Here's what Bob Stoops and Paul Thompson had to say in preparation to play Texas Tech Saturday night.
On the youth of the offense and its potential:
Huge. I have said that all along, from the beginning of the year. I think that this group has a chance to be much better than what we had last year because of the ability, size, and the strength, and it's showing. They are only going to continue to get better if they keep the work ethic that they have had. They have had a really good one, but they still have a lot of improvement to go. There is a lot of potential there to evolve.
On Texas Tech's running game:
It is still good. If you are not aware and focused on it, it will hurt you. They still do a nice job with it. I felt that it was a factor last year, especially in the first half that we allowed too many running yards. We need to do a better job of taking care of the running game. It is easy for some people to overlook, but for us, that is something that we don't want to happen. We have worked hard this week.
On the decision to go for it on fourth and inches against Texas A&M, and why his players wanted to go for it:
I don't need to say it do I? The game was on the line, and we only needed three inches. So a lot of it was different. Initially, your first thoughts are conservative in that we should punt because we had been playing good defense. Then I thought that it was a club wind. Into the wind, it was going to knock the ball down about 15 (yards), with the wind it is going to give them about 15. You start calculating that up, with a forty yard punt.
I thought, you know what, this isn't adding up. We have to make three inches, the game is over because we have taken away all of their opportunities. Players always want to go for it. But as a coach, you have to make the judgment on the risk/reward, and what you feel you need to do.
I also felt the momentum that they had at the time just didn't add up if we gave them another chance. We thought that we should just finish it off. They liked it when I said that that's what we were going to do. Initially, when I thought we would punt it, I could tell they were disappointed. They weren't saying anything to me, but I could tell just by looking at them.
Quarterback Paul Thompson
On Being Successful With Running The Ball:
We always say that we're going to take what they give us and they were giving us the run, they kept their safeties high. After watching film it was kind of frustrating that our passing game wasn't as effective as we would like it to be, but after watching film we saw that they kept the safeties high the entire game and we were real successful running the ball. So we stuck with that and did take some shots at times, not too many deep shots in the quick game and we weren't too successful with that. The O-line did a great job and we were able to run the ball and get the win, so that was big for us.
On Playing His Last Home Game:
It'll be sort of emotional. I won't be crying on the sidelines or anything like that. I have had a lot of good experiences here at this university. It'll be kind of exciting because this is closing a chapter in my life and my family will be here so I'll get to see them again. So it'll be somewhat emotional but I don't think it'll be anything too serious.
On The Upcoming Game Against Texas Tech:
Last year they were one of the more physical defenses we played. So we expect a lot of the same with this year, and with their secondary they're going to come hit you and make plays. They don't miss a lot of tackles so it's going to be real important that we move the ball down the field and take care of the ball by holding on to it after the catch and running with it. They are going to come up and make some hits as well as try to get the ball out.