Below is a transcript of OU Head Coach Bob Stoops' Q&A session with the media Tuesday during his weekly press conference at the Barry Switzer Center in Norman.
On the Alabama win
"It's good to be up here wrapping up last week after an excellent road win down in Alabama. I am very proud of our players' efforts, their physical play and their discipline throughout a well-played game. Alabama is an excellent football team that has great athletes and are very physical the way they play on both sides of the ball. I felt like we matched that and feel fortunate that we made the plays in situations that counted and really played in a great way.
"When you go to Alabama and lead from start to finish, that's not easy to do. We played a good, clean game — very few penalties. We didn't turn the ball over at all on offense. The defense had an excellent interception early to start things off. Overall, it was a good, clean hard-fought game and it was a great environment down in Alabama with two excellent programs going at it. I sensed that even during the game. You watch the players interact and really know that they're really going at each other in a physical, hard-hitting game. Guys were kind of bumping each other and helping each other back to the huddle on opposite sides of the ball. It's fun to be in those kind of environments, although it was extremely competitive.
"We'll build on it. I believe it will help us to have such a road win already under your belt. I still believe there's parts of our game that we'll continue to improve, and we'll push for that. And we're pushing for that this week.
On Fresno State
Fresno Stat is a team that's 1-1, just coming off a good win beating Oregon State. Year in and year out Pat (Hill) does a great job. They always have 9, 10 wins every year. They don't mind going to play anybody. It's well-stated they'll play anybody anywhere. We recognize that. We understand with our schedule the way it is this year there aren't any breathers whatsoever. We need to be read to play again this week and play at a better level then we did a week ago. That's what we're pushing for, so we'll see where that leads."
On playing his best players on special teams paying off with big plays
For the most part we've been good. We still need to be better. It's pretty obvious with our punt team it's a situation (blocked punt) that shouldn't happen. A guy that's been on there and been solid for us gives something up. I guess it's just like somebody breaking down in pass protection and giving up a sack, but that's even more important when it's your punt team.
"Overall, we've been good. We still need to be better, but we'll keep pushing for that. I'm pleased with Blake Ferguson. He is really is hitting the ball better. He had his best average there at Alabama, as well as completed an excellent fake. And Trey DiCarlo, although he has been very good, there's no need to miss a 31-yard shot late in the third quarter, which would've still changed things. Those are ways you've got to be better."
On OU's depth in the defensive line and how that helped against Alabama
"This is the first time that we've been here where we've had the opportunity and the depth to rotate four inside d-linemen and three to four defensive ends, and it's helping us. Those guys are in great condition, but in the end they go at it hard up front every snap. We have guys now that are going in there that we feel we have a couple of teams that are rotating in there that can play at a winning level for us. And it's pretty obvious we are more active generating more plays up front, chasing the quarterback. Even times we didn't get him, he was running and throwing the ball away. A year ago when we played them they had six sacks and we had zero. This year we had six and they had zero. That's a pretty good switch in your front."
On the offensive line
"I'm proud of our offensive line. Our offensive line was good. The protection was very good, and even running the football was better and improved from a week ago against a strong opponent. Hopefully that will continue to progress. Vince Carter, Kelvin Chaisson and Wes Sims, some guys who had been fighting for jobs, stepped up and competed at a better level."
On Jason White's success throwing the deep ball
"He's been very good. Jason has thrown the ball very accurately down the field and the receivers are doing a great job adjusting to him getting open and being in a position to catch them. It is something that we've worked hard on and will continue to. It's created some big plays, definitely."
On if OU's success throwing deep will help the running game
"Yes and no. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. It varies throughout the game. That's the cat and mouse game everybody's playing. Sometimes they're up there trying to take away the run and other times they're sitting back playing the pass. Everybody is about the same in the way they try and jockey back and forth to take away the other."
On Mark Bradley's breakout game agaisnt 'Bama
"Really excited for Mark Bradley to step up and make some big plays. He's a guy that we've said has potential to. He's a big, strong guy who has great speed for a receiver. It was great to get him in there. I compliment our coaches — Coach (Darrell) Wyatt and Coach (Chuck) Long — for working Mark in there and putting him in positions to help us win. The screen pass was an excellent run, but then he comes back with the deep ball he catches down the boundary. He just out-fought the guy and made a diving catch to get it. Mark will continue to get better and better for us."
On Donte Nicholson
"Donte's coming on. He's a guy that continues to improve. It's early. We've only had a couple games and he hasn't had a great number of snaps, but our coaches will continue to evaluate him to see if he is in position to get more (snaps)."
