Below is a complete transcript of OU Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference at the Barry Switzer Center Tuesday in Norman.
On Iowa State
"We're anxious to get into Big 12 play this week going on the road to Iowa State. We, as a staff, have a great respect for Dan McCarney and their coaching staff. They are always coached well and their players always play with a lot of pride, play hard. I know they've had a couple of disappointing losses, but we understand the nature of that program and the fact that they've been to bowl games the last several years in a row. They will be well-coached and ready to play, as we will be hopefully. I know our guys are anxious to play again and anxious to get on with the Big 12 season and looking forward to the competition and challenge of going up to Iowa State."
"I really like the mood and attitude of our team at this point. The week off helped us. I feel like it re-energized us. I feel like our players yesterday (Monday) were a little quicker and more excited being out there with the Big 12 season right in front of them. And we're a little healthier across the board. So, with all that together we're anxious to play and looking forward to the challenge to get started here this week."
On being 6-0 in games after open dates
"Maybe the extra preparation and time and attention to somebody may help us, I guess. But the other side of that is our record isn't too bad after that loss to Ole Miss. We had a few weeks to prepare for them. Since then we've been pretty decent.
On OU being ranked last in the Big 12 on special teams
"I think, overall, our potential to be good, and to be awfully good is there. I think we showed that against UCLA. If we'll continue to correct some of the mistakes, pay a little closer attention to some detail and execute a little better we could be one of the better teams, like we have been in the past. We're still working towards that, and I think after our play in the UCLA game we've shown in our history here the capability of being an awfully good group. I think the early games, some of the punt blocks give you reason for that. We've had a big return on a kick-off, but the other part of that is we've had a lot more kick-offs than a lot of people. It's sometimes the odds and numbers. If it's your ninth kick-off of the game eventually something is going to go bad. I'll take that problem about every week if I can get it. But I don't say that lightly. We're working hard on them to be better than we have been. We should be better, and hopefully we will be as we go through the Big 12."
On Iowa State's defensive schemes being similar to Oklahoma's
In some areas, yes, there are similarities there. About everyone you play anymore has similarities in how they play, whether it's zone coverages or how they line their front up. So, they have some definite similarities to us. What's been good about that is we've had good work against each other — our offense against the defense and the defense against the offense trying to get good speed and good work against each other. Last week, and even yesterday we did some of that. So, hopefully it will help us in our preparation."
On how Iowa State has changed on offense without Seneca Wallace
"Many of the same schemes are still there. He was a just a special guy that made great plays and created plays sometimes when they weren't there. Fortunately, in our game we played pretty well against him. A lot of their schemes and the way they play on offense are very similar than they were a year ago."
On the continuing upsets in college football
"Again, I say it every week that everybody has good players and all are coached well. You have to execute your plan and your players have to make plays when they get opportunities to make them. There's a lot more parity, every year it gets that way."
On if he worries about his players thinking ahead to next week's game with Texas
"I really don't. Our guys understand that's all for the fans and media. But the fans and the media, they don't have to go play on Saturday. Our guys understand where they're going on Saturday. It's a nationally telecast game. We're going to be playing in Ames. We have to go out on the field and compete. And when they compete they want to do well. They understand the only way to do that is to zero in and focus. They understand there's plenty of time to get ready for the other whenever it comes. Our guys are anxious for it and they're zeroed in on Iowa State. That is not a fear at all."
On adding new plays during the off-week
"There's wrinkles every week. It probably changes from a couple to four or five in other weeks. It all gets down to managing what the players mentally can handle and if you feel it's going to benefit you. Is it worth the time it's going to take to practice it? If you're going to call it once in a game it's probably not worth doing it. It's just one of those factors from game to game that's different."
On if it is easier to prepare for Iowa State this year without one superstar on offense than last year with Wallace
"I think you go in always the same. Anyone can hurt you if you allow them to. When we prepared for them a year ago we understood Seneca Wallace was their sparkplug, but he still distributed the ball to many people, whether running or throwing the ball downfield. Austin Flynn — the guy that's playing for Iowa State right now — is a good quarterback. He has the ability to run and make some people miss him as well. So, it isn't a whole lot different. You need to be able to get pressure to them, cover the people that he's trying to throw it to and make sure you're great against the run."
On if winning big makes it more difficult to critique the team and find areas to improve on
"I don't know that it's anymore difficult. We're pretty picky when we watch and critique ourself. I don't always choose to sit here and go over it with you, but we are. And as picky as you all may be, we're moreso when we're in our meetings with our players and in staff meetings. So, that's what we did last week. We're focusing on everything we're doing to make it sharper, make it better, develop and implement new wrinkles that fit what we're doing on offense, defense and every part of the game."
On if he's talked to Mark Mangino after KU's big win over Missouri
"I did. I spoke with him Saturday night. We feel good for him. He felt good about it as well, as you would expect."
On if he's talked to Mike Leach yet this season
"I haven't talked to Mike yet. I'm sure eventually we will."
On Texas Tech's big passing day against Ole Miss
"It's quite a feet. They do an excellent job throwing the football. We felt going into the year with a guy that's been with them that long that they wouldn't miss much. Nothing against Kingsbury, but (B.J.) Symons is a very capable guy that's been in their system. They seem to really have it going."
On if his team is hungry to prove that they can win on the road
"Sure. We've done it once this year and we're anxious to continue to do it. Our guys are focused on that and hopefully we can go in there with a strong attitude and play like we're capable."
On how good the running game be this year
"We'll see. Hopefully awfully good. Everyone believes that you start off the year like you finish the year, and that never happens regardless of how many people you have back. In the NFL, they don't lose anybody, and you watch and I hear it from there coaches. All of the sudden the year starts and they're figuring things out, working on it and improving it. You never start the year like you finish the year.
"A year ago at this time we were still a work in progress developing it and improving it. That's what we're doing now. We've had our moments when we've been good running it this year. We've had other times here and there when we haven't been as good as we'd like. I still believe it's been effective for us. People are concerned about it when the play us, and that's what really matters. When you're poor running the football and people aren't concerned about, then you have some trouble."
On if the off-week helped Wayne Chambers get more situated
"Yeah, I guess. I felt like he was situated before, but every opportunity to practice and get repetitions is usually better."
On Derrick Strait's health
"Derrick's looked fine. He's practiced both days."
On Chris Chester's health
"Still improving, been a little bit slow. He won't play this week."
On if the Big 12 is still one of the premiere conferences despite the upsets some of the top teams have suffered
"When you get into the season all you can do is look out for yourself and do the very best you can. Year in and year out we'll be one of the better conference out there. Some years better than others, and other years...I don't much get into the coffee talk part of it. That makes for good discussion for everybody else, so I don't worry about it a whole lot."
On spending the off-week to work on other opponents
"Last week we spent a good part of the week working on some other future opponents, along with a little bit of Iowa State. And then we get a bonus day yesterday in that we don't have a game to critique to go back and go through on Monday since we take Sunday's off. So, we got a full day Monday, which gave us some extra time on Iowa State."
Stoops says Sooners won't look past Iowa State
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