Cougars: "More Bounce In Our Step"

Max Hall passed for 329 yards against the Sooners and the Cougars racked up 359 total yards in comparison to Oklahoma's 265. A tough Cougar defense came up big against an offense that chewed up large chunks of real estate at will against Big 12 opponents last season. In the end, the third-ranked Sooners managed to convert on only 2-of-11 third downs and score 13 points.

The Sooner offense fielded running back Chris Brown, who averaged 5.6 yards per carry last year while gaining a total of 1,220 yards. Against BYU, Brown had 14 carries for a total of 62 yards. His teammate and fellow running back DeMarco Murray carried the ball 10 times against the Cougar defense for 58 yards. The overall average was 3.8 yards per carry for the Sooner offense.

"It was a great experience," said Cougar cornerback Brandon Bradley. "The whole team was excited and we knew we could do it. It was about us knowing we could do it and then just going out and doing it. It was about playing hard and going out there and do the things we needed to do, and we did it."

During last Saturday's game, the Cougar defense made a key stand inside the 10-yard line. That defensive stand was one of the key factors that allowed the Cougar offense to edge out a one-point win with the final tick of the clock.

"When a team gets, I think, six plays within the 10 and can't score, it is demoralizing for the one side and impelling for the other side," said Jan Jorgensen. "And so the big statement of the game happened right there."

The Cougar defensive backfield held Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford and the Oklahoma offense to a mere 96 yards passing in two quarters and 147 total for the game. The performance of the Cougar secondary vindicated practice reports concerning the Cougars' more athletic secondary and greater cover skills.

"I feel like as a defense it felt good to answer those questions," said Bradley. "Not only was the secondary a question, but the defense as a whole was in question. I feel like we proved ourselves to a lot of doubters out there that we can go out and play with the best offenses in college football. I feel like we did a really good job in doing that last Saturday.

"It was just a beautiful thing and I think we've gelled together perfectly," Bradley continued. "It's good to have Andrew Rich and Scotty [Johnson] back there at safety. We've been working hard together over the offseason, and so we all know each other's strengths and weaknesses. It's just a lot easier to make plays and be confident when you know what the man next to you or behind you is able to do, so it was just fun being out there with those guys and be able to fly around."

It would be somewhat of a difficult challenge for any staff to bring their charges down from the clouds and back on terra firma after a huge victory, but according to Bradley it appears the Cougar coaching staff has done a great job of refocusing the team for their next opponent.

"Our coaches have done a very good job of making sure we got back down to earth," said Bradley. "Yesterday was our last day of celebration and that ended as soon as practice started, so we've now put [Oklahoma] past us and we're looking to Tulane as our next game. We've learned that we have to take each game one game at a time, and that's what we are going to do this year is stay focused on one team at a time. Next up is Tulane."

During Tuesday's media conference Coach Mendenhall spoke briefly about the quality of practice that was held Monday in preparation for Tulane. The hours of hard work and preparation that lead to the Cougars' victory over the Sooners has helped the coaches keep the team energized and excited as the team proceeds through tough practices.

"Practice was great yesterday," Jorgensen said. "There's a lot of excitement out on the field and people are running hard and playing hard. It was just great. There's a little more bounce in people's steps."

"I feel like for any team to win a big game like that, it just adds," said Bradley. "It just gives you more confident and more pip in your step. Yesterday at practice it was amazing because we were still going through the same fast paces that we did for the Oklahoma game, and things just kind of slowed down for us so much that we were still running to the line and looking back for calls. The intensity is still really high, people are flying around and everybody is having fun. There's more bounce in our step."


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