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Sooner Quotes On The Jayhawks

Coach Stoops met with members of the media on Tuesday for his weekly press conference to discuss the Red River Letdown and this Saturday’s game against the Kansas Jayhawks. The Sooner Nation has been abuzz about the loss to Texas since the final tick went off the clock at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday afternoon so obviously we were also anxious to hear Stoops synopsis of the game.


“I thought for a good part of the game, we were able to play well on both sides of the ball. Texas is an excellent team. They kept coming back, and we kept hanging in there. Down the stretch, there were some pivotal plays. There were some cases where we had a chance to stop them and didn’t convert them and they did. Colt McCoy made some exceptional plays. When we had people covered, he would find a way to pull the ball down and scramble for eight or 10 yards. If we had a blitz on, and he found a guy open, he was accurate enough to put the ball there. In the end, they made the plays in the fourth quarter that made the difference in the game.”


So now the Sooners have to gear up for the Kansas Jayhawks who come to Norman with a #16 ranking and will be Oklahoma’s third ranked opponent in their last four games. Mark Mangino was Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator when the Sooners won the national championship in 2000 and has done an outstanding job at Kansas. Coach Stoops talked about the challenges that Mangino’s offense would present to Oklahoma on Saturday.


“They spread it out and get a lot of guys the ball. You’re going to get your normal shotgun plays and under center plays. They do a good job of running the football and pulling guards. Reesing does a nice job with a lot of short and intermediate passes. He also does a good job with his quick feet. We will again have to do a better job of keeping him in the pocket and limiting his running around. There is a lot of spread offense and checking at the line. Some no huddle and quick snaps like you see from most people.”


Oklahoma is third in the conference in scoring offense (47.2 ppg) with Sam Bradford tossing more touchdowns than any other quarterback in the Big 12. It will take a special defense to stop OU’s scoring machine and Coach Stoops weighed in on the Jayhawks’ defensive schemes.


“They do a really good job of mixing it up. They will run your basic zones of three deep and four deep, but they will zone and man blitz you some. They do their best of keeping you off guard and mixing it up.”


The biggest disappointment for the Oklahoma football team this year has been in their kickoff coverage. That was never more evident than Saturday when Texas ran a kickoff back 96 yards for a score and swing the momentum back on the side of the Longhorns. It is evident that some changes need to be made and Coach Stoops certainly isn’t going to be slow to change personnel.


“We have made some changes again, and hopefully personnel will make the difference. Kicking the ball off a year ago, we led the nation and this year we are near the bottom. We aren’t doing anything differently, its people. We have got to get the right guys in there who can recognize and be where they need to be. Sometimes we have been where we needed to be and just didn’t make the play.”


The other big obstacle that Oklahoma must overcome is their struggles running the ball. In two of their last three games the Sooners have failed to crack the 50 yard barrier in total rushing yards. What gives, coach?


“It’s an issue. Some games we have been able to run it and run it well, but there have been two games where we haven’t. We have to be looking for better ways to run it. Whether its scheme wise or blocking things, but also in those games, we have been highly productive throwing the ball so it is a little give and take. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses; I still feel that we should be better in some cases then we have been, but a little bit of it has been the way they (opposing defenses) have been defending the run, which has opened up the passing and no one can deny that.”


Player Quotes


“All our focus is on Kansas. All of the media is still talking about Texas, but we’re not watching anymore of that film. All we’re doing is paying attention to Kansas right now.
“The attitude on the practice field and in the locker room yesterday was still good. It does hurt; you never want to lose and you don’t come to a place like Oklahoma to lose football games. But you get past it and we’ll find out how good our team is this week.” – Jon Cooper on the attitude of the team


“We looked at them a lot because they are a great team. They have a great passing offense and we have to make sure that they don’t nickel and dime us down the field like Texas did. We also have got to get some turnovers because the last couple of games we have had some turnovers. We also have to disrupt the passer a lot more.” – Nic Harris on the Kansas Jayhawks


“We know that it has not been as good as it has been since the beginning of the season. We have to step up and take responsibility for what is going on in the running game. It is not just the offensive line, it’s the backs and the complete offense. It is something that we missed against Texas and also against TCU. This is a week were we have to establish our running game and get it back on track like normal.” ­– Chris Brown on Oklahoma’s rushing attack