On Lance Mitchell saying his 10 tackles against Alabama was because of the defensive system rather than his talent
"I think both are true. Some of it is a product of the scheme. But to compliment Lance, he knows where to get to. And when he does, he's a sure tackler and has been very strong for us. He's an excellent player."
On who got game balls for their performance against Alabama
The players of the game for us were "Lance Mitchell, Dan Cody and Tommie Harris. Dan Cody and Tommie Harris had back-to-back games of being recognized. Offensively, we gave it to Jason White, J.D. Runnels and Brandon Jones. Special teams was Blake Ferguson."
On the experience the younger players gained from going into Tuscaloosa and winning
"I believe it will help us. We'll build on it and it will give us confidence as the season progresses. Being in that environment and succeeding and handling the momentum swings, I believe a lot of those young guys will benefit from it and handle it better in the next situation."
On the secondary against Alabama with Brandon Everage back for his first game this season
"It worked out pretty well for the most part. They had one touchdown and threw the ball 43 or 44 times. I'm not even sure what their completion percentage was. I don't know that it was great. Overall, it was good, but it needs to be better in a few instances, which our players are very aware of."
On the play of Dan Cody
"Dan is really playing well. He's getting great pressure. As you're watching the quarterback running around back there and getting chased, three-fourth's of the time it's Dan right on his heels. He is an exceptional talent. Dan not only has the size, but has an incredible motor and great speed for the size he is. He's really come on being a force for us coming around that corner. Alabama had some good players there, and he turned the corner and really pressured well throughout the day."
On if this defensive line has above average speed
"When you look at just speed and quickness, yes, I would say so. But we have to continue to produce. And I believe they've got the hunger and the attitude to do that."
On what makes Fresno State dangerous
"Dangerous? I always have a hard time with that question as you heard the other night. They're a good, solid team. They've got good athletes and they're well-coached. All of the parts of their game we need to be prepared for."
On Fresno State's offensive attack
"They throw the ball a pretty good bit. They've got a returning 1,500 yard rusher, so you can't just get carried away with worrying about their passing game because they're capable of running it as well. You've got to be able to take care of both."
On if the running game is progressing or does it need to start progressing
Well, it's progressed from the first game. I think last year we rushed for -23 yards against them and we ended up a decent rushing team by the end of the year. South Florida limited us to I don't know how much a year ago, and I think we had more than that against North Texas. I think we're ahead of where we were. Does it need to continue to progress? Certainly. We're working on it and I believe it will continue to improve as we go."
On if they have the offensive line they wanted to have at the beginning of the year
"We don't have it yet, but it's a work in progress like everybody else. It's only our second game. Everybody wants to claim is this the best or not. It has a chance to be. I keep saying there's a lot of chances and you've got to earn that. We'll see the way they work and continue to improve as the year goes.
On the health of the offensive line with Vince Carter and Davin Joseph returning
"We're in good shape that way. Davin was back in practice yesterday, so everybody should be in there ready to go this week."
On if Renaldo Works is hurt or has Kejuan stepped up to take the starting role
"It's a little bit of both, but more the snaps taken through practice and all due to the fact that Renaldo missed some through the week. But he'll be back in there this week."
On if there are any similarities in Fresno State QB Jeff Grady and OU freshmen QB Tommy Grady, who are brothers
"Tommy hasn't been with us in any game situations or live situations to compare the two, so that's hard to say."
On Tommy playing the role of his brother Jeff on the scout team this week
"He's just a little bit taller than his brother, but he's wearing No. 15 all week. I was teasing him yesterday not to be giving away any secrets when he talks to him later this week. His older brother will be trying to work him for some information."
On the debate of Brandon Everage's status on talk radio
"I don't care to debate on talk radio whatsoever. I hadn't heard any of it, so it doesn't much matter. It's important to me in staying consistent in what we've always done. Our discipline is handled internally. I don't feel a need to make it public. I don't believe that's fair to the individuals. As long as my players' parents and the administration are satisfied with my method of discipline, that's how I'll do it. And I'll never do something to appease a talk radio host who doesn't work with athletes and his job is to create turmoil to get people to call in. They don't work with kids, they talk about it.
"We'll stay consistent with what we've always done. Brandon will be and is being disciplined in the appropriate ways, and we'll deal with it internally the way we always do. I don't need to explain it any further. I don't ever explain our discipline procedures."
On if Everage will be in the lineup this week
"Yes. There are many times when people don't know when a guy is dismissed from the team or on suspension. Whether something is publicized or not, we handle discipline and do it the right way. And we'll continue to do that."
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