We've been playing pretty good pass defense all year. If you can't stop the run game, you won't win the game. Luckily, our offense was able to put up one more point than their offense and got us the win. At the end of the day, you've got to stop the run. Simple zone plays, that's pretty much all West Virginia was doing, and they just had gaping holes through and through."
On motivation after last year's loss to OSU:
"There's still a sour taste in our mouth, the way we went down there and just laid an egg last year. A lot of guys on this defense were a part of that, and we're going to use that game last year as a motivator."
On seeing a different Mike Stoops at practice this week:
"He's been intense all season. You all know him, he's been around for a long time. It's not like if we win big he takes his intensity off; he's intense all the time. He's probably going to be the same guy. He'll probably be a little more fired up, but he'll be intense as always."
On getting to play Oklahoma State at home for the first time:
|| WR Kenny Stills
"I'm so used to playing them there, I feel like it's supposed to be played there all the time. Like I said, I'm really to just glad to be at home and get to have this experience"
On motivation from last year's game:
"I'm never really looking for revenge. I wouldn't say that at all. It's a big game for us, and we want to go out there and play to the best of our ability."
On his confidence level increasing after career day:
"No. I feel like I'm capable of doing that all the time. It's just a matter of the ball coming your way or the defense kind of leaving you open. It wasn't a matter of anything I did, anything extra, we just went out there and played the way we've been playing, and Landry was looking my way and I made those plays."
On staying calm after the game:
"I'd never really dreamed of having a game like that. I've never really thought of having a game-winning catch. So for me, I was still kind of shocked and at a loss for words. We had won the game; I'm not really big on jumping around and celebrating. I remember winning the Big 12 Championship when I was a freshman, I went and hugged Tony (Jefferson) and Brennan (Clay). That's not my thing. When we get in the locker room I'm excited. I sat in the locker room after the game and shed a tear because I was so amazed at what happened."