Stoops on Kansas State

Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about this Saturday's matchup with Kansas State

On Kansas State
Kansas State is very good team. Everybody knows that. Offensively this year, there is more of a quarterback run game then a year ago. Not quite as much passing, they concentrate more on running a lot of quarterback runs. Not just option, but counters, leads, those types of plays along with their tailback Josh Scobey as well. He and (Ell) Roberson are 95 percent of their offense, then they always try to hit a big play to Aaron Lockett.

On KSU's defense
Defensively, they're a very aggressive defense in how they've played. They run to the ball very well. And they've continued to create big plays in their special teams, which will also be a big challenge for us being able to handle their returns.

On how OU's offense stacks up against KSU's defense
We need to be able to handle their pressure and continue to work and establish a running game, which we feel more confident this year in the way we've run it for three games leading up to this game. Along with being able to beat their coverage and make some big plays that way.

On if KSU and Oklahoma have the best special teams in the Big 12
It's too early in the season to say that. We have both played well special teams-wise. As you look at the end of 12-13 games last year we were first or second in virtually every category. We have a history of that. Hopefully, we as a team can continue to do that this year. They have started that way already with a kickoff return for a touchdown. I guess we have one two in our first game, so it's starting off to be some of the better ones in the conference.

Kansas State quarterback Ell Roberson has rushed for 128 yards and thrown for 207 in two games this season.


On the quarterback matchup between Kansas State's Ell Roberson and Nate Hybl
Ell Roberson is an excellent runner with the football running the options and running their quarterback run game in a variety of ways. I'm sure as time goes he'll continue to try to work and improve on the passing game, and get more in-depth with it and more complex with it as they go and as to what he's able to handle. He threw the ball better in his second game.

Nate has come on each game and has had better games as he's gone through three straight games. In fact (Nate) received games balls from us for the last two games that he's played, and deservedly so looking at it statistic-wise and the way he's performed. I'm sure both teams hope as we go through the season they'll gain positive experience, continue to mature. I'd prefer theirs not to do until after this game, but that's certainly what we're both looking for.

On KSU's passing game with Roberson
What they have focused more on is are a lot of intermediate routes, curls, stop routes, and screens have been what they preferred. Though they'll chuck it down field some as well with posts and corners.
On if the OU-KSU game has entered rivalry status because of his and his assistants former association with Kansas State
Sure, and I don't think it has anything to do with us, and that's what I've always said. Last year everyone wanted to talk about us as coaches. Let's focus on the programs, the teams, the players, that's what decides the game on the field, None of this other stuff. I just don't believe that. It just fills up papers and air time for people to talk about and write about. But the bottom line is you get out there and play. You have two good football teams that have won games, competed for championships, won championships and the bottom line is that's why it will be broadcasted to 80 percent of the country. That's why college gameday will be here and the fans will be all fired up because of that, not because of whatever has interchanged between coaches.

Here's two good football teams trying to get toward winning the South division, winning the North division and being in the Big 12 championship game and winning it. That's what has everybody excited and focused on the game. There isn't much to any of that other stuff. I've said it last year and I'll say it again this year.

On if Kansas State is one of the more physical teams in the country
Definitely, they're a physical, tough football team, well-disciplined. They are a very physical team.

Senior tailback Josh Scobey is the Wildcats workhouse in the backfield having already racked up 277 yards on the ground in the first two games.


On Kansas State having a physical running game
That's what their brand has been this year is just to attack you primarily with the run game. First, to make sure that you're disciplined to be where you're supposed to much like when you play Nebraska. To make sure you are where you need to be on every run plan, on every option as well as any tailback run game or quarterback run game, and that you can be there and stay there.

On their attack being similar to Nebraska's
They're more similar this year in the way they're running more of the quarterback and more of the tailback. To this point, they haven't emphasized the pass maybe as much as they did with Jonathan Beasley a year ago.

On KSU's all-out blitzing style defense
That's what their style has been against us, and it wasn't just the first game, they blitzed us maybe even more in the second game. Certainly, that's something we've worked on.

On both sides holding schemes back so far this season
We anticipate what they'll do and what they'll like against the way we line up. And they'll do the same. It just isn't this game, that's every week. But some people are more apt to adjust and change some things than other teams are. Some teams pretty much stick to what they do. Other teams will adjust a little bit. We're both that way. We'll adjust a little bit.

On if the fact that he has been on Snyder's staff make the game more of a chess match than other games
Not a whole lot, but certainly they know how we think, and we here have an idea how they think a little bit on what you've liked in the past, how you've operated. It still gets down to players executing, blocking, tackling, catching, defending, that's what does it.

On what they need out of Nate Hybl to win Saturday
Just need consistent play. He needs to be able to recognize what's coming and make good checks, run or pass. He needs to be able to have the confidence to sit in and throw the ball when the rush is coming. He needs to be able to avoid the bad plays and operate within the offense and count on the players around him to help him, because it isn't just Nate. The other players have to do their part to execute and have successful plays. He just has to trust that they're going to do what's necessary in order to do that and move the ball.

On how Trent Smith was able to have a big day against Kansas State last year in the Big 12 championship game
They were covering him one-on-one and Trent was able to beat their player and make plays. He was able to get open and catch some balls. Josh did a nice job of finding him and putting the ball in spots where he could get it. Trent had a huge game, and it was a big part of that win.

On if OU has a mental advantage having beat KSU twice last year
All this talk about revenge, we heard all that for two weeks going into the Big 12 championship last year. That was the focus, and no way you can do it twice. None of that, I don't think, matters and the fact that we beat them twice last year doesn't ever mean that you're guaranteed to do it this year. Each year you earn your way, you earn your stripes, so our job is to go out and fight and go for it again. I believe our players understand that. They recognize Kansas State is a very good football team, they respect them. But they're also excited about the competition and challenge it presents.

On how important it is to play KSU at home this year
It's always good to be at home. The two times we played them last year we're at their place and in Kansas City, just two hours down the road from Manhattan. Playing them here, hopefully will be an advantage for us. Hopefully they will get into the game, which I trust they will. It certainly can't hurt.


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