SI Take 3: Sanchez earns starting spot

OU coach Bob Stoops addressed a number of topics in his weekly press conference, including the defense, Trey Millard and the depth chart.

Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will be there live for all of them and will give you the three most important things to take from the session.

Week 2: West Virginia

Take 1: Fullback Trey Millard had a great game

The numbers don't tell the story. Millard had one carry for four yards and two catches for 11 yards. But one of the first things Stoops talked about was how solid Millard played in the season opener.

The number of touches never explain the significance of Millard and what he brings to the team, and Stoops elaborated on that.

"If he's running with the ball, then that means Roy Finch is blocking for him," Stoops said. "That combination doesn't work out that well."

Stoops said the plan is still for Millard to get more touches as the season progresses but also said a lot of Knight's running success happened because of Millard.

With Knight rolling out, it was usually Millard blocking in front of him and creating the holes for Knight and the other running backs to run through.

Millard might never get 10 carries in a game but his value is never questioned by Stoops.

"He can line up everywhere," Stoops said. "And we're comfortable with him anywhere."

Take 2: Cornerback Zack Sanchez gets starting nod

Most of the defensive talk centered around the linebackers, but it was an impressive debut for redshirt freshman cornerback Zack Sanchez.

Sanchez was getting the start because of the one-game suspension to Cortez Johnson, and he did nothing to open the door again for Johnson.

"Zack Sanchez was all over his guy," Stoops said. "He tackled well. He covered well."

Sanchez had three tackles and one pass breakup. Johnson will play this weekend, but he's not going to get the start. Not with the way Sanchez played Saturday.

Just as most thought Blake Bell would be the guy at quarterback, most assumed it would be Johnson that would start at corner with Aaron Colvin.

But Stoops made it clear this, too, has been a legitimate race.

"Right now he will," said Stoops about Sanchez starting against the Mountaineers. "It has been tight all along anyways."

Take 3: OU invested a lot of time into the zone read

OU fans were wondering how the OU offense would change with Knight taking the snaps instead of Landry Jones. It was on full display Saturday with the zone read option.

Stoops said he recognized in the offseason that it was time to look at the zone read. He brought in some coaches and talked to others although he declined to say who they were.

"It was a big time investment," Stoops said. "It has to be drilled and drilled. We didn't get frustrated but knew it was going to take some time."

The zone read option opens the offense up more because when successful, defenses have to focus on stopping the run more. It can change up coverages as well.

But it doesn't mean anything if OU cannot pass as well, said Stoops.

"We still want to be great throwing the football," Stoops said. "That is still going to be a big part of what we do."

Stoops said he was pleased with the way Knight threw the ball in the second half.


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