are excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference Tuesday in Norman.
On the win over Bowling Green
"Very pleased with the way we played and the manner we played. Bowling Green's a good football team. We all have rehashed their record a year ago and they had a good number of starters back. We expect them to have another solid year this year. To come out and play with really limited penalties was positive. The execution, overall, in all parts of the game — offense, defense, specials teams — was solid.
"Some guys that really played well — Jason White, Mark Clayton. Kejuan Jones had a special day with Adrian Peterson complimenting him. (Peterson) came on as a young guy in his first game and really did well. Wes Sims had one of his best games since he's been here along with Davin Joseph and Jammal Brown. And J. D. Runnels, as always, was very, very good.
"Defensively, some newcomers were recognized as players of the game for us. The three that were mentioned as having the best games were Larry Birdine, Brandon Shelby and Rufus Alexander. Brandon Shelby and Larry Birdine were credited with being players of the game for us defensively. And on special teams, Antonio Perkins was very good. Chijioke Onyenegecha was awfully good and really good on defense. He's really come on, and he was credited with being special teams player of the week with Antonio.
"Solid day. We've got to build on it. Like everybody in their first game, you hope to make a lot progress here this week. And that's what we'll concentrate on doing."
"Houston is a team that a year ago made a great turnaround. Coach Briles and his staff have done a great job. I know that loss last week was probably surprising losing to to Rice, 10-7. Inner-city rivalry there. I know Rice put a lot effort and time into that game and did an excellent job. We're sure too that Houston will work hard at correcting some of those mistakes. Watching what they were of a year ago, very explosive and spread out offense. Scored a bunch of points a year ago.
"Defensively, they're very structured in what they do. Like most people, they play 4-3, play two-deep, three-deep, some man. They just mix it up like about everybody. Pretty standard in the way they play. We know they're very capable, but our biggest emphasis will be on us making improvement and playing as well as we're capable of playing."
On who migh thave earned more playing time after the Bowling Green game
"We'll see. I don't know that there's any drastic changes. As you get into a game, guys who are playing well find themselves getting more snaps. Antonio, we may decide to play him a little bit less and try and rest his ankle maybe a little bit and let Chijioke and Jowahn (Poteat) get more snaps that way."
On if they reached their goal of being a more physical football team in the running game
"Well, it's one game. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We have to continue to do it. I feel we did that. I felt the attitude was there through the game. The way they were playing us defensively, sitting back, we had the patience and ability to do it. But you have to do it again this week. It's something to build on, and it's a good start."
On if they planned running as much as they did or did they run more because of the success they were having
"Both. We felt we would run it and have an emphasis there. But seeing how they were playing us and it was there — they were spread out handling the pass — we stayed with it. And it was successful."
On Bowling Green's offensive players looking to the sideline for the play signal from the coaches after going no-huddle and lining up in a formation
"I talked to Coach Brandon the next day. He goes, 'We saw in the second half all your guys were watching us too.' We had a good number of plays by the second half. They're very effective in how they do it. They get to the line and act like they're going to snap it. What they want to do is see what you're going to do, what coverage you're going to play, what blitz you're going to run. Then the coordinator in the press box relays it to the sideline and they signal it to them.
"It's good for them sometimes, and other times we were calling out options just like they were. Our guys saw the same signal a few times, so they were ready for it. They're very good and effective in how they communicate and what they do. They do a nice job with it."
On his conversation with Brandon
"He complimented us on the manner in which our players played. He said he appreciated it and their players commented on how hard and physical and tough our guys played without any trash talk or some of the BS that goes on in some games."
On Houston being similar offensively to Bowling Green
"Yes, they'll get at the line and they'll all look back, and other times they don't. They are very spread out, wide open. A lot of the quarterback zone read where they either give it to the back or pull it. There are some similarities in what they do."
On Houston running the same plays as Texas Tech
"Not as many. You see some patterns, some routes in what they do that have a little bit of Tech philosophy, but not a whole lot other than they're spread out and in the shotgun."
On how much Houston will run the ball
"They run it a good amount, about 65 percent of the time. More than you think watching them. The run game is a big factor."
