On last weeks win over Texas A&M
Defense was really outstanding. Just all-around great, great effort. Great discipline to be where they're supposed to be all the time tackling well.
Somebody asked me to mention who stuck out outside of the usual Rocky Calmus and Roy Williams. A guy that we recognized as the defensive player of the game was Jimmy Wilkerson. Sometimes you look back at the tape the next day and Jimmy has eight or nine tackles, a sack, a couple knocked down balls. For the last five weeks Jimmy has really come on and been outstanding and is really making a difference on an already pretty decent defense.
On the stuffed punt attempt deep in A&M territory
Everyone understands the importance the blocked punt that wasn't punted but was sacked, or however you catalog that. Derrick Strait, he and Antwone Savage really did an excellent job getting to it.
On the special teams and Tim Duncan's touchdown run
I thought his play in that situation was outstanding. That's the kind of athlete Tim is and that went into the reasoning for running it in the first place, because Tim's not like a lot of kickers that may be 5-9 and don't run so fast. He's a big guy that's got great legs, can really run. In all our sprint drills he runs well, so that went into it. Just an exceptional effort for a a guy that doesn't carry the ball a lot to stretch as he did to reach the ball across the goal line. Great play.
And Jeff Ferguson, real strong with his creating field position, punting the ball inside the ten along with hitting some deep punts. Hit one 60 yards or so and ended up inside the five. Drops another one, a short one, inside the five. Really important in creating field some position.
On the offense
Really pleased with the way we battled back. We're off a little bit in the first half in some situations, but came on in the second half with over 200 yards of offense. Nate goes 14-of-16. Twenty-one points in the second half is very pleasing as a coach, and you like to see your players overcome some adversity and succeed.
On playing Texas Tech
We're all looking forward to going down and competing with Texas Tech this weekend. We understand the challenge at hand. We understand the position we're in and opportunities for the Big 12 South. This is another game in the Big 12 South we have circled and have to go down there and be prepared to play well. We had an excellent practice last night, our guys are very focused and looking forward to the challenge of going down there.
On Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury
I've recognized him as a very good quarterback for the last couple of years, not just this year. He's a talented guy that can move as well as throw. He's a quality player, good athlete and has a good arm.
On the differences between Oklahoma and Texas Tech's offenses
As much as we're the same, we have enough variations that are different. There are a lot of similarities. They're averaging 35 points a game on offense, we're averaging 34.4. You look at average (yards) per play, they're like 5.4, we're like 5.2.
Maybe some of the slight differences for us is the evolution of our running game and our willingness to try and work some different runs to compliment what we do passing. There is where you see enough differences. Each of us may prefer a formation a little bit more than the other. A lot of the passing is still very much the same. Overall, maybe just the running game where it's most noticeable.
On if this will be the best Tech team he will have faced in his three years at OU
In some aspects of their game, yes. In some, maybe not. I don't think there's any question, their defense, the way its performed through a year ago as to this year is different. Special teams are pretty similar. Offensviely, they've made improvement. There's always give and take. To this point, I thought they were good last year. The year before, they beat us. They were a 6-5 team, I believe, Spike's (Dykes) last year. They've had good teams. They've had bowl teams.
On how OU will attack a Tech offense that focuses on the pass since the Sooners first objective on defense is to always stop the run
They don't run it as much as other people would. They don't try to as much. Like anybody, if they do a few times and they're a success with it, they're more likely to go with it a few times more. I still believe it's important that we're good against a very good running back in (Ricky) Williams. That we're very solid and to make sure that we are strong against the run game and yes, it still has it's merit in this football game and did last year as we played them.
On if he talks with Texas Tech Head Coach Mike Leach, who Stoops hired as OU's offensive coordinator during his first year
Occasionally. We talk from time to time if he has a question about something, or if we're at head coaches meetings we always spend some time together.
