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Sooner Quotes on the Longhorns

For the first time this season Bob Stoops had to face the media after a loss. Understanding that there is still a lot to play for and that the Big 12 championship is still up for grabs doesn't necessairly take the sting away from a disapointing loss at the hands of Colorado.

"Last week, I thought we were playing well for a good part of the game.  We came into the game and got to the point at halftime where it was 17-7, and in the second half came up with another interception and another score on the first play to make it 24-7.  We felt like we were playing well, but everyone realized we had to continue to play well.  Overall, we just didn't.  I thought we broke down offensively.  I think in the next five possessions we go interception, three-and-out, three-and-out, interception and then a muffed punt.  When you have that few of opportunities in the second half, our defense ended up being out there too long.  We also had some mistackles late."

One of the most fascinating things about Oklahoma's loss was the fact that Malcolm Kelly had no receptions and no balls even thrown his way. Stoops was asked about the inability to get him the ball.

"It's a little bit of that and it's a little bit of what we did. We only took 42 snaps offensively in the ball game. We are usually between 70 and 80 and you take away half of those and who knows what else is out there and that is what no one wants to talk about and that part of it. Part of it is that he is double covered a fair amount of time.  For instance, on the first touchdown to Juaquin Iglesias we worked all week anticipating different style of coverage where Malcolm is his first read.   Malcolm was doubled covered so he was not getting it but Juaquin is wide open. So that it happens to be that way sometimes. Other times Sam had the option to go to him and could have gone to him and chose somebody else. That happened a few times and that is part of it with the few snaps we had."  

Of course there was also the fact that Stoops and the Sooners took a timeout into the locker room  with them after the game. A timeout that, in my opinion, should have been used.
"Yeah, I don't know. I probably should have at the end.  It is just one of those things.  It didn't work for Florida, I know that."

You won't find me question a coaching move by this staff very often but I have to say that Oklahoma's situation was much different than Florida's. There were around 25 seconds left on the clock after Colorado's third down play. If you burn the time out then you at least have enough time for a kick-off return and possibly a couple of plays.

Oh well, losing on a last second field goal was fitting considering the way Oklahoma's special teams played. Most obvious was Reggie Smith's muffed punt but there were other breakdowns as well from the special teams unit.

"They weren't nearly as effective as they have been. We had some mistackles right at the point of attack where normally we would have made those tackles.  We had some guys blocked at times.  They needed to do better, it would have changed field position some."

Was it a humbling loss for the Sooners? I agree with the coach that it should have been.
"Hopefully, it is disappointing if they were paying attention to the rankings.  It is such a long year and we haven't done much yet.  You have to earn that.  Maybe how the first four games went, they were thinking `this is how we do things,' but it is not that easy to do it, obviously.  It doesn't take much for things to go wrong.  I think sometimes the general public doesn't get how small of a margin it can take for things not to be executed properly."

The Sooners must bounce back this week against the Longhorns! A loss at the Cotton Bowl would most surley mean the end of any hopes of a Big 12 championship and a BCS bowl birth. The bounce back starts with the mindset of quarterback Sam Bradford.
"Sam was the least of our problems and he knows that.  He had about four drops on him.  He understands everything they are doing whether it is running the ball, throwing it, route selection or what they are playing against us. He understands that he needs to keep on executing like he can.  He is fine."

Everyone understands how big this game is and what is on the line in Dallas. Can the Sooners get focused on preparing for Texas?
"We need to have a great week of practice here going into the game at the Cotton Bowl against Texas this week.  Everyone knows what a great rivalry it is.  It is always a big factor for us and having a chance to win the Big 12 South and the Big 12 Championship.  Each year this is where our goals begin, so this is a big game and a big step."

Both teams come into the Red River Shootout struggling and while Coach Stoops had plenty to say about the Sooners struggles, he wasn't quite as willing to speak out about a Texas Longhorns team that has looked bad all season.
 "It is not for me to talk about another team and what may not be going right.  They would have to answer that.  In the end, I still see a lot of really good players.  I think last week they had some very different plays when they gave up two touchdowns in the kicking game and then had an interception for a touchdown.  Those don't happen a lot.  Those are a lot of points that are kind of out of the ordinary."

To be this game comes down to quarterback play. Can Sam Bradford return the Sooners offense to the form we saw the first four games of the season and can Colt McCoy stay healthy and stay off the ground? Austin is abuzz about back-up quarterback John Chiles and his potential for playing this weekend should McCoy stumble or just to give the Longhorn offense a different wrinkle. But would the offense be any different under Chiles?
 "Yes, there is just more quarterback run game.  So that is the biggest factor.  They run some of those plays with (Colt) McCoy as well, so you just have to work those and make sure we are sharp on them.  Those plays are fairly common with most team in the shotgun.  You just have to be sharp on all of them."

Player Quotes
 "It's still up there. We don't feel like we should have lost that game there last week. Obviously, all along we didn't play very well and Colorado did. Coach Stoops reminded us that we're still a great team and we can't let this one loss get us down because we still have seven or eight football games left to play. - Linebacker Lewis Baker on the team's confidence

 "The loss just helps wake you up and lets you know that you can be beat.  I don't think it's any different mindset. We just have to work on those little things that we did in the other four games that we won." - Cornerback Marcus Walker on Oklahoma's first loss

 "It feels weird. I know everybody was keyed into this game from the beginning of the season expecting us to come into this game undefeated. I think we just have to overcome that. We can't change anything. We just have to better our season by beating Texas. Coach Stoops told everybody to get it out of the way because it's over." - Offensive Lineman Trent Williams on both teams coming in with a conference loss