Long, Wilson ready for redemption after KSU loss

Oklahoma offesnive coordinators Chuck Long and Kevin Wilson talk about the matchup they'll face agaisnt LSU in Sunday's Sugar Bowl. Pictured left: Long and Jason White talk before Thursday's practice at the Superdome in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NEW ORLEANS — Below are a list of quotes from Thursday's press conference with OU's offensive coordinators in New Orleans.

On playing in the Sugar Bowl
Chuck Long: "We're excited to be here, and we've had a real good week of practice in preparation for the game. We've enjoyed the hospitality that the Sugar Bowl committee has provided for us with the entertainment, and New Orleans is a fun city, especially around New Year's, so we've enjoyed that.

Overall, our practice has gone well. All of our guys are healthy, and the layoff helps and the later game helps in that regard, because we had the Big 12 championship game the first week of December, but we've now had some good time off and good practices so far.

On if OU try and duplicate Florida's success throwing the ball to the running back over the middle against LSU
Long: "We did see that, and we've had that play in our playbook at various times, but I'm sure they'll be preparing hard for that play, because it has hurt them in some ball games. We have a certain package that we like in our offense, and we feel that we're pretty good offensively and have done well.

"When we game plan, we always start at what we can do best, and then we go for there. We then look for plays that can hurt the opponent, and that was one of them, and there were a few others. They have a unique style of blitzing. A lot of teams are doing it, but LSU does it just to where it seems there is someone coming at the quarterback on every play. That's where they separate themselves from a lot of team.

"When we play teams that do a lot of blitzing, they'll stay with it to a certain degree and then they'll get out of it, but LSU seems to stay with it from first quarter to fourth quarter, and that's our big challenge."

On how Jason White has handled the attention of winning the Heisman
Long: "I don't think he's changed, and I don't think he will. It's been a whirlwind type year for him. My job as a coach is to keep that on an even keel level for him all year, and I've spent as much time with that part of that dealing with the media, the fans, and the expectations, as much as dealing with the Xs and Os of a quarterback. That's just part of my job, and I've been through it.

"I spent a lot of time telling him how to deal with that situation. The expectation level that is very high at Oklahoma, and just keeping that player, in this case Jason, on an even keel level so that he doesn't get too excited with the highs and too down with the lows. That's very important that a quarterback does that.

"Basically, when you're dealing with a first-year starter, it's a very rare thing. I don't know that it's ever happened in college football before. I think it's one of the greatest stories, ever, for a one-year player.

"There were times during the year that he felt that media crunch and pressure, with everybody on him and wanting to talk to him, especially when he entered the Heisman race in October. I think he got used to that to a point, and once he finished the season, here came the Heisman Trophy deal in New York, which was a great experience, but did tire him out. He was ready to come home and enjoy some off time.

"I think the key not only with quarterbacks, but with everybody, is to learn how to deal with the media in a good way, but at the same time, you have to honor the time that you want by yourself, and I made sure Jason did that. You have your time and you want that private time, and you need to have it. The New York experience was great for him, it hasn't changed him; he's still Jason White, tough young quarterback from Tuttle, Oklahoma. We're excited to have him back for a sixth year."

On the importance of protecting Jason White against LSU's blitz
Kevin Wilson: "I think LSU will blitz Jason in warm-ups. They're coming, they keep coming, and that's nothing new. Our game planning will be how to pick spots, making sure that we have balance. And no matter how effective that balance is, we will continue to mix the run whether we get one or two or six or eight, we keep running the ball and keep sticking it and sticking it and taking our shots at them.

"In regards to protection, one of the things that has helped coach Long is that in Detroit, he played in an offensive system where the quarterback got tagged a lot. He appreciates protection and allows us to do what we need to do in protecting. I'll run something by Chuck that might be difficult to see, and Chuck will suggest something else. Whether or not it's a good route and it works on paper, it has to work with people. We put a great deal of emphasis this week on getting hats on people.

On LSU's defense
Wilson: "I think LSU's defense is multiple like our offense. It looks like a lot when you first look at it, but when you start consolidating it down, they have a handful of things that they do, some strong, some weak. It's trying to figure it out, pick it up, and sorting it out when you come. There's 11 of them, 11 of us, there's only four gaps on the side, there's only so many guys that can come, it's not a Chinese fire drill for them with what's going on out there."

On how they play against blitzing teams
Wilson: "The key thing against a blitzing team is that you keep attacking them, and you pick your spots to do that, and that is one of the best things that we've done all year. We've attacked, attacked with the run or the pass, not gone into a shell and curled up like a turtle. We keep coming and coming, and we're going to keep doing that this game.

"Baylor kind of caught us with an all-out blitz, which LSU does, but we really had not seen that type of commitment. I think Baylor really made a commitment that they were going to blitz and blitz and blitz, whether you score a lot or don't score a lot, and I think Texas Tech was in the same mode. I think we may have gone through a learning system of what we needed to do better (in those games).

"I think Kansas State just played pretty well against us, especially in third and one and twp and three situations, and we didn't. I think the two games of blitzing were the first time we saw all-out man blitz. It's not LSU package, but there are some similarities in those situations, and if you can learn from those situations, if you can learn from it as a staff and a player, it will help us in this game, and I would like to think we are good enough to do that."

On what OU's offense does best
Long: "If you watch tape, we use a lot of our personnel. We feel as a staff we want to get as many guys involved as possible. They're hungry when they come to practice. They're excited about it, because they know that they're going to get on the field. We mix up personnel groups, we mix, we motion, shifting, try to mix it up that way. We feel that is what our staple is. If you ask me what our offense, it's probably a multiple-type offense. I don't know if you have a name for it, there's a little West Coast in there, and it's a good mix of philosophy. That's what we try to do.

"We start with certain plays that our guys do best. There's certain plays and parts of your playbook that guys will do best. Your opponent may know that to some degree, but it's still hard to stop, because our players have a lot of confidence in the plays they do best.

"Next, you go to what can hurt that defense. We want to stay within our system and attack them, because we can't have our players wondering what can hurt them, and maybe some our not our plays, and you get a whole new playbook working that. We want to work our plays and make them defend us."

On if they've used their performance against Kansas State as motivation
Long: "It has served as motivation for us. We feel, obviously, that we did not put forward our best effort, considering the efforts we had leading up to that point. We're excited to play this football game."

Wilson: "We moved the ball pretty well, and the opportunity was there, but then we got into third and 12 or third and 15 and went backwards. We were moving the football, we had six or eight manageable third down situations, and when you're never going to be perfect, you've got to make some, especially with our kind of players.

"Hopefully, we've gotten it out of our system in one game, because we've gotten our fair share. This has been a great motivation opportunity for us and we've gotten into those situations in practice, we've said, 'Now look, he we are in the scoring zone again, let's make sure we convert, let's make our plays.' We're fortunate to have some playmakers, players whom we like to attack, and to win a game like this, we have to make those plays."

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