With Oklahoma having Saturday off this weekend Bob Stoops was able to pretty much focus solely on the win over the Longhorns last weekend. In addition he addressed his fabulous freshman class that is growing up quickly and making a number of impact plays on the field. However, it was his comment about one particular freshman that should cause quite a buzz in Sooner Nation...
For Oklahoma to have the type of offensive success they enjoyed Saturday, especially with all the hype surrounding the Texas defense going into the game, Coach Stoops called out several players who had an impact on the game, including the offensive players of the game.
"Going back and talking through the last game against Texas, really proud of our players, once again, to play a real solid football game and win the way they did. I thought some real plusses offensively, I thought definitely our ability to run the football was a big factor in the game. I really believe our offensive line, our tight ends and true freshman Trey Millard at fullback, they all did an excellent job of just blocking and just staying after it and protecting.
DeMarco Murray and Mossis Madu were also players of the game. DeMarco had 115-or-so yards. Mossis came in and was a great complement to him, had some excellent runs and really ran the ball physically. Both of them took care of the football, that was a big factor too. Landry Jones, once again, as a young quarterback, had an outstanding game. The plus of it all may be how our receivers stepped up and complemented Ryan Broyles, who everyone knows is a special player. The other guys, Kenny Stills and Dejuan Miller in particular, really had big days and made some really competitive, tough catches that really helped influence the game."
I also thought it was fitting that Stoops praised the defense as a whole seeing as how there were several players stepping up with huge performances that made this the most complete performance by the defense since the Florida State game.
"I think defensively, I was pleased with the overall pressure. We got to the quarterback for the most part. We let a couple of screens get away from us, but for the most part our coverage was really good all day. We didn't allow consistency when they ran the ball. They had the big run in the first half but for the rest of the half I think three of the first four possessions were three-and-out. For the most part, we played solid that way. The same with the kicking game, all of the kickoffs and those kind of things were solid, punt coverage was solid."
Of course the thorn in everyone's side is the way the fourth quarter unfolded for Oklahoma.
"All in all when you're in good situation, up by 18 in the fourth quarter 28-10, you feel pretty good about what you're doing. Obviously, you wanted to have finished the game better, the way it unfolded wasn't played cleanly. The one play where Landry fumbles, there was a mix-up on the formation and the call. No reason to drop the football, just throw it away was the easiest thing to do. That put us in a hole but everyone forgets that on the next play DeMarco runs the ball for 18-20 yards to push it back out again with the run game. Tress has a good punt and you get the good fortune where their guy drops the ball. In the end, we need to finish the game better that way."
Unfortunately bad fourth quarters have been a pattern for the Sooners this season and it seems like the coaching staff at least has figured out the reason why.
"I think there are two reasons. Some of it is we need to play cleaner. Other ways, at certain times, they have good players too and they're going to make some plays. When playing Texas, if you're thinking that in the end they don't have opportunities to make plays, that's not always very realistic. They're a good team, they have good players as do the other (teams) we've played. Some of it has to do with us and some of it has to do with their execution. I think both of it together."
Then there's the fabulous class of freshman that are impacting Oklahoma's games. Through the first five games of the season you at least have to say that they're off to being the best overall freshman class of the Stoops era.
"You look at the freshman that contribute in that huge game against Texas, these guys impacted the game. Kenny Stills had a huge game, great catch on the touchdown. Trey Millard is outstanding every game and was again the other night. Running the ball, catching, blocking, just great. Tony Jefferson has been outstanding every game and had another great game. Aaron Colvin was in there and didn't flinch, had a really good game. Daniel Noble on the d-line continues to play well. Those guys are good players and I saw it before the game. They couldn't wait to play, there wasn't any doubt in their eyes."
One member of that freshman class is Roy Finch who has been sitting while healing up from a hairline fracture in his ankle. A lot of people (myself included) felt that if we didn't see Finch on the field by the Red River Shootout then he was heading for a redshirt. Bob Stoops made it clear on Tuesday that they want Finch on the field this season and that could come as early as a week from Saturday when the Sooners host Iowa State.
"We want him to play. We'll have to see how this week and next week go. We're hopeful that he'll be back to full speed and we want to start to give him some opportunities. We'll just work through the week and see how it goes."