Big 12 Teleconference: Bob Stoops Transcribed

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

Q-You guys had a hard fought game with Texas A&M in College Station last year. Do you see much difference from that team and the one you'll see on Saturday?

A-No, they still look very good. You know, there's like 18 starters back from that team. They're doing a lot, really, of the same things offensively and defensively, so they look very similar and very good. You look at the fact that, you know, their three losses, I think in all three of them they're ahead in the fourth quarter in tight, tough ball games. So, really a play or two different in each of them, they've got a great opportunity to win those.

Q-Do you point that out to your team?

A-Absolutely, no question. Also that all those teams are all good football teams and they're in a position to win them in each of those cases. You know, they're still a very good football team.

Q-With the loss of Dominique Whaley, does it at all change how you'll approach carries and the way you'll deal with things out of the backfield? I know you've got Trey Millard was a little more involved the other day, and you've got Roy Finch, but does anything change?

A-Not really other than Brennan Clay is back more healthy now, and that's helpful. We'll give Brandon Williams more opportunities and more carries as well. You know, all of those guys are probably best if each of them plays about 25 snaps. To be honest with you, that's their body types. And all of that, I think, they'll all be better if you split it up that way, and I think all of them are good players. So, I think we'll just split it up with those guys.

Q-You used Blake Bell a few times when you got down there near the goal line. What went into the thought process to getting him involved in situations like that?

A-Well, obviously to use some quarterback run game. Blake's a big guy that about--you know he's all of 6-6, 255 pounds. You have a big, physical guy and just some of the different quarterback run game that a lot of people use, but also the advantage of being able to throw it with him. You know, he's a big guy that also throws well, so you can mix that in, too. So, we used him the other day where some short yardage situations and goal line situations, so we'll continue to work some things in that package.

Q-I saw a tweet about Dom Whaley talking about ‘After my surgery, day one of my rehabilitation,' seemed like an awful positive mindset after having something like that happen to them. Is that another indication of what kind of guy he is, like I'm ready to get back to work as soon as possible?

A-Yeah, he's a great young man and has worked hard at everything he's done. So, we'll be very diligent in his rehab and he'll work hard. I know everybody here in the office will be working with him, so that's just like him. You know, he's a positive guy.

Q-I haven't heard any comments from you on what you think about adding West Virginia, your thoughts on that?

A-I don't have much thoughts on it other than trying to get ready to play Texas A&M. So, it's great, whatever, they're a great program really. You look at their track record of winning. They continue to win this year, so I'm sure it'll be another tough game to play.

Q-Every week it's hard to make sure everyone gets motivated in the right way. Have you learned anything about your team the last two weeks and how they've played?

A-I just learned that they played better this week than they did a week ago. And at the end of the day, the bottom line [is] it gets down to execution on the field. We obviously, you know, executed really well this week and because of it, we were fortunate to win a good game.

Q-Bob, I'm wondering if you could just visit about A&M's offense with Tannehill and the receivers they have, the running backs and the potential out there?

A-Yeah, they've been potent all year when you look at their production, you know, just run and pass. First and foremost, they do a great job running the football and then everything sets up off that. Their play action passes, then they'll isolate the receivers different ways, so very good personnel, very good skilled people. And they do a really good job of using all of them, so it's a tough task keeping them down.

Q-Is this offense similar to what you've seen before in terms of how they go about things?

A-Oh yeah, very similar to a year ago in that they're great running the football first and they're very good throwing it to complement it. So, that's what makes it tough to defend.

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