Stoops: We won't overlook Texas

Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about this weekends Red River Shootout in Dallas at his weekly press conference on Tuesday

On the OU-Texas rivalry
It's great to be 4-0 coming into this game with Texas. We're all looking forward to going down there in the Cotton Bowl and competing with Texas.

Everyone understands what a great rivalry it is. One of the best and longstanding rivalries in college football that just didn't start this year. This has been going on for a long time. I think it has increased importance being that we're both in the Big 12 South. Both of us are fighting to get to the Big 12 Championship game and this game has major implications in doing that.

On Texas
We recognize them as a very good football team. And that excites our players, our coaches, to go down there in the Cotton Bowl and compete with them in one of the best games in college football. We're excited about it and looking forward to the challenge.

On not overlooking Texas the same way UT Head Coach Mack Brown said the Longhorns overlooked OU last season
We won't overlook Texas. We'll be just as mad coming down the tunnel, I promise you, as they are. Again, this rivalry didn't just start. We understand the Big 12 and Big 12 South implications. We'll be prepared to play.

On if he buys into the comments Mack Brown made about Texas not respecting OU enough last year
I don't know. That's not for me to speculate, but I found it interesting that they overlooked us for who? Who do you have next? I think they played Colorado and Missouri the next two games. How do you overlook us in the Big 12 South. They made it sound like they have never lost to OU. I think there staff had only been there for two years. That's not like they were on a 17-game winning streak. I just found it odd. As a team, we choose to look at it differently. We choose to look at it like we had something to do with it as well.

On if Oklahoma's feels any pressure in this game being the defending Big 12 and National champions
I don't believe there is pressure. I believe in our situation our pressure is on ourselves to play to our potential. If anything, there's is more pressure on Texas. I would think the pressure on them is twice as great as on us.

We deal with a week like this with a great sense of urgency. We want to play well. We want to win and have an opportunity to compete in the Big 12 Championship game. That's our sense of urgency.

On the uphill battle OU would face getting to the Big 12 Championship should they lose this game
The winner of this game, you're up a game and a half, essentially. I believe they recognize that and we recognize that. That's what happens when you're in the same division.

On what OU expects from Texas defensively
They'll go more zone coverage and try and change up, play zone and blitz occasionally. That's no secret. We've seen that this year in a number of games, not just against Texas Tech. You would expect them to do something different than they did last year. I don't think there's any mystery and we've seen zone coverage before, so I don't see where that gives them an advantage. We see it everyday. That's something we're ready to execute against.

On if he agrees with Texas Head Coach Mack Brown that the Longhorns are a better team this year then they were at this stage a year ago
I don't know. They appear to be. Then again, I think it's too early in the season for anybody to really know that for sure, us included and anyone else because we're now just getting into Big 12 conference play.

On if Texas has been more impressive on film this year early in the season than last year
It's hard for me to say that. Although I guess at that time last year they had one loss to Stanford at the time, but it's hard for me to know that.

On if he sees a more confident and different player in Texas quarterback Chris Simms from last year
I see a guy that is gaining experience, as you see with Nate Hybl and any quarterback. The more snaps he gets the more consistent you see him playing. You see him maturing in a lot of ways.

On if he thinks OU is being shown a lack of respect as a three-point underdog after what happened in the game last year
We don't pay a whole lot of attention to that. We were probably bigger underdogs last year. Maybe that's why they overlooked us. We understand what we can do and have got a fair amount of confidence in how we play. Like I said, we're looking forward to it.

On if OU will use being an underdog as motivation
We don't need too. Our players have a lot going for them competing for championships, and have won them, And are going after more. That's incentive enough.

On Texas' receiving corp
Excellent players. No question about it. They run well and catch the ball well, and have quite a few of them.

I think there running backs are good. They sometimes get overlooked. That's a big part of this game. And that will be a big part of the game for us is to take away their running game and that's where we'll start, as we have with everybody we've played. They are good and strong. They do a nice job.

On the size of UT's offensive line They're big guys. No question.

On if Texas is putting more emphasis on running the ball this year
It's about like it was last year. They're going to run it. They, like a lot of people, when they get in their one-back situations they're going to look and see if you're spread out. Then they'll take advantage of the run game. And if you're not, they're going to try and throw it. It's nothing new in football. We do it too. But they've got a quality run game as well.

On Texas running back Ivan Williams
He's a good back. He's got good speed. He's powerful. Good player.

On if winning this game helped recruiting last year and in the future
Sure didn't hurt. I think it does. Players look at it. The way that game went probably did have an impact on some kids. I can't say for sure or not, but it didn't hurt.

On how OU's defense matches up with Texas as opposed to Kansas State
Their offenses are like night and day. You can't compare Kansas State's offense to Texas' offense. They're absolutely different with the lack of option game and quarterback run game, it is a whole different ball game. I feel great about how our defense matches up. The style of defense we play with mixing up zone coverages and mixing up blitzes and what our linebackers can do. I feel we match up really well with them.

On if Texas has advantage preparation-wise having played against a similar offense to OU's in Texas Tech last week
I don't know. We worked on them in our off-week. Three of the five days we worked on Texas. So we got extra work on them. Our offense, and I said this last year, there are a lot of similarities to what Tech does with Mike (Leach) being there, but there's also enough differences in our run game that we've expanded and done differently. Last year, Nebraska had just gotten done beating Tech like 51-0 the week before we played Nebraska. That was the big question. Does it give them the advantage? I think we're different with enough different players that I don't feel that it does.

On if seeing how Texas defended Texas Tech last week gives OU an advantage
It doesn't hurt. We've got a good idea how they played them. It gives us a good look at how they'll play us.

On if he views the OU-Texas rivalry as a rivalry of dislike
I know we respect them. I can't speak for them, but we respect them. We respect Nebraska and K-State and everybody else we're going to play. I believe our players have been very good about that and I know we have as coaches.

On UT's outstanding freshman linebacker Derrick Johnson, who signed with the Horns over OU
Very good player. Excellent athlete. Runs well. Playing well for them for a young guy.

On if he can take anything from the one common opponent OU and Texas have played against so far this year -- North Carolina
I think you can take something from all the games that they've played. You study and watch what was effective against them and what wasn't, not just North Carolina. I think we look at all the games and what they've done. What maybe has bothered them some and what hasn't. That's the same every week.

On if the players are handling themselves any different this week
There's an excitement in playing this game. You can't deny that. There's no question they're fired up for this game. It gets the hair up on the back of your neck and it's hard to wait for. It's hard to wait for Saturday.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories