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Oklahoma Sooners Football Press Conference Notes: Lincoln Riley talks TCU defense, status of Jadon Haselwood

OU prepares to jump back into the swing of things with Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs next on the docket.

NCAA Football: Kansas State at Texas Christian Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Following the win over Texas and a much-needed off-week, the Oklahoma Sooners (2-2, 1-2) are gearing up for another crucial road test versus Gary Patterson and his TCU Horned Frogs (1-2). OU has won its last six meetings in this series, including a 28-24 nail-biter in Norman last November.

On Tuesday, Lincoln Riley addressed the potential return of one of the team’s top offensive weapons, the consistency of TCU’s defense under Gary Patterson and more.

Riley on Jadon Haselwood’s possible return this season

Prior to the 2020 season kicking off, Riley firmly believed sophomore WR Jadon Haselwood would be available to return to the field at some point this fall after suffering a knee injury in April. On Tuesday, he was asked again about any updates on the status of the former five star receiver.

“(Haselwood’s) doing very well. He’s well ahead of schedule. I don’t want to promise anything right now, but we’re optimistic.”

Riley on Gary Patterson’s defensive consistency

Under head coach Gary Patterson, the TCU football program has been known for one primary characteristic — defense. Since joining the Big 12 in 2012, the Horned Frogs haven’t always fielded the most potent offenses, but more times than not their defensive play has remained one of the more fundamentally sound and disruptive sides of the ball throughout the league. Riley spoke about how impressive it’s been for the defensive-minded coach to stay on top of his game despite the rapid evolution of offense in college football.

“It’s impressive. I think (Patterson’s) got a lot of things in place. They’ve got a type of player that they identify and go recruit and develop. He knows exactly what he’s looking for within his system, and I think the continuity of obviously him being there and several members of that staff for a long time is apparent. I think he’s done a good job, in my opinion, of sticking to his core principles, but he certainly has adapted too.”

Riley on a backup plan if he contracts COVID-19

Through the first month and a half of the college football season, several head coaches around the nation have tested positive for coronavirus, including Alabama’s Nick Saban and Kansas’ Les Miles. Riley was asked if his team has any contingency plans in place should he come down with COVID-19 at some point during this season. In the past, Cale Gundy has stepped in for Riley when he couldn’t make a press conference appearance, so he could be a natural fit in case of an emergency.

“Yeah, we have contingencies in place for any — the hard part is it may be you and it may be two others. We’ve got quite a few contingencies dialed up and ready to go.”

Full press conference links

Creed Humphrey

The offensive line struggled in the losses to Kansas State and Iowa State, but against Texas, redshirt junior and team captain Creed Humphrey led Oklahoma’s O-line to its strongest outing of 2020. In conjunction, the Sooner’s starting quarterback played his best ball of the season in the second half and during the overtime periods versus the Longhorns. Like most others who watched his performance, Humphrey was impressed with what he saw from the redshirt freshman gunslinger.

Spencer Rattler

Speaking of Spencer Rattler, on Tuesday he acknowledged how the turnovers he’s had has affected the team’s ability to win or hold leads. Ultimately, he admitted to making it a point within himself to cease turning the ball over for the remainder of the season. If he holds true to that, it should pay major dividends for the team’s overall success going forward.

Austin Stogner

Sophomore H-back Austin Stogner delivered quite possibly the player quote of the season on Tuesday. Through four games, the Plano native leads the Sooners with 17 receptions and 230 yards, and he’s been able to accumulate those stats with his aggressive intent to make plays against defenders by any means necessary. That’s a dude.

Lincoln Riley

Some folks have speculated that Oklahoma’s tendency to fade in the fourth quarter this season has been due to the team’s lack of a proper strength and conditioning regimen this offseason. On Tuesday, Lincoln Riley denied that as a contributing issue.

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