NORMAN, Okla. — When OU Head Coach Bob Stoops wants to make a point, he does it. Stoops, who has been obviously irritated by some of the national media's coverage and comments on Jason White, spent a majority his weekley press conference answering questions about White's Heisman chances and the recent coverage of the Heisman race by the national media.
On if Jason White's continued success gets boring for the national media to talk about
"I don't know, maybe. People are so used to seeing him rack up these huge numbers and touchdowns and our team be successful, it becomes popular to talk about the other teams that are in the BCS controversy on who's going to be what when we're sitting out there ahead of everybody."
"But you cannot ignore his numbers, his production, the way he's directed our offense. No one came into the season a preseason All-American on our offense. Jason White was the biggest question mark out there. Mark Clayton wasn't talked about. And here we come and now we lead the nation in scoring offense. The biggest, strongest reason is because of Jason White. His ability to handle it mentally. His ability to direct the offense to learn and orchestrate new plays. His ability to throw the ball. Here the guy has 40 TD's to six interceptions. Over the last 10 guys to win the Heisman Trophy, none of them compare to what Jason White has done. He's got the best record, the best completion percentage, the best by far touchdown to interception ratio. That can't be ignored. People know that and recognize that. And if they don't I'll keep talking about it."
On the national media saying the reason for White's success is because he has great talent around him
"Again, I go back to where were they all at the beginning of the year when we lost our four leading receivers over the last four years. We lost our four leading receivers and a 2,000-yard rusher and there was nobody picking our guys to be All-Americans, or All-Big 12 for that matter. And now because of their production and the way they've operated and performed, they deserve the credit for it."
"Who is the greatest player in college football? That's the question. Sure, Jason White isn't a running back. He can't be a receiver, but those running backs and receivers sure can't do what he does either. They can't throw 40 touchdown passes to six interceptions and run an offense every single snap to lead the nation in scoring. Also, if it's the best football player in the nation why hasn't a defensive player ever been the guy? All these people who have all these scenarios — it's all just their opinion. I think there's enough people that have the opinion that Jason White is the best football player in the country."
On if OU is doing anything different to promote White than they did with Josh Heupel in 2000
"I think we did all we could with Josh. I think the unfortunate part of Josh's situation during that year is that it was too bad they wouldn't of waited until after the national championship game, as they (Heupel and Chris Weinke) played against each other to see what would've happened. It was such a close margin it might have changed a little bit. But in the end, we do what' s appropriate and what's necessary. Kenny Mossman (OU Sports Information Director) and his staff do an incredible job. We don't have a network working for us but we do the best we can for people to see the numbers, see the wins and realize who's responsible for it."
"Again, we had a lot of this same offense a year ago and you didn't see this kind of production. The biggest difference in the change is Jason White plugged in at quarterback, and look what's happened. He deserves the credit for it."
On if a quarterback has ever had a season as good White is having this year
"I've gone back through the last 10 Heisman Trophy quarterbacks. Their numbers don't touch Jason White's numbers. He's the only one that was 12-0 of the last 10 guys (QB's to win the Heisman). His 40 to six touchdown to interception ratio, most of them were all 3 to 1, he's 6 to 1. So, (White's stats) by far and away blows there's away. He has the highest completion percentage of any of them. Yards — he's in the middle as far as yards, but remember he's been held out of a game and a half."
On if it blows him away to look at White's numbers
"Absolutely. What the guy has done is absolutely incredible when you look at the history of quarterbacks in college football. That will be recognized I'm sure."
On Josh Heupel's influence on Jason White
I'm sure it's helped. Josh sees things there on the field and feels the momentum of the game and feels Jason's mood and emotion. I'm sure he's been very good for him. (Heupel) is a guy that he's close to, can relate to who's been there before. And then Josh working with our offense and Coach (Kevin) Wilson and Coach (Chuck) Long, can relay information to them to help when Coach Long's up in the box. It's been very good."
On Heupel's 2000 season compared to White's year
"They're very similar. Both came from the beginning of the year — not many people talking about them to being one of the favorites. There's a lot of similarities there. Hopefully we can finish the same way we did that year."
On defenses starting to put more pressure on Jason White
"They feel the need that they have to disrupt his rhythm and timing. And, I think it's fair to say with all the touchdown passes we've had more than our share of big plays from it. It's a big gamble. They blitz you — some of them have recklessly, but we have been good enough too to get more than our share of big plays and put up big numbers because of it."
On his definition of what the Heisman Trophy should stand for
"That's a good question. How do you govern what the best player is? A lineman can't play running back or receiver. A receiver can't knock people off the ball. The year Roy Williams was here, who's to say he wasn't the very best football player in college football? Or you can wait until the NFL draft and see who the first guy drafted each year is."
"Overall, they look at production, influence on games, winning and the impact you've had on those games overall through a year. And you can't help but look at production and statistics, numbers and big plays. Also, look at big games. Look at our biggest games and Jason White. What was he in Texas? What where his numbers? Four or five touchdowns and only played a very small margin in the third quarter. We wouldn't even allow him to throw any passes because the score was so big. I think all of that comes into play when you look at production, otherwise defensive players would've had some opportunities to win it. So, numbers, TD's and production, I think, are what people look at."
Stoops says White's numbers stand alone
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