Stoops: It's good to be 1-0

The latest notes and quotes from Bob Stoops' weekly press luncheon held Tuesday at the Barry Switzer Center in Norman

The following are excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press luncheon from the Barry Switzer Center Tuesday in Norman.

Opening comments
"Wrapping up last week, I still feel it's a good win. It's good to be 1-0. It's good to have a game under your belt. We certainly respect North Carolina, which everybody talks about as a very talented football team, and we feel good to be in a position of being 1-0 having played them."

"Watching the tape, obviously in the first half getting up 41-14 you're doing a lot of things very good."

Game balls
Stoops said Rocky Calmus, Derrick Strait, Roy Williams and Brandon Everage were awarded game balls for defense. Quentin Griffin and Frank Romero got game balls for their offensive perfromances.

"Frank Romero may have had the best game of his career since he's been here. Just excellent play against a very good player. When you look at his play in the last two games ,meaning all the way back to Florida State against Jamal Reynolds, the Outland Trophy winner, and going against Julius Peppers most of the night, a leading candidate for the Outland award, neither guy gets a sack in either game. Frank really stepped and had a very big game for us the other night."

Tim Duncan and Antwone Savage also received game balls for their special teams efforts.

More on the UNC game
"Overall, I felt good about it for the most part. Through three quarters of football we played very well. A lot of big plays. The fourth quarter is something that we'll take an issue with, with our team. I believe our players recognize it."

"Defensively, we got a little bit tired, possibly. When you recover a fumble, bring it back into the endzone for a touchdown you go right back on defense. When you intercept it, and take it back for a touchdown you go right back on defense. You get a kick off return for a touchdown you go right back on defense. We had an abnormal amount of defensive plays in a row. With all of the heat and just getting out of double sessions we may have wore down a little bit in the fourth quarter defensively. "

"And I think lost a little bit of focus, along with giving North Carolina credit. They stayed with it — had good players, good athletes and executed a little better there towards the end to get more points."

On what mistakes they made as a team
"The mistakes we made in the game on both sides of the ball are correctable. We're hoping that we make a big jump from our first game to our second game in correcting those mistakes. We're working hard on them. I believe we will. "

On Saturday's offensive performance
"I felt good about a good part of it. I thought our offensive line was very good. I thought our running game was good and improving.

"I thought Nate Hybl was solid in that he was smart in how he placed the ball, and what he did with the football. He played somewhat conservative, but that's understandable for a first start in that situation. He took care of the football. Wasn't careless with it, and created a few big plays."

"It was obvious the one interception for a touchdown was not entirely Nate's fault. That's a situation where he's counting on an offensive lineman getting a guy cut and it doesn't happen. So that isn't all on him. Overall, felt good about it and believe through this week that all positions will improve and I we'll be more aggressive in getting the ball down field, and we're certainly emphasizing that."

On if it was intentional that Hybl threw more short routes than long passes
"Sounds like Josh Heupel to me. That was our style last year too. Our offense is our offense. No, it wasn't intentional. We have deeper routes and if he chose to go to them he could have. Like I said, we are emphasizing and working on pushing at getting the ball down field a little more."

On the injury front
"Terrance Simms is doubtful for the game. He's the only guy that's a question mark. I believe he's going to have an opportunity to play here shortly if not this week, the following week. (Juan) Prishker is possible."

On the kick coverage
"I felt our kicking the ball and punting the ball was solid. I felt the on the one return, you know we miss a tackle, lose contain and the guy's out the gate. I don't believe our sense of urgency, placement and distribution covering the punt was where it needed to be, as well as on some of our kickoffs. Obviously, we've taken issue with that watching the tape, correcting it and working on it hard yesterday. We'll continue to do that through the week to improve."

On Tommie Harris
"I thought he played very well. Watching the first snap of the game he's six yards deep in the backfield hitting the running back as he gets the handoff. I was teasing him a few nights before the game and I said, ‘You're not going to be scared now, are you?.' He chuckled and certainly showed that he's ready to play, and is an exceptional player for his age in doing what he does."

On a true freshman playing on the defensive line
"It's pretty unusual. I think most coaches would agree the most difficult place to play, maybe outside of quarterback, at such a young age is on the o-line or d-line, because of the power, the strength, intensity and toughness it takes to play up front. He has all those characteristics that you look for to be a big-time player there."

"There's different factors that keep a young guy from playing. Some may have it physically, but aren't intense enough — don't quite understand the competitiveness and concentration it may take. He's special in that he's a very serious person in how he goes about everything that he does. He's trained very hard to get himself to have the power, strength and the toughness he has. He's serious about the way he prepares and has that kind of intensity for a young age."

On how the other freshman fared "Jonathan (Jackson) made a nice tackle for a loss, and did some very good things at defensive end. And Brandon Jones at receiver was okay. He needs to improve on some things and needs to learn more, but he will. He's a very talented receiver."

On if fatigue determines when and where Andre Woolfolk plays on offense or defense
"That's how it was in that game, but this game may be different. The coming weeks will determine how he's playing on one side of the ball or the other, or wherever we feel he's going to make the biggest impact."

On Brandon Moore's first game after a year off
"He was pretty solid — comes through makes a big tackle for a loss early, and creates a fumble. Brandon was pretty solid for most of the day. He was a little bit rusty, but he'll improve on his tackling."

On penalties
"We were very angry with our football team in that respect. We had four or five that I believe were careless and foolish that shouldn't happen. Hopefully our players will learn and that's something we haven't done here, and aren't going to start doing it. Hopefully, we'll correct that as well."

On if Derrick Strait should return punts after returning two interceptions for touchdowns in his career, including the one last week against UNC
"He's an exceptional runner once he has his hands on the ball. You've got a good point. You may have given me an idea. There's no question he does a great job once he has the football in running and making people missing him. He really likes that east side of the field headed back to the west."

On the punt return game
"It was okay. I believe that we can improve greatly in it, and need too. I believe we will this week after we review that tape today and go out and practice it. It wasn't nearly as good as it should be."

On if Damian Mackey will continue to be the No. 1 punt returner
"For right now he is. Whether he'll do it the rest of the year, we'll see. Right now, we feel secure with the way he's calm, he catches the ball easily and does a nice job running with it."

On if getting Jason White playing time is something he'd like to do every week "I'd love to be ahead 41-14 every week and play all our second team guys. And if that opportunity presents itself we probably will."

On if there was any thought to putting Nate Hybl back in the game in the fourth quarter when UNC cut the lead to 41-27
"Yes, but we felt solid about Jason and him already being in there and he had a rhythm."

On next Saturday's matchup with Air Force
"Looking forward to playing a very good Air Force team. Everyone realizes what an excellent football coach (Fisher DeBerry) is and his staff, and the job they've done there."

"We're excited about the challenge because we realize it is a challenge playing a very good team at their place. We like the fact though that it prepares us for playing in great conference, and playing on the road during the year. "

On if he is concerned with the altitude in Colorado
"No, I think our players will feel it's a treat compared to the 105 degrees that they see every day. I know it gets hot there too, but they don't have near the humidity and it doesn't get as hot as here."


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