You won’t find a more epic comeback in the history of OU Football than what you just witnessed the Oklahoma Sooners pull off against Baylor last Saturday. Now the Crimson & Cream are poised to clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship with a win over TCU (or an OSU loss).
During Lincoln Riley’s opening press conference statement, the third-year head coach asked the fans to rock the Palace on the Prairie for this group of Sooners. A College Football Playoff push is still within the realm of possibility for Oklahoma, and a statement win this Saturday could go a long way towards boosting those odds.
If you plan on attending the final home game of the 2019 season, please do you best to show up early, stay until the very end, and make a whole lot of noise! Do it for the seniors, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
On Monday, Kenneth Murray, Ronnie Perkins, Jalen Hurts and Lincoln Riley addressed questions from the media ahead of this weekend’s matchup against Gary Patterson and the TCU Horned Frogs.
Riley on CeeDee Lamb and Grant Calcaterra’s status
Just before Oklahoma kicked off against Baylor, there were reports of junior WR CeeDee Lamb being questionable for the game. As it turned out, the Biletnikoff semifinalist would miss the prime time showdown with a medical issue that was not officially disclosed. Meanwhile, junior TE Grant Calcaterra was held out once again and hasn’t seen the field in well over a month. Riley addressed the health of both offensive playmakers going forward.
“Grant’s status — still won’t be available this week. Going to continue to monitor, but he’s not ready.”
“CeeDee’s still going to be up in the air. We haven’t seen our guys yet this week with Sunday being our off day. It’s not a definite no, but certainly not a definite yes right now.”
Riley on Ronnie Perkins’ big night
The Bears had no answers for stopping sophomore DE Ronnie Perkins, as the St. Louis product recorded four tackles-for-loss on Saturday night, including three QB sacks. Riley was asked about his defensive star’s highlight filled outing.
“(Perkins) was awesome the other night, he really was. He was our defensive player of the game. Had three big sacks, another big tackle-for-loss. You know, Neville (Gallimore) has really gotten a lot of attention inside, and that’s created some opportunities on the edges for a lot of one-on-ones with our guys. […] Ronnie was able to win his fair share the other night. He’s definitely evolved and growing as a player.”
Riley on replacing Erik Swenson with R.J. Proctor
In the first half, starting left tackle Erik Swenson was replaced by grad transfer R.J. Proctor, and from that point on the Sooners’ offense appeared to settle in. On Monday, Riley discussed the personnel change.
“Erik was fine. We planned the whole time to play R.J. We thought he earned the right to play him some and as R.J. got in there we thought he was playing well when we gave him a couple series. Then we kind of started to settle in and got on a roll so we ended up just leaving him in.”
Riley on the freshmen receivers’ performance
Against Baylor, with CeeDee Lamb absent from the lineup, Oklahoma needed others to step up in his place. Even though they’re true freshman, TE Austin Stogner, WR Theo Wease Jr. and WR Jadon Haselwood each did their part in picking up the slack, combining for 55 yards and three touchdowns on five receptions. Riley talked about how important it was for those young players to make the plays that they did.
“It’s exciting for this team now, but it’s exciting for our program in the future as a lot of the biggest plays in the game were made by freshmen and sophomores. That was pretty fun to see, and it can be a great confidence boost for those guys and confidence in our older guys to give them opportunities and confidence in coaches to give them opportunities, and we’re certainly going to need them.”
Full press conference links
Kenneth Murray didn’t play much of the second half, but that’s only because Baylor only ran 16 plays over the course of the game’s final 30 minutes. On Monday, K9 reflected on how his teammates responded to the adversity they met after trailing by as many as 25 points.
Alex Grinch has taken a ton of heat over the past few weeks for some highly suspect defense, but in the second half against Baylor, the Sooners looked like an elite group on that side of the ball. Ronnie Perkins gave credit to his DC on Monday for the halftime turnaround.
Ronnie Perkins credits defensive coordinator Alex Grinch's calm demeanor for helping the defense rebound in the second half against Baylor. pic.twitter.com/I6DynMU6ST— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) November 18, 2019
It’s actually been quite refreshing to hear what Jalen Hurts has had to say during his opening presser statements this season. The man is never satisfied, and he also acknowledges that he has plenty of room for growth both as a player and a leader.
Jalen Hurts was seen celebrating with his teammates and the fans after beating Baylor on Saturday. On Monday, Lincoln Riley was asked about his normally stoic QB’s emotions in the celebratory moment.
Lincoln Riley on Jalen enjoying a moment— ChristineButterfield (@C_Butterfield_) November 18, 2019
“I told Jalen before he came here that one of my goals for him would be for him to enjoy it, and he does have fun with it and it’s fun to see and I think the joy was everyone having each other’s backs”
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