On Rocky Calmus' impact on the Oklahoma defense
It's fairly obvious what he's meant to what we've done here in the last two years, being 22-1. He's a tremendous player that's played through injuries. Has always come up with big plays, whether they be sacks, tackles for loss, interceptions for touchdowns, picked up fumbles for touchdowns. Has always been a guy to make big plays for us and has always been very consistent in how he plays.
On if Curtis Fagan has taken back the punt return job from Brandon Jones
This week he will be.Last week people asked why did we switch?You can't have the ball on the ground. That doesn't serve you any purpose. The first job of that position is to secure the football and get possession. Until Brandon continues to come along and show that he's capable of doing that in a great way, that's going to be the case. That's something we'll continue to evaluate, but we're going to get the football back first.
On the status of Wes Sims and who will start and play at right tackle this weekend against Texas Tech
Same guys (Jarod Fields and Jammal Brown). Wes won't be back this week and is probable for next week.
On the defenses dominating performances
Every week there's something more to be impressed by. For instance, A&M did a great job not turning the ball over, but if we can pin them down inside the five, get a three and out, and get the ball at the 35-yard line going in, that's as good as a turnover. If you can hold someone to five first downs you're creating a lot of field position, not allowing them to move the football. Our defense continues to be very strong, very impressive. I said it all along there's no question from the beginning of this all the way through now we're much better defensively then we were a year ago.
On who makes the play calls on defense with OU's Co-Coordinators Mike Stoops and Brent Venables
I think with an offense and defense it's always a collaboration. I get the credit, being the head coach, for a lot of things that are a lot of those guys. It's everybody and you're always sharing ideas. They way we do it, Mike does call the defenses with Brent and the other coaches assisting. And Brent has suggestions as well. They have a good feel, being in the same system for so long they compliment each other well.
Same thing offensively, Mark calls the plays, but a lot of cases Chuck (Long) chimes in.
There's a good working relationship and what I think has been positive about us is ego's have never gotten in the way. Everybody's been for each other and been for the better of the team. And that's what I believe helps us succeed.
On Nate Hybl's performance in the second half against Texas A&M
Nate's performance in the second half was very impressive. Showed a lot of character, a lot of toughness, a lot of confidence in himself. The touchdown he ran in was excellent. The throws he makes in the second half were strong, convincing. You like to see that. People forget, there were a lot of occasions a year ago where Josh (Heupel) struggled early in some games and came back and had a great second half, and that's all people remember. It was good to see him be in a similar situation and come through like he did.
On how backup quarterback Hunter Wall is looking in practice
He looks good. He continues to improve and get better with each snap, with each practice, and is getting a lot of experience that way. He's doing well.
On OU's defensive success shutting teams down on their third down conversions
That's been a big factor and it does say a lot. We're very focused on them and we've done a great job of executing on third down. I think it's a compliment to our staff and the schemes they've come up with in those situations and our players to be able to execute them and come up with plays.
On fans booing at college games
Incredibly sad and unfortunate that they would do that. They can boo me all they want. I'm a professional, that's my job. You can boo a pro team all you want. They're professionals, that's their job. To boo a young kid that's in college, incredibly sad. Maybe they are just booing the coach, I don't know. If that's case, then that's fine. As long as the players understand they're not booing them I think you can direct the boo at me all you want. If that's how it will be then that's the way it goes. That's part of the job, I guess. But never should a young person in college be booed.
On if Jones Stadium in Lubbock is a tough place to play
I guess it can be. I think there's been some teams that have gone down there and won. I think Kansas won down there this year, right? It just depends on how you're playing. They're a good team and I think a lot of it depends on how you play.
On if a team that throws the ball 60 times a game puts any more stress on a defense
I don't believe they're any more difficult. I've always felt, as a defensive coordinator, it's much more difficult to defense somebody that is more balanced, that has the ability to hurt you running or is willing to do it. If you're not covering them, it can be difficult. It depends on how you play.
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