November 21, 2010

Bob Stoops Q&A: OU right where they want to be

Bob Stoops's Sooners finally showed they can take care of business on the road during their 53-24 win over Baylor Saturday night. Oklahoma bolted out to a 50-10 lead before salting away the victory in the fourth quarter. Stoops talked about the play of his Sooner following the win.

Bob, what did you think? A pretty good night offensively?
Yeah, well, everything and the defense too. They're sitting there with a 50-10 lead in the fourth quarter and you've got a lot right. These guys came in first or second in the league in scoring and yards and this whole thing. You're sitting in there in that position going into the fourth quarter and that's a good da yin all parts of the game. You've got a defensive touchdown and you're holding them to that point level.

The offense was great running the ball, throwing it and Landry had an excellent day. Ryan Broyles and Demarco Murray had huge nights and the kicking game was excellent. I thought Jimmy Stevens did a really good job kicking and Tress Way had 50 yards punting the ball and coverage was just great. It was a solid day and it was good to play that way.

Bob, how fulfilling is it when you spend the week telling your guys it's not about playing on the road, it's about preparing the right way?
We didn't tell them that all week. We just did what we usually do and it was about playing like we're capable of. You guys' storylines aren't in our locker rooms and in our meetings. We know how we can play and all these other teams and other years have nothing to do with what we're doing this year. We had an opportunity to come down here and give ourselves a chance to stay in the championship hunt and that's what we did. I was really pleased with their overall work habits through the week and the attitude of our team coming in.

Talk about the pressure you were able to get defensively?
It was good. The coverage was great so he kept having to squeeze the ball and our guys, for the most part, did a really good job staying in front of them, containing them and we got pressure and got a couple of sacks, got a defensive touchdown off the pressure and he got out a few times, but he's a good player. He's going to do that. I thought overall we were very effective in handling it.

Some guys got banged around. What's the status of Austin Box and anybody else?
I'm unsure right now. Ronnell (Lewis) seemed to be fine. Austin (Box), I'm not sure. Roy (Finch) I'm not sure.

Would you say that's as thorough a defensive performance as you've had since the Florida State game?
No. You had to like Iowa State, you had to like Colorado, you had to like last week, holding Tech to seven points. So we've had some good defensive nights. I wish there late - they get a couple of cheap ones that you don't like, but they're capable. Through a whole four hour game they're going to make some plays and they've made them on everybody and they squirted out a few times, but we did what we needed to, to get ourselves in a really strong position late.

I don't know what you call it, the diamond formation or whatever with the three running backs, but can you talk about another new wrinkle and something that worked really well for you?
Yeah, it's just trying to use our talented guys and those are all good players. We're trying to mix up who's getting the ball and those kinds of things. Our offensive staff just added a wrinkle and we usually are, we're trying to be multiple and add things that maybe people haven't seen a lot of.

You had the early interception but other than that you got off to a good start, which you've struggled a little bit in a couple of road games with that...
Well, when you have your opportunities we made plays. Give the kids credit. They caught the ball, our execution was really outstanding. That's what it is. In the end, they came out ready to play - not that they weren't other times, but they executed. The things that they had opportunities to make and do, they did. Whether it be finishing a block, catching the ball when they had opportunities, Landry put the ball where they can get it - but the players made the plays they're capable of making.

It looked like it was a great tackling day for you
For the most part it was. I thought it was big time to go out there in space when they did pop it here and there. They did pretty well.

How excited are you about a possible Bedlam showdown for the South and a trip to Arlington?
Oh it's great. You know what? It's really exciting. I said that to the players. I said, do you realize in the last - they haven't been here for 11 years but a bunch of us have been and we've been in this position nine times. In the last game we're looking at an opportunity to be in that championship (game) so they ought to be excited about it. We're very mindful, we understand Oklahoma State's an excellent team and they've had a great year. But we're going to go in and be excited about it and go after it.

Can you talk about your defensive tackles tonight having to step up once again short-handed. Casey comes back but it seems like they really stuffed the run for the most part tonight?
They all seemed to play well in there. It's kind of hard to judge from the sideline. But our run defense in there was really pretty good, I felt for the most part through the game. They must have played pretty well.

You mentioned earlier that your coverage was doing well and that's why you were able to do some things with pressure. Your coverage has been good most of the season, wouldn't you agree?
Yeah. These guys haven't been limited like that most of the year. They're averaging 500 yards and a bunch of points and throwing the ball on a lot of people. I was really excited to see how we covered.

Whatever level of confidence boost you needed, it would be hard to script a better game than this going into the shootout for a title.
Yeah that's fair to say. I felt we have confidence and we were confident coming in here but it sure doesn't hurt to come in and play so well, sure. That's fair to say. We'll be excited about it.

It looked like Demarco Murray was moving as well as he has all season long.
Yeah. He's fine and he worked through it in the middle of the week and he was pretty sore and he seems to be feeling better.

What did you think of the play of Landry?
It was excellent. There's always a couple of throws here or there that you'd like to have back but really through the day I thought he did a great job.

Bob, Kenny Stills touchdown catch. I've never seen a guy celebrate a touchdown like that. He just stood there.
Well, you guys have to admit, last week - it's just not necessary, it's not right, it's not good football and I don't care how many people think it's cute, whether it be fans or media - Roy Finch scored his first touchdown last week. Why didn't he get in there and spike the ball? Right? Roy's been a good player for us so why doesn't everyone else? You can't kick the ball off from the 15-yard line and be any kind of team. Kenny knows that and he's a bright guy and he's a really good football player. That's as much as anything that I told him, he's too good a football player to do that and to make such a poor decision. No one thinks it would be real cute if they caught the ball on the 30-yard line and returned it for a touchdown. It's not good football.

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