OU only has three regular season football games left and are in the driver's seat to reach the conference championship game and a BCS bowl. Now is not the time to relax and enjoy playing a sub par opponent but rather get the Crimson and Cream Machine rollin! Listening to Bob Stoops and some of his players meet with the media yesterday you get the sense that the Sooners are very aware and motivated about the possibilities before them.
"Our guys are very aware we have to go out and play. We are focusing on us, as a team, and playing as well as we can play and what are the areas of emphasis and where we can play better this week. That is what you try to do in practice and that is the attitude we are trying to take."
Obviously when a team is in the position that the Sooners are in there are several players performing at a high level. Bob Stoops took the time to mention some of them yesterday.
"Last week, D.J. Wolfe had another exceptional game in leading the team with tackles and had a big fumble recovery. Offensively, Jermaine Gresham, Sam Bradford, Manual Johnson and Malcolm Kelly all had big games, along with all of our running backs. On the offensive line, Brandon Walker has been great all year, there is no question he has been really solid. Duke Robinson had another really good game here this week. Our tackles were solid. Phil (Loadholt) graded out really well. Trent (Williams) and (Brandon) Braxton have switched out and they have been playing solid. Those guys have all been consistent and very good."
Next to Sam Bradford Jermaine Gresham had possibly the most outstanding offensive performance on the team. He was named the nation's tight end of the week this week and could possibly be the best tight end Bob Stoops has coached.
"I've been around nothing like him. The power and the strength he has is amazing. The speed he has is amazing. We can run our conditioning drills over and over and the guy never gets tired. There is a lot to him for sure, he has great hands."
On the defensive side of the ball Curtis Lofton is the man in the middle and has solidified the linebacking corps.
"Production and consistency-wise, everything he has done so far this season has probably surpassed any of our previous guys. The way he plays and tackles, as well as the big plays he has made. Last week was the fourth or fifth game in a row where he creates a turnover, and early in the game he is the one that strips the ball that D.J. Wolfe comes up with. He has had 16 to 18 tackles in games and his production has been exceptional. It is not surprising to us."
The defense suffered a crucial loss with Austin English going down but is it possible that we'll see a quick return of the Big 12's sack leader?
"He hasn't yet. Talking to him yesterday he said, `Coach, you can't believe how much better I feel from Sunday to Monday.' I believe the biggest factor is the bruise from being hit. It is good to hear it has healed significantly in one day. We are optimistic, but I am not going to give a time-table. Again, we are optimistic it won't be too long."
"It is going to be a problem for us in the secondary. We have to make sure we have our job done, because they are going to be throwing it every down. So we have to make sure as a secondary we are sound and know what we are doing so we can help the defense as a whole." - Cornerback Reggie Smith on Baylor's offense.
"I saw the view and everything. First thing I looked to my right and to my left, then to my right again and saw these two guys. I was like I really want to take these guys out. I mean it would have been great to get a first down or run it for 25 yards or something like that, but I wanted to run somebody over. My O-line guys said that they (the receivers) were running behind me telling me where to go but I was zoned out. I could have taken it to the house if I wanted to. I'm just going to stick with blocking, but if it happens again, it happens." - Offensive Guard Duke Robinson on catching a tipped pass.
"Basically, my responsibility is to get pressure on the quarterback. That is the job for all of our defensive ends. Playing the run game also falls into that category. So I need to get pressure on the quarterback and stop the run when it comes my way." - Defensive End Jeremy Beal on his responsibilities against Baylor's spread offense.