Big 12 Teleconference: Bob Stoops Transcribed

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

Q-What's the biggest challenge when you get ready for Bryan Harsin's offense?

A-Well, I guess just handling, you know, just being disciplined to make adjustments the way they shift around and make adjustments. So, you know, it's becoming more and more common with more people you play, but anyway, they do a good job moving around. So, you have to read it out, adjust with them and then get set to play.

Q-Do you see a lot of the same things you did when you were preparing for the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State?

A-Yeah, a lot of shifting and moving and yeah, there's a lot of similarities there.

Q-How special was that for you to have your brother follow you to Iowa, and then also how unique is it to have not just a brother combination but multiple brother combination following each other at the same position [for Texas with QB Case McCoy and WR Jaxon Shipley]?

A-I was very lucky actually not just [for] my brother to follow me, but we played together for a number of years and went to bowl games together and things like that. And then actually my senior year, we were set to start together, and then Mike his shoulder [got] banged up in the spring game, but he started the whole spring together before he got hurt. So, it was pretty neat, and then for those guys, I'm sure it's very unique to have the multiple brother combinations that they've got going at the same position. So, it's really just a very unique situation that they've got going?

Q-Have you ever seen that or had that on your teams or anywhere else?

A-I don't believe I have.

Q-With the situation at linebacker at the beginning of the year, you really needed Tom Wort to step up. I'm just wondering how do you feel about the way he's performed thus far?

A-He's played really, really well. You know, [we] really could not have asked for more. He's a tough, hard-working guy. He's really invested in studying and learning, you know, all that he can about the teams he's playing. So, he's just been excellent and, you know, he's always been a fiery, inspirational guy. Now, he's just comfortable in what we're asking him to do, and he's doing it really well.

Q-I wanted to follow up on that last question. Could you sort of compare and contrast the styles of Tom Wort with Travis Lewis, the other young man from the San Antonio area?

A-Well, I don't know. They're kind of a little bit different type players, but, you know, Tom has excellent quickness and speed also. You know, everyone always remarks on how talented Travis is and what an athlete is, and he is all of those things, but Tom's pretty quick and fast, too. He really is, so they got some similarities that way. They both work hard in studying the game, and they're tough, physical guys, so they've got a lot in common really.

Q-Landry Jones had a couple of rough nights when he was first replacing Sam Bradford. But why is the transition coming along how it has?

A-Well, I think in his defense it's understandable that a guy that's not expected to play for another year gets thrown in is going to have a few rough spots especially when, you know, a bunch of players around him were hurt and not able to play either. You know, so I think a little bit's been made too much of him. And the whole team struggled with the multitude of injuries we had there in 2009. So, at the end of the day, Landry had some rough spots, but so did the whole offense. And again, here's a backup guy that wasn't prepared to be the starter, you know, as far as number of snaps in the spring and two-a-days and those kinds of things. And now that he's been able to have those snaps and preparation ever since really the whole second half of the year, the end of his first year in 2009, he really came on and had some great games. So, now that he's been getting all that preparation work last year and this year, he's got the same qualities that all our great quarterbacks have had. He's talented. He's a big, strong guy with a big arm. He's bright. He works hard. You know, he's got all that to go with that talent.

Q-Several teams are in the Top 10 in the Big 12. With that kind of depth in the Big 12 and the schedule the way it is, is it possible that a team could have one loss and still end up playing for the national championship?

A-Absolutely it's possible. Anymore, heck LSU not too long ago, just a few years ago won it with two, right? And so that precedent has even been set. Anything's possible. Obviously if a team just two or three years ago can win it with two losses, then obviously a team with one always has a chance.

Q-Have you seen the Big 12 with this kind of depth before?

A-Yes, I have. This league has always been tough and good and a lot of good players, coaches. You know, I don't know how to compare it, but I've always had [that feeling]. I've got to live it for a good number of years, and I've always felt it's been an excellent league.

Q-Could you talk about your relationship with Mack Brown. Did you know each other before this rivalry?

A-We get along just fine, but I think a little bit too much is made of that. Mack and I don't have much opportunity to be around each other, to be quite honest. Our schools are quite far away, the campuses, so it's a long way to get together. So, when we're at coaches meetings, yeah everybody's, you know, we're always very cordial with one another and I think respectful of one another. And we've got a lot in common in that what we have to do. But outside of that, there isn't a lot of downtime that we would spend together, so it's just more business than anything. And did I know Mack before this rivalry? No, not really.

Q-Bob, I know you've never been a big guy about the polls? But you have dropped in the AP Poll in the last two weeks. If you beat Texas, do you think you'll drop out of the Top 10?

A-You know, I think a lot of that's just other people respecting what other teams have done in difficult situations. Heck, as Alabama goes down to Florida and plays and we play Ball State, so that kind of thing happens. You know, when we beat Florida State a few weeks ago, everybody was impressed with that, so they [voted for us]. I think a lot of it is just gauged on who you played, so I would imagine this game will mean a lot, but I'm not--it's way too early in the season to get anybody trying to start lobbying about it. I'm not much on that.

Q-Obviously this is the biggest game thus far, how much does this game set a tone going into the meat and bones of the Big 12 season?

A-Well, it's another game. But I don't think you're being respectful of the fact that the other big games we've had this year already. Having Missouri, that's a big game being that they've represented the North a number of times in the championship game and just beat us a year ago. Florida State, going down there and playing wasn't an easy road. So, this is another one, so I think those other two games, what I'm getting at, have also set a tone and this one will as well. It's the next one. It's the fifth game, and you've got to keep building on them.

Q-Texas has improved vastly from last year to this year. What kinds of things are they doing that impress you?

A-Well, I felt coming into our game a year ago they were doing a lot really well. What you see right now with different coordinators, obviously different schemes, but you see guys that are really executing those schemes well, playing hard. You see good, talented speed in how they play. So, they're a good football team. But like I said, we them that way every year.

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