The win over the Texas Longhorns was huge, but the Oklahoma Sooners are now focused on much greater goals. In the Bob Stoops era, a win in the game after Red River Showdown was nearly automatic. Stoops went 17-1 in those games, with his lone loss coming against Kansas State in 2014. Lincoln Riley appears to be in the same mold as Stoops so far, and this week will provide another litmus test for that notion.
As for the 3-3 (1-2) Wildcats, they are still searching for a signature win. Their best game of the season might be a loss to Texas in double overtime. Nevertheless, having the legendary Bill Snyder on the sidelines will always make them a respectable challenge, especially in the Little Apple. In a matchup between the youngest and oldest head coaches in the FBS, Riley is amazed by Snyder’s coaching career:
Lincoln Riley on Bill Snyder's longevity: I'm not going to be doing it at 78. I can tell you that much.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) October 16, 2017
Lincoln Riley went on to address his respect for Coach Snyder’s fundamentally sound Wildcats and more in Monday’s press conference.
Riley on the missed holding calls
There are many fans who are more than a little upset with how the officials called the game on Saturday, myself included. In particular, it appeared that there were a number of obvious holds against OU defenders that were not called, which resulted in some big plays for the Texas offense. Riley also felt that there were some missed calls, but his attitude is to not dwell on the officiating.
“Were there some missed ones? Yes. They also missed some on our guys, too. That’s part of how it goes. Sometimes you end up on the short end of the stick on that, sometimes you don’t. I can sit here and complain about it all I want, but we’ve gotta respond to it. My biggest deal is we’ve got to continue to adapt to how these guys are calling the game. We’ve got to continue to educate ourselves and our players.”
Riley on OU’s injury situation
Perhaps some good news on the injury front, as Coach Riley said that this week would be “pretty boring” in regards to injuries. Riley said no players were lost for the season nor any for multiple games, but no players were named specifically except for starting running back Abdul Adams, who Riley says still has the same status as last week. Adams was held out of the Texas game on Saturday.
Riley on kicker Austin Seibert
Even with limited opportunities, junior K Austin Seibert has had a rough start to the season. Coming into the Texas game, Seibert was only 2-4 on field goals. Riley has held firm since the preseason that Seibert is the man for the job and a valuable player for the team. Seibert backed up his head coach’s claims on Saturday, making all three of his field goal attempts and performing spectacularly as a punter.
“You wanna find an MVP of the game? There he is right there. You guys have been asking me why I keep believing in him, there you go right there.”
Riley on re-establishing the deep ball
In 2016, the Baker Mayfield-Dede Westbrook connection was deadly. In 2017, that same deep ball threat has not been as consistent in the Sooner offense. But on the Sooners’ first drive against Texas, Mayfield found WR Jeff Badet deep for a 54-yard bomb. Riley addressed how Oklahoma can re-establish the deep ball into the offense.
“Hopefully we’re close, we’ve hit a few. We’ve had a few that we didn’t hit. We’ve hit a lot of big plays, though. Our big plays haven’t been the problem. We’ve gotta do better on 3rd downs, we’ve gotta do better on 4th down. We’ve had a couple games where the red zone has been a little iffy, too. Those situational stuff are the things we’ve gotta do much better at.”
Riley on Trey Sermon’s tackle-breaking ability
True freshman running back Trey Sermon has been a major impact player for the Sooners all season. Sermon’s hard-hitting running style provides the offense with a toughness that fuels the rest of the team. The coaches have shown a lot of trust in Sermon thus far.
“He runs with attitude, and he’s got the body to do it. He’s got a knack for it, too. He’s got pretty good patience of letting things develop and knowing when to put the hammer down.”
Full Press Conference Links:
Steven Parker on the energy spent in Dallas: If we're not beat up like that after every game then we're not doing our job. #Sooners— John Shinn (@john_shinn) October 16, 2017
Mayfield on shoulder: "I had a big human being land on my right shoulder and kind of crank it back, so I didn’t feel too hot.” #Sooners— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) October 16, 2017
Baker Mayfield was also asked about Trey Sermon’s pass to Marquise Brown in the second quarter. The trick play caught the Texas defense off-guard as Brown was running wide open. Mayfield described what went into that call, and he also poked a little fun at Brown.
“It’s one of those plays that you have to get called into the right look, so we had it set up perfectly and they executed it well. If only Marquise was just a little bit faster we would’ve gotten into the end zone.”
Riley on penalties: "Ehlinger should’ve won an academy award for the one he got late. As a QB coach I was a little jealous of it."— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) October 16, 2017
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