Big 12 Teleconference: Bob Stoops Transcribed

Stoops got on the conference call Monday morning, and Sooners Illustrated brings you the discussion.

Q-It seems the last two weeks when your guys have been challenged, they've responded immediately. How important of a trait is that to have for a team?

A-It's pretty special. You know, it's only been three games, and a couple of big instances they have come right back and answered, you know, when things have gotten tight. And so it's a good quality. It's pleasing to be able to come out on the field and do that.

Q-What's your impression of this Missouri team [you just beat] compared to the one you played a year ago [and lost to]?

A-I think very similar. I think they're very good. You know, they lost in, went three overtimes away from home at Arizona State, who's playing well also. So, you know, we knew coming in. I felt that way all along. I think they do a really good job and I think they're a good football team. They've got a lot of good players.

Q-What's your thoughts on A&M going to the SEC?

A-Well, I wish it hadn't happened, but I still believe we have a very strong and powerful league when you look at, you know, the rest of the teams and the quality of football team and in the Top 25. And when you look at, you know, the fact that we've been able to--we've been in a bunch of championship games and have won a couple of them. So anyway, it's still a very strong league with a lot of great players in it and excellent coaching, so I think there's still a great deal here when you look at the BCS system and what we've been able to do.

Q-When we were talking to the players after the game, they were saying it wasn't acceptable how they played. Is that good to hear from your players when they realize even though they won a pretty important game that they weren't happy overall with the performance?

A-Yes, and again, we give Missouri all the respect and credit in the world. I mean what I said. They're a good, good football team. They're going to go on and win a bunch of games. We just felt--I think what some of the defensive players felt especially towards the end of the game, you know we had settled down and really started to play good throughout the game and just in the last couple of drives, I didn't feel we played like we had been playing for the most of the game. So, that's what [they were disappointed about]. I think the overall feel in the locker room in all aspects of it was pretty subdued. We felt we could play better than we did, and our guys recognized that. And we're really pretty upset about it.

Q-When you get your leaders expressing that feeling, is it a big deal?

A-Well, it's positive that they recognize it, but the problem is they need to correct it in the week ahead of the game. I didn't feel our focus and the way we practice and the intensity in practice is what it had been in a few other weeks. So, I'm a little disappointed in them that they allowed it to get to the game, that we didn't make some corrections earlier and come ready to play more than we did. So, at the end of the day, I appreciate them recognizing it and knowing so without me even saying it after the game, but we've got to do a better job during the week.

Q-After a solid victory, were you a little surprised with the movement in the polls?

A-Not really. I agree with LSU, the schedule they've played so far. You know, I'm not surprised. I thought it might be more even. So, you know, the schedule they've had anyway is definitely [something] you have to pay attention to.

Q-Any personal feelings of losing a team in the league that you play every year, and what effects are there on you how and it might affect OU in any other way.

A-I don't know that it's going to affect us all that much. You know, it's disappointing. I wish it hadn't happened this way, but still if that's what they need to do, you know, they'll do it. And we'll continue on. What it changes for us is what, in the last 12 years, we've been in eight Big 12 Championship games and now we don't have one. But hopefully we can still be champions, so I don't know that it has to change what we've been doing at all.

Q-A follow up question to the AP poll, do you think that your players may draw any inspiration or motivation from being dropped?

A-I don't know that they will or not. It's so early in the season. There isn't anybody at all focused on that. So, I'm not sure whether they will or not. But at the end of the day, we're just focused on each game as it comes and worry about what we can do something about, and that's playing well.

Q-How surprised were you that you shut down Florida State and then allowed 241 rushing yards to Missouri?

A-I wasn't so surprised in that I've got great respect for the offense Missouri has and what they've been able to do when you look at them over the last years and what they're doing this year. So, let's give them credit first. And really the only thing I was a little disappointed in was just the last couple series of the game where we've got a 17-point lead and I just felt the last couple series we weren't quite as sharp as we had been, you know, through the middle part of the game where we built that lead. And that's the part that, you know, we're angry about that we felt we didn't play as well as we were capable of at the end.

Q-When Arkansas played A&M last year, it was before Ryan Tannehill moved to quarterback. I was wondering what you thought about his play and what you've seen from him there?

A-I think he's an excellent quarterback, smart guy in how he plays. He's athletic, which you see virtually in game, you know, ability to run the football or pick up, create some kind of play when maybe there isn't one there. So, he does a really good job of running their offense, but again, he's got that kind of ability, athletic ability to make something happen when there isn't something there. So, he's a good player.

Q-What kind of lift do you think that gave A&M?

A-Well, I don't think there's any question. You know, it was a big spark for them and really turned their year [around] a year ago.

Follow me at or

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories