Bob Stoops' Tuesday afternoon press conferences are yet another sign that the 2010 college football season is upon us. This week's opponent for the Sooners is Utah State who is expected to bring very little in the way of competition but will wake the Sooner Monster regardless. Coach Stoops welcomed the season with the following statement and then went on to talk everything from opponents to his own players, even addressing the comparison between Sam Bradford and Landry Jones.
"Welcome everyone to the 2010 Sooner football season. I would like to just start first, with also President David Boren and Joe Castiglione and all of us at the University of Oklahoma and everyone in the athletic department and certainly everyone on our football team, to thank Bob Barry and his long time service and commitment here at the University of Oklahoma. It's been great for me, going onto a 12th season, to have the opportunity to work with Bob. Again, a true professional, a guy that loves the University and loves what he does. I get a chance to, not a ton of opportunities, but every Friday get to review the game with Bob in my office, or somewhere, going through what we expect for the week's game, and then the weekly radio shows through the years, he's just been very easy to work with.
Now getting into the season we're just anxious like everybody at this point in the year. This week, you're really anxious to play. You've been looking at each other for a month now and running into each other for, by Friday, what will be 28-29 practices. You really need to see someone else."
Other Quotes From Bob Stoops
When asked about this week's opponent, Coach Stoops praised Utah State coach Gary Anderson and said that his team was in a lot of close games last year (Including A&M) and just needed to catch a few breaks. Then he had this to say about Utah State's quarterback and offensive attack.
"I think their quarterback, Diondre Borel, is really a special player. Very talented, run around guy that can really give you problems. Unfortunately for them, their great running back Robert Turbin is out. That's unfortunate for any young guy in college to have to miss. Anyway, they have a very explosive offense. I think they were ranked twelfth in the country a year ago in total offense. They've really done a good job in a year's period of time."
Of course word broke earlier this week that defensive tackle Adrian Taylor would be a game time decision but here's what Coach Stoops had to say specifically.
"Adrian is set to practice today and he did some things yesterday. He has, through camp, gotten some snaps here and there. We'll see today how much he is able to do. He feels good about it. So far it's held up pretty well. It's just trying to not give him much too soon. We have given him some all along and we'll give him more today. Visiting with him, he hasn't had much pain. There will be some conditioning. As everyone that's watched us play, we like to rotate four or five guys in there to keep them going hard and keep them fresh. Hopefully Adrian can give us, we're hoping, somewhere between 15-20 snaps."
Outside of the offensive line the other critical position group on offense going into the season is the receiving corps. Last season brought us a ton of bad routes and dropped balls, both of which have to be eliminated this season. You know it, I know it and Coach Stoops knows it.
"They're shaping up. I've actually been quite pleased in the past week and a half in how they've responded and picked up their pace. They're playing a little more consistently. Cameron Kenney has come on, made some better plays. Dejuan Miller, a little bit more consistent and competitive plays. I think what has the chance to help us there, kind of like the offensive line, is to watch how many snaps that each guy is getting and to make sure that when they are getting them that they're highly competitive, playing at top speed and playing as hard and well as they can play. We have some tight ends and fullbacks back this year that we think are good players. What we want to ask those guys is that when they're in there, they need to make a difference. We'll rotate and see who is playing the best and how many snaps each of them gets. When you're in there, you need to be effective and competitive. Through the last week and a half or so, I've seen that."
Then there was the big question of the day, a comparison of Sam Bradford and Landry Jones?
"I was asked 'What is Landry better at than Sam?' and I said 'Growing a mustache.' In all fairness to Landry, we love where he's at. We love everything he's doing, his attitude. He has skill, he's smart and he works hard, he's going to be a great player. To compare him to the number one pick in the draft, a guy that set records, it's just not fair. He has the same kind of attitude and work ethic and is a humble team guy like Sam was. We'll see if he can develop the skill level to be that kind of guy. He'll be supported too. I always think back that the quarterback is sometimes only as good as those around him. There's evidence of that at every level. Sam had some really experienced guys a couple of years ago that were great players. We'll see where it goes with Landry. To compare him to Sam, to me, isn't quite fair just yet."
"I think we're polished and we're ready to go, but obviously we're going to work throughout the week and we're still working on stuff that Utah State does and stuff like that, just getting ready for the game. But I feel like we've had a great summer and spring. Going into fall camp everybody came out and I think everybody's ready to play the game." - Quarterback Landry Jones on starting the season
"They're good and they're quick. They're pretty physical and they'll get after you for sure. It's definitely a challenge for us just watching them. [The game] is not something quite what people think it's going to be. They're a better team than what people think." - Tight End Trent Ratterree on the Utah State defense
"If someone needs a breather there is someone there. We have ten guys now and that gives everyone an opportunity to play. During two-a-days we were able to go out there in two groups and all the freshmen got reps. It's really good to have depth there because last season it got down to six people in the bowl game. We had just one person rotating with everybody so now we actually have had that depth and have someone there for us." - Right Tackle Eric Mensik on the offensive line