Two days after securing a 31-24 win over the Tennessee Volunteers, Bob Stoops stepped up to the podium. Kicking off the weekly press conference, the head coach mentions the resiliency and character of the Oklahoma Sooners this season. Of course, the credit belongs to the assistant coaches with their ability to keep the team positive. However, as we all know at this point, the defense singlehandedly kept OU in this game on the road.
Players of the Game & Defensive Performance
Stoops: The story of the game was the defense keeping us in it for so long.— John Shinn (@john_shinn) September 14, 2015
With the defensive line disrupting play on a consistent basis, the offense found a bit of a rhythm in the fourth quarter. Much of the success can be attributed to Baker Mayfield's ability to scramble. Buying himself a few more seconds to find an open receiver time and time again, it's a surprise the quarterback was not listed on Stoops' players of the game list.
Bond, Sanchez and Jordan Wade named Def. player of the game. Darlington, Kasitati and Shepard on offense. Seibert: special teams.— John Shinn (@john_shinn) September 14, 2015
Making a further comment on the play from Devante Bond...
Stoops on Bond: "He's special. That didn't surprise us. He's athletic, powerful & understands what we need him to do" pic.twitter.com/2aN4NK4z6m— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 14, 2015
From a defense that drew a handful of concerns during the preseason, the Sooners defense continues to find answers on the field. Steven Parker brings a certain level of intensity to everything he does while Charles Walker exceeds expectations. Execution and the physicality have become a strong suit in the first two games of the season...a much welcomed sight for many fans.
With comments directed toward the SEC, Paul Finebaum's name popped up during the question time. The response? Well, let's just say it went a little something along the lines of "ask 100,000 fans if we're irrelevant."
Stoops on Finebaum comments: He doesn't deserve any attention from me.— John Shinn (@john_shinn) September 14, 2015
Comments on Injuries & the Wildcat Formation
Moving over to the offensive side of the ball, Rodney Anderson received and injury on special teams. Undergoing surgery on Sunday morning, Stoops announced the running back fractured a non-weight bearing bone and would redshirt this season.
Rodney Anderson has a fracture in non-weight bearing bone. He had surgery Sunday, will redshirt and out for year.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 14, 2015
The wildcat formation debuted on the road and Stoops revealed the idea of Joe Mixon continuing to learn the reads. With Samaje Perine standing next to him, this could be an effective tool in the redzone. Not necessarily known as a top notch receiver, Perine hauled in a touchdown reception cracking the seal in Tennessee. Could Mixon and "Optimus" Perine team up for a touchdown pass and catch?
Stoops says Mixon has the ability to throw the ball out of the wildcat package if the pass is there.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 14, 2015
Eric Striker & Hatari Byrd Actions
Aside from the game, much of the focus centered around Eric Striker and the comments made after the game's conclusion. Caught up in the moment, Bob Stoops made no excuses for the players involved. However, he noted the issue would be handled internally.
Bob Stoops said he's never scolded an opposing player, but wouldn't comment on Butch Jones' words with Striker— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) September 14, 2015
No Frank Shannon & No Jeffery Mead?
There are personnel issues that change from week to week. Due to the challenge Tennessee presented, Mead failed to make an appearance. As far as Frank Shannon is concerned, there's no denying this linebacking crew remains one of the most talented in the nation. After sitting out year, is it possible that Shannon simply cannot find a spot due to the emergence of a few young guys?
Stoops on running game: "It's something we're working on. Give Tenn. credit... we have to do our part to improve."— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 14, 2015
Unfortunately the answer provided by Stoops does not answer what happened to Michiah Quick...then again, no one seems to be interested in asking that pointed question.