Coach Stoops once again met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the 2010 version of the Red River Shootout. Here's a few highlight comments from the press conference.
Even though the main focus is on the Longhorns, after the way things went down in Cincinnati last Saturday night there's no way Stoops wasn't going to address that.
"Getting back through the Cincinnati game I felt here we are again in a tight game and we're able to win away from home at Cincinnati, a team that's won the Big East Championship the last couple of years. Though I'm not at all pleased in the manner in which we did win it, I still recognize as a team that there is a big difference between winning by two and losing by one or two. I'm positive and feel good about the team, that we are making the plays necessary to be on the other side of that.
We're only a year removed from the start of our season last year. In the first four games we lost two games by one point. In the end, that part is good and positive. We have put ourselves in the position to be up late in the game with a good lead 24-9, what I'm not pleased about on both sides of the ball was our overall play in the fourth quarter where I feel we can be better. In my eyes, if you play three quarters in a way that you're playing in a decent way and have a good lead, you ought to be able to play the fourth quarter the same way. That's something we've recognized that we have to continue to improve at and be better at and I think we can. I still am very happy with the attitude, the work ethic, the way the players are preparing. We have to learn from it and keep building on it."
Landry Jones was the Big 12's Offensive Player of the Week but Coach Stoops also pointed out a handful of other offensive players who had a big game against the Bearcats.
"Some of the guys that really played well offensively: Ryan Broyles had a fifth straight game with over 100 yards receiving and I think his seventh straight game with 10 or more receptions. Landry Jones had an excellent day. It was fun to see Mossis Madu come in and give us a boost running the ball at times. I was pleased that some of the other receivers stepped up. A young guy, Trey Franks, came in and had a couple of nice plays. Dejuan Miller stepped up and had a big third down catch. Kenny Stills had another good day. I feel a little more and more confident with our receivers stepping up, making plays, blocking downfield and giving us a boost as well."
Of course Landry did show serious marks of improvement from last season with his road performance over the weekend.
"Well obviously he's like night and day. He just went on the road and threw for 370 yards, he didn't do that a year ago. But I think it's fair to say not just how different Landry is, but I think the guys around him are different which complements him and makes him look better. I think overall there's more experience there from what we went through all a year ago to now."
Now the focus moves to the Big 12 and more importantly Oklahoma's arch enemy of the conference bringing in one of the best defenses the Sooners will face this season.
"They've played really well defensively, that's one of the bigger surprises. Because they play so consistently they've played really good run defense, they've been very aggressive in going after quarterbacks, their pass defense. Like I said, through most of this year and last year they've been consistent with it. They were put in some bad positions, turnovers always make a difference. We know they've played really good defense."
On the flip side the Longhorn offense has faced its share of struggles this season that culminated with the loss to UCLA on Saturday. Stoops was much more gracious than even your average Longhorn fan has been towards their own offense this season.
"Their offense this year with Garrett Gilbert is very similar to a year ago. You see a little more of the running back in the home set or behind the quarterback, a little more of that. There's a little more downhill run game, a little more play action off of it, those kind of things that you see complementing things that they've always done well in the past."
Stoops also wasn't biting on the opportunity to share bulletin board material on Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
"I still think he's a heck of a quarterback. I've watched him coming up and in the championship game and what he's done this year. He's a guy with a good arm, very capable guy. It's kind of like what I've said about Landry at times, it's the whole cast with him to complement him as well. He's a very capable guy with a good arm. I'm not around him, but I'm sure he's a bright guy too, it seems that way to me."
"They really haven't gotten away from what they've done the past couple of years. Last year was a little different, but what they are doing this year is what they've run the last 10 years." - Jeremy Beal on the Texas offense
"They're very, very fast. Every year they're fast. We have to go out there and just run downhill. We can't run sideways, sideline-to-sideline, we have to go north and south on them." - Mossis Madu on the Texas defense
"We have to get back to the football that we're used to playing. Everybody just sees OU vs. Texas, but we have something to prove to ourselves. We haven't been playing up to our potential, especially on defense. I feel like this is our opportunity to come out and show what we can do." - Adrian Taylor on the OU/Texas game
"We know we are going to get their best shot, it's OU-Texas, a big game. They just came off a loss and they're mad so we're going to get their best shot and we have to give them our best shot. They're going to come at us and we're going to come at them and you just have to make the most plays. We have to do what we said we're going to do, not get over confident and just play football." - Demontre Hurst on the Texas Longhorns