Stoops: "Colorado is all that matters"

Sooner Head Coach Bob Stoops talked about OU's win over Missouri, the BCS and this weekend's matchup with Colorado at his weekly press conference Tuesday in Norman. (Getty Images/Ronald Martinez)

On the win over Missouri:
"Feel good to be in the position we are, 3-0 in the conference, and another solid win against Missouri."

On who stood out in the Missouri game on offense:
"On offense ...Mark Clayton and Jejuan Rankins are two receivers that made some big plays. I felt like we moved the ball and had a bunch of yards. We had a few scoring opportunities that we didn't convert, with some tips and just misses and had a drop, those kinds of things. I thought Jason White had a very good day, completing 60 percent of his balls for about 290 yards and 2 TD's. And we had a good, solid running game, the entire day."

On the standouts on defense:
"Defense, after the first quarter was really exceptional. They had the one TD and Smith made some yards early but, once we settled in and started recognizing their plays we really tackled well. I thought our defensive line, especially our defensive ends, played an exceptional game, when you look at the pressure. Two guys credited with players of the game were, Dan Cody and Dusty Dvoracek up front were exceptional along with everyone else. Tommie Harris was chasing the QB around all day. They (defensive line) did a excellent job of containing him and tackling him (Smith). Derrick Strait's performance was just exceptional with his interception, had his hands on two or three others. Derrick has great hands and I know he would have liked to have them, but another great performance by him."

On the special teams:
"Antonio Perkins, Big 12 Player of the Week, was his usual electrifying self, just great. And two guys, I'd like to mention that often don't get mentioned but are playing really well are Trey DiCarlo and Blake Ferguson. Blake is averaging right at 43 yards punting and Trey has been very good with his field goals and extra points. Those guys are a doing nice job. And Jacob Rice our long snapper. You don't take those things for granted, so they are all doing well."

On this weeks matchup with Colorado:
"This puts us in good position to go to Colorado. A team we played twice last year, (Colorado) a team that has been in the Big 12 Championship game two years in a row. So, we understand the pride of Colorado and the toughness they bring and the quality of players and team. Going up there we're going to need to be prepared to play again and to play our best to continue on the pursuit of what we are after this year. To try and get in there and win a Big 12 Championship and again, we are in a position to."

On the BCS rankings:
"Everyone wants to ask about the BCS ranking, that have just come out and we're No. 1. And as I've said all that indicates that up until this point is we have played awfully well. We have put ourselves in position playing a strong schedule, playing in a strong way to be the No. 1 team as far as BCS rankings go. And it's our job each week to earn our way again, and to keep that position and keep fighting and pursuing it and to end up there at the end of the year. Even though we're there now, we're no different than everybody else. We've got to keep winning, just as everyone else does to remain there and to have an opportunity to compete in that game. The only way to do that is to focus one week at a time on what's right in front of you, and to be our best and to play our best this week up in Colorado."

On OU not winning in Colorado since 1988:
"That's right. Like I said, other years, there are a lot of places up until 2000 that we hadn't won, and so we haven't played there since '99 and we recognize that. We recognize that it is a big challenge to go up there to be prepared to play and to change that trend and to be in a position to win. So, we are aware of that."

On having Antonio Perkins and also J.T. Thatcher and how does that helps in recruiting other skill guys who feel that they can be good punt returners in the right system and right opportunity: "It helps. You know, J.T. was the return man of the year for college football and I imagine Antonio possibly has an opportunity at that. Those players that have that skill to return do recognize that here they're going to have that opportunity to return one and get blocked for and have an opportunity to make a bunch of big plays."

On if the fact that Colorado was in the Big 12 title game a big enough factor to motivate the team now the ‘Buffs are having a down year:
"Well, we do recognize them as an excellent team. You don't get to back- to-back Big 12 Championships without being awfully good and tough-minded and physical and they're all of that. And we understand that. Sure, they've had some misfortune this year. Would have liked to have won a few more games to this point, but it doesn't take away from the pride and the way they are as a team, and we understand that. Again, it's not easy to earn your way into those games, and they've done it so we understand that we have to be prepared and ready to play our best this week."

On how the team is performing based on the goals and expectation you and the coaches laid out at the beginning of the season:
"We're playing in a strong way. I've said that we're playing stronger and more consistent than any time we've been here through seven games. That being said, we expect and are pushing for more. Everybody wants to get to the end of the year, all we can do is be prepared and focused to be as good as we can be this week at Colorado to take another step towards our goals. But we're on track and playing in a good way."

On if Colorado is dangerous even though they're having a down year:
"I just said that, yes. They've got good players, they're well-coached, and it's not easy to earn your way into back to back Big 12 Championship games. They won one, and we were fortunate enough to win one a year ago. They are good, definitely, and you've got to be on top of your game to have a chance to win."

On Donta Hickson's increased playing time:
"For what he's done in practice and what he's done in games and scrimmages. Just through the year he has shown the ability to make plays and to give us something positive and he's taken care of the ball. He's better at protecting the QB. You know, all those factors go into it and felt he deserved more opportunities."

On if they thought about putting him in before the Missouri game:
"You'll have to visit with Coach Gundy. We've known Donta has been coming along, I don't know. I don't know the timetable. I don't know what day we all of a sudden said, ‘hey let's do this.' Yeah, it's been several weeks."

On having two guys (Donte Nicholson and Brodney Pool) who can play in the box and cover:
"We've actually got three. Brandon Everage plays in there as much as they do. It gives you a lot of flexibility. They are all good, strong tacklers and hitters and find the ball well. So it gives you a lot flexibility and it gives you depth."

On OU's health going into this weekend:
"We're pretty good. We're a little bit nicked up, but everybody is expected to play, so we should be at full strength by Saturday."

On Colorado converting to more of a passing team than running team this season:
"They still have strong emphasis on the run game. I believe they just have more confidence in their QB and his ability to make the throws. So with that being the case, they've gone to it a little bit more but they still are very complex and work hard at the run game. They have just been a little more open, and again I think it is more due to the confidence in their QB and they've got some big receivers. They are just taking advantage of that more often than they did a year ago."

On playing in night games:
"They're great. It doesn't matter, as long as they let us play. You just pace yourself through the day and then you go play. It's just whatever works for the fans and TV, but in the end it doesn't really matter."

On if likes playing in the snow:
"Love playing in snow. Love playing at night. Love playing in the afternoon. Love playing in sunshine, whatever. You know, it's all good."

On if OU will prepare for the altitude:
"What do you do for that? I never knew that was a problem. I see all kinds of people going to Colorado and back, what's the big deal?"

On Bud Wilkinson taking his teams to Colorado a few days early to prepare for the altitude:
"Really? Well, I never knew that's been an issue with us. We've played a lot of places and never seemed to bother us anywhere else."

On OU's routine playing on the road in night games:
"We just adjust our schedule a little bit. Get up a little later, have some meetings during the day. Get ‘em up move ‘em around a little bit. We just adjust the schedule, move things back a little."

On how confident he is that the team isn't looking ahead to OSU:
"That game doesn't mean much if we aren't in the position to win at Colorado. Colorado is all that matters. We've got five more Big 12 games and hopefully something after that, so this game and then OSU the following week and then it still isn't over. We've got a lot of Big 12 games left, so after this one, I believe they are all South division games. You earn your stripes every week, so it's real simple."


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