Big 12 Teleconference: Bob Stoops Transcribed

Stoops got on the conference call Monday morning, and SI brings you all the discussion.

Q-Bob, how much of an advantage do you think it is to have a program and players who have played for championships before versus playing a team which has not done that?

A-Well, I don't know. It's hard to determine, you know, how that goes. I really don't know how to say it. Our guys, I would say though, have been in this position and are excited about it and no what they have to do this week to have a chance to win a championship and so hopefully we're able to do it. But they're--I would say that there's definitely confidence there since we just were in this situation a year ago.

Q-You've certainly had your share of injury problems. What about the guys that have had to step up in some of those positions? How would you evaluate that so far?

A-For the most part pretty well. You know, the running backs have done a nice job covering for Dominique Whaley. Of course, we don't have his big, physical presence. There's no replacing that. And then Ryan Broyles, you know, the other receivers have all in different ways done a pretty good job. DeJuan Miller had a really nice game the other day. We were without Jaz Reynolds as well, but he should be able to play this week. You know, Kameel Jackson has come in and stepped up a little bit at receiver, too, so they're doing the best they can, and tight ends caught a few more balls last week and they were more of a factor. So, you just have to have other players make plays.

Q-How would you kind of assess the way Landry's [Jones] played since you guys have lost Ryan?

A-Well, last week I don't know that anybody [understands]. If you weren't at the game, it was hard to judge because of, you know, Landry's played well, to start there. You know, he threw for over 400 yards at Baylor. In this past week, I don't know that it was [quite as much]. He still passed for 250 some yards, but there's 50, 60 mile per hour winds consistently through the day. We were throwing the ball in warmups, a pat and go drill where we're just loosening the quarterback's arms up where normally you'd complete 100 percent of them, I bet we completed 10 percent of them. That's how bad the wind was. So, I don't know that last week you were able to judge, really.

Q-What do you think has been the most difficult thing for him playing without Ryan?

A-Well, just the familiarity. You know, we noticed even there's a time or two he's on his second or third read over the middle and normally Ryan's in that spot. He settles down. They were so on the same page where the other day the receiver keeps drifting and Landry throws it in the back of him. Those are the little subtle things that we see that the person watching it that isn't as familiar doesn't see, just how familiar he was with Ryan where he would settle down. And they were so on the same page.

Q-Robert Griffin's a Heisman Trophy candidate. What are some of the things that make him so special?

A-Well, to start initially was always the great speed and feet, but now he's just really--they've done a great job developing his ability to throw the football and accuracy. So, all of that, you go with all that speed and talent.

Q-You've coached a couple of Heisman winners. That kind of publicity, what does it do for a program?

A-Oh, it brings attention. Obviously, it brings a lot of positive attention to your program.

Q-Coach, this is the first year of the complete round robin schedule and not having a title game. Now that you've been through it, do you have a preference and the thoughts on maybe three different teams could end up sharing the title versus one overall champion?

A-Well, I don't really understand that. I thought all along, you know, I was at Big 12 Media Day, and you were probably, too. And all the entire theme of the two days was that we got one true champion since everybody's playing each other, so that's how I've always looked at it. And it's not like we haven't played each other. So, in our eyes there will be one and so that's just how I see it. Again, I don't know any other way to look at it. If you're all going to play each other, it pretty well sets up that way.

Q-Any thoughts, do you like the round robin schedule now that you've gone through it once?

A- Yeah, I think it's great because I do look at it that way. You all have played each other, so it isn't like we're in different divisions and us and somebody didn't play each other. You know, Kansas State or whoever it may be, we did. And so, you know, so you can determine who the champion is. If there's two people, three people tied for it, who beat who.

Q-Bob, I think a lot of people and you were just saying it, you play each other and it determines it. In a lot of ways, Bedlam has always been big, but in essence this is also a Big 12 Championship game since a BCS bid is on the line. Talk about how much bigger this game is this week or do you sense it being any bigger because of that?

A-I think it's been big. A year ago we played the same, you know, we played on Thanksgiving with whoever won was gonna go play Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game. So, that also, you know, so we look at it the same way.

Q-And I want to ask you. Everyone talks about Robert Griffin at Baylor. But Terrance Ganaway, just what do you know about him as a running back and what do you remember about him when you played him, how good he is and what he adds to that offense?

A-He's just a physical, tough, hard-running guy and he's been very durable for them. So, he's a tough, hard-playing guy that really does well for them and a big part of their offense is that run game.

Q-Coach, as I was watching the game on television, it looked like Iowa State did a little bit better job in that new goal line package that hasn't been done before. Were they doing something differently or is there just a lot more tape out there on what you guys have been doing down there?

A-I think some of it they did a nice job, which that's going to happen. And then other parts of it, we didn't feel we did a very good job blocking as maybe we did in some other games and missed an assignment on an occasion or two. So, you know, that's the game. Sometimes they play it a little bit more than you run it, and then other times we did execute our blocks, and we got it in. So, that's something that we just have to keep developing. I think, for instance, the option, that play's there if he keeps attacking the outside edge guy. He's a redshirt freshman and has only played so much, and we haven't run the option a bunch, and he didn't execute it very well. So, that's how it goes.

Q-I was wondering if you could discuss, Bob, the particular challenge that Brandon Weeden brings back there?

A-Just really the talented arm, poise and experienced guy, so with a lot of talented receivers. So, he does an excellent job of going through his read progressions and executing the offense.

Q-What makes [Justin] Blackmon so dangerous?

A-Oh, geeze. You know, just the size, strength, great hands, ability to make plays even when he's covered.

Q-Bob, I'm sure that you heard Kansas dismissed Turner Gill after two seasons. It seems like the patience is even shorter now as far as giving coaches and chance. Is it reasonable to expect a coach to get his program established in two seasons?

A-You know, I don't know. All situations, I guess, are different. I always hate to see any coach being let go, but all situations are just different. Some people, you come in and the program's down to begin with and you got to build it back up. Other times you come in and it isn't down and you need to continue to have success, so it's just [unfortunate]. I don't know. You know, it's hard for me to determine. Again, for all coaches I wish that we all have more time.

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