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Sooner Quotes on Baylor

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Bob Stoops met with the media on Tuesday afternoon, this time as the head coach of the #1 team in the nation, to discuss Oklahoma’s performance against TCU and their conference opener at Baylor. TCU was Oklahoma’s first ranked opponent of the season and while they did present a challenge Stoops was pleased with OU’s overall performance.


“Going back, as always, to re-hash last week’s game with TCU, I was pleased with the overall outcome. Defense did an exceptional job all the way through, to limit a ranked team to no touchdowns into the fourth quarter, and to only give up one all day is a great job. I thought they really played well. The run defense was really good for the most part, and I thought our pass coverage was exceptionally good overall. When you limit them to 19 completions on 41 attempts, and take two interceptions, it’s solid. I think we only allowed one pass of 20 or more yards all day."
"We were really solid all day in the way we covered, the way we tackled, the way we got pressure on the quarterback. Players of the game on defense were Brian Jackson, again, Lendy Holmes and Adrian Taylor. Offensively, Manuel Johnson, who is the Big 12 Player of the Week, and Sam Bradford were two of the guys we named.”


So, what was the challenge that the Frogs presented to Oklahoma? Well there was the matter of only 25 rushing yards.


“I thought overall, if you look at 25 yards rushing, most of it was due to sacks. We do want to be able to run it better regardless of how people line up against us, but we had a good number of yards running the football with the running backs if you take away the sacks. I know you don’t take away the sacks, but if you were to look at just the running game and handing the football off, it was ok. We do feel that we need to continue to improve and get better, but give TCU credit. They really work hard on defense, and are excellent on how they cancel gaps. That set up an excellent opportunity for us to throw the football and we have always said that if someone takes away one part of our game, we want to be good enough to capitalize and make plays the other way. We did that passing the football.”


Oklahoma moved to #1 in both the AP and Coaches Polls and will defend that ranking for the first time in Waco this weekend. Is there any extra pressure on the Sooners now?


“It just means that it’s a measure to this point of what we have done, that’s it. I’m not going to sit here and act like it is a horrible thing, but we aren’t jumping up and down about it either. The bottom line is that it reflects what we have done up to this point so far this year. All that matters now is what we do this week. That is what our focus is on. Concentrating on what we have been doing positive and figuring out what we can do better to make sure when we go out there Saturday we are a better team than we were last week.”


Now the Sooners will face a team that has never beaten them but that doesn’t mean that OU will be any less focused than the team we’ve seen just dominate their opponents to this point.


“So now we are starting Big 12 play, going to Baylor. I think that Art Briles and his staff are doing an excellent job. Robert Griffin, someone that everyone is talking about, is an exceptional athlete. He has great speed and a big arm back there. I have a great respect for how Art coaches and how they play and compete. Like always, going on the road in conference you have to be ready to play, and that is what our focus is on this week. I think it’s strictly working hard in practice and in preparation and coming out ready to play.”


There is a new buzz surrounding the Baylor program this year behind new coach Art Briles particularly with the offense. Coach Stoops talked about their offense and the fact that OU is already familiar with it.


“They spread the ball everywhere and use all kinds of formations. They get the ball into different people’s hands in different ways. It is going to be very similar to what Art ran at Houston when we played them a couple of years ago.”


Player Quotes


“It’s the same mindset. We’re going on the road, we know that’s an area that we’ve talked about being better at for the past year now. We got our first opportunity to do that at Washington. I feel like we played well, but we’ve got to continue that and go down to Waco and take care of business.
"Obviously when conference comes, it’s pretty much a big deal. You’ve got to win all of your games, especially in the South this year if you want a chance to play for the Big 12 Championship. So once conference play starts, I wouldn’t say it’s any different than a non-conference game in the way we prepare.” – Sam Bradford on the team’s mindset playing on the road.


“Robert Griffin is a great quarterback. He has a great arm and can also run the ball really well. We will have our hands full on Saturday. We just have to keep them from having the big plays and stay focused on our jobs as a defense.” – Dominique Franks on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin.


“Our offense is very versatile. This week I think TCU tried to limit us to one thing and tried to take the run away. They left the corners and the safeties alone back there, so we had to do what we could to put up points and we took advantage of that. Our running game is very, very good and we know that, so I’m sure we’ll try to get that going again next week. Our running game has been great. I actually think it’s carried us up until this game. – Manny Johnson on the versatility of Oklahoma’s offense.


“We are only four games into the season and we still have a lot of football left to play. Everyone wants to stay focused and take it one game at a time. I think the ranking makes us a target, but it happens anyway with us being Oklahoma. We will always have a target on our back.” – Ryan Reynolds on being the #1 team in the country.