Big 12 Teleconference: Bob Stoops Transcribed

OU head coach Bob Stoops hopped on the conference call this morning, and Sooners Illustrated brings you the discussion.

Q-What do you see as the biggest difference between this year's and last year's Florida State team, if there are any at all?

A-Oh, quite a bit if you just [look]. You can tell they're just much more comfortable and sure of themselves in what they're doing, you know, for sure defensively. They've just [matured], which is expected. They had a new system a year ago and now having been in it there, you can just see just more sure of themselves, more disciplined play, more aggressive play just with the added comfort and experience in the system, and so, you know, that really sticks out.

Q-What do you emphasize with your young guys on their first road trip?

A-Well, just like, much like when you're at home, just, you know, to stick with what wins for us wherever we're at. And that's playing smart, being very disciplined in how we play, being smart and penalties and assignments, those kinds of things and being physical, playing hard always works regardless of where you're at, and to be ready for it, you know, and this is why you're here, to be in these kinds of games.

Q-Travis Lewis just tweeted that we would know his condition by the end of the day, do you have an update on it?


Q-Do you know if he's been evaluated this morning, over the weekend?

A-He'll be evaluated today at some point, what time of day that is, I don't know. They'll let me know once they've checked him out, so it's not what I expected. You know, and I know Travis, all players are optimistic, but, you know, as far as doctors go, it's not what I expect.

Q-People are talking about this being as big a game as one you were involved in back in 1996. Can you just talk about what it was like going into that stadium and playing that team when they were the national power they were during that time?

A-It was very exciting, you know, and we had two great teams playing that day. And exciting, it's what you want, very intense, you know. They won that game and fortunately two games later we played them for the national championship, and we were able to change things a little bit. So, it was great times.

Q-Their cornerbacks had a tough game against you last year. From what you've seen on film, what's changed from the way they played last year?

A-Really just what I said a minute ago. I don't mean to say the same thing, but that's the truth, just guys that are more comfortable in what they're being asked to do and with that comfort comes being more sure of yourself, more aggressive play, more disciplined play, so you really see that.

Q-Since this is such a huge game, do you get ramped up for a game like this or do you just try to take it as another game?

A-Surely our methods of going through the week are always the same. At the end of the day, you can't help but be a little more excited. And guys just naturally are. They understand all that's at stake and that the challenge of going down there and the fact that the whole country wants to see it. You don't have to say much. You know, and that's what stick to what wins before you and what I said before, your certain fundamentals and how you play that really matter. Whether it's a big game or not, you have to be good in those areas, and, you know, we'll emphasize [that]. I'm sure that they're a much better football team than a year ago when we played them, but I think we're a better team as well. So, we'll see.

Q-With the realignment discussion and no game last week, what has this last week been like for you and has it bothered the team at all since you didn't have a game to prepare for and is there anything new that you know?

A-Not for me, there wouldn't be. And no, it isn't bothersome because it isn't what I do. I've got a great president and athletic director who will decide what is the very best thing for the University of Oklahoma, and I'll be charged to go forward with it. And I'll be excited about whatever they decide. So, my job's to, you know, get ready for football games and to win them and that's what we're working on.

Q-What kind of approach do you take coming in when game planning for a guy like Greg Reid who can change a game with one play, do you plan to kick to him immediately?

A-Well, you know, you just emphasize your coverage and hang time and those kinds of things. But, you know, you see a lot through the year. We're going to see a lot of guys that are big time return guys, so at the end of the day, you know, you've got to be great covering and you've got to get some hang time and again, similar than we did a year ago.

Q-Does last year's outcome play a role as motivation or inspiration for this game?

A-I don't see why it does. They're a different team than they were a year ago. We're a much different team as well than we were a year ago. So, that was that. You know, that's long gone. Everything's brand new this year.

Q-What are some of the things the O-line must do to get mentally and physically ready for the stout defense going into Tallahassee after the bye week?

A-Just being really strong with fundamentals in how they're protecting, being assignment correct when they blitz that we have the right people accounted for. And I think always being able to run the football helps, you know, in protecting a quarterback as well.

Q-You get a chance to go up against your brother, Mark, have you got a chance to talk to him the last couple weeks and does this game have a little extra special meaning when you're going against him?

A-Well, we have talked and it isn't about our particular game. It's about games we just played or how are you doing and those kinds of things is why Shontelle sent me some updates pictures of the kids, which are amazingly fun and beautiful to see your nephews, so and no there isn't any added meaning to the game because we're brothers. I think it takes away from the competition for both of us because somebody has to learn. That isn't what you want. Unless it's a championship game where somebody has to win it, it's not what you want to be playing your brother.

Q-What kind of sense of security do you get when you go on the road with a veteran quarterback that's really good?

A-It helps you. You know, he's a guy that now has played a couple of years and is experienced and knows what to expect. You definitely feel, you know, more secure and comfortable with a guy that has the experience that Landry has.

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