Every Monday afternoon during the football season OU coach Bob Stoops has his weekly press conference. Sooners Illustrated will give you the three most important things to take from the session.
Game No. 5: vs. TCU
Take No. 1: Stoops not surprised by young players stepping up
Every game it feels like it's somebody new stepping up for the Sooners. Against Notre Dame it was redshirt freshman Zack Sanchez who had his best game of the season. He broke up three passes and was named one of the team's defensive players of the game.
It comes as a shock to some fans and to some of the media, but it's not that big of a deal to Stoops because that's exactly what is expected.
"We have young guys come up and play," Stoops said. "We always have new guys emerging. I know what they're capable of. Why would I be surprised? I've seen these guys play and play and play."
With OU having closed practices and scrimmages, what we see Saturday can catch our eye. Stoops went into more detail in what is helping the younger guys stand out.
"They're paying closer attention to detail," Stoops said. "When it happens during the week, you have a better chance of it happening on Saturday."
Mistakes are being made, but they're correctable mistakes. When talking about the defense, most of the group is incredibly young with maturing to do. That's a reason to be excited.
"We're not done," Stoops said. "They have a big upside that we aren't close to. We just have to keep developing them."
Take No. 2: Stoops more open toward having Knight on the field
When asked Monday, though, his tone was different. Knight temporarily replaced Bell in the third quarter Saturday when Bell started cramping. He had a career-high 30-yard run and helped guide OU to a field goal.
"That's not a bad idea," said Stoops about Knight playing even if Bell is healthy. "Blake gets a few series off and maybe he's not cramping in the third quarter."
It's clear the OU offense looks different when Knight is in the game although Stoops said Monday it is more about the way Knight runs the plays called compared to Bell than any big schematic change.
Stoops gave Knight credit for being ready to go and for handling the situation in a mature manner just as Bell originally did.
"He handled it the right way," Stoops said. "Proud of him. He handled it in a team way. He got his opportunity and did a great job (Saturday)."
Two diverse quarterbacks would definitely give the opposition even more to think about.
Take No. 3: Don't expect a Notre Dame hangover
TCU is sandwiched between showdowns at Notre Dame and the Red River Rivalry against Texas next week. Coming off such an emotional victory in South Bend, Ind., an emotional letdown could be in order.
That won't be a problem, Stoops said.
"Better teams get better as you go," he said. "Playing well like we did in a good setting on the road should give you more hunger."
Stoops said OU doesn't set up its whole season around beating one team and didn't set this season around just winning at Notre Dame.
Stoops said TCU plays well defensively and with great technique and has had a tough early-season schedule that has prepared them well.
And asked about an injury situation, Stoops said there isn't one for his club. No OU players suffered an injury last weekend.