Of if Rufus Alexander has won a starting job
"No. It would depend a lot on the style. Depending on what they do in some formations, Rufus will be a strong factor again. Other formations in what they do, Gayron's a little more efficient right now. I think it just gets down to playing them to their strengths.
"Rufus will be the first to tell you he made a lot of nice plays, but he was also out of position some times too that don't necessarily show up. But that's a part of getting out there and doing it. He'll grow from it. We're counting on him to be better at it this week than a week ago and have few mistakes and more plays."
On how the defensive tackles played
"Really well. Lynn McGruder had probably his best game since he's been here, which is very encouraging. Carl Pendleton was very solid as well. Caused the one turnover they had, the fumble. The other guys were OK. We just need to keep improving."
On the situation with Lawrence Dampeer
"There is no situation. You guys need to play attention. There's a lot of guys who don't dress every week that are down the depth chart and you guys just don't notice them or you don't care to write about them. We have a good number of scholarship guys each week that alternate who dresses this game or that game, because we don't want our sideline too crowded or the locker room.
"Moe was out there practicing yesterday and did a nice job. Again, you guys make too much of it. I have no doghouse. Moe has made a lot of good progress in the last couple of weeks. He's just not in a position where those others guys are right now to play. When guys are down in those positions we rotate who dresses and who doesn't, and that is it. That's the bottom line."
On if Dampeer will suit up this weekend
"We'll see. We make those decisions Wednesday and Thursday."
On if the spread offense is as hard to prepare for now that many programs are running it
"I don't know. It's fairly common anymore, so I would say that it's not unique. I would say the more people see it, the more people are used to it. I feel as though we have been quite used to it. Not because we started in that set when Coach Leach was here, because that is much different that what people are doing. Mike's system is not what you see from everybody out there with the zone reads and quarterback.
"I feel we adapted to it early. Our defensive coaches, for a number of years now, have really understood it. I guess it can a problem if you don't understand really what they're trying to do."
On the possibility of Peterson getting more playing time this week
"We'll see. Again, it's too early to tell. A lot will depend on when we get in there how the two of them, along with D.J. (Wolfe), how they're playing."
On if he'd like one running back to step up and be the starter
"Doesn't matter as long as it's productive."
"On officials calling players numbers after penalties
"I think it's OK. I think the players fear you finding out who it's going to be. All they're worried about is the coach is going to know who actually had it. And we're going to know. They're (officials) going to come over and tell us whether they tell everyone else or not. I don't think it's a big deal. Everyone knows it's part of the game and it's going to happen. You'd have to ask the players their opinion, but I don't think it's a big deal."
On if Larry Birdine had his best game as a Sooner
"Yes, I would say overall. But he needs to keep improving. Larry has made steady progress. Hopefully, this game will give him more of a taste of what he's doing and he can do it more consistently."
On if he thinks schools will shy away from playing tougher non-conference opponents with the new BCS formula
"I strongly believe there's less incentive to play a strong schedule, especially if you're a team already in the top 10. I think what's more important now, and what's evident just like a year ago when SC would've went ahead of us, it's become more of the time of when you los, as opposed as to who you lose to.
"So, now it's just a timing issue and we're back to where it used to be. It all just depends on when you lose. For me, there is less incentive. You might as well go out — if you have teams that aren't very tough — you've got a chance to win at a decent margin. You get a lot of two's a lot of work that you may need later on due to injuries. You also save your team's strength and endurance. Plus, you're looking at a conference like the Big 12, SEC and soon to be ACC, who have conference championship games added on a the end of the year. So, you might as well pace yourself and set yourself up for the main part of the year. Again, I don't think there's any question there's less incentive to do it by a long shot."
On the importance of using the quarterback more under center than in the shotgun
"You have a stronger presence running the football when he's under center and the backs right behind him. The running game is improved and the threat of it, when the quarterback is under center. That is the biggest dynamic with having the threat of handing it off or play-actioning gives you a chance to open things up as well."
On how Jason White handled playing more under center
"He handled it wonderfully. I think it was obvious to everybody his legs are back and he moved around very easily. A year ago under center, it probably wouldn't have been as easy for him. He didn't have his legs all the way back, and now he does. I think that hopefully will give us more flexibility and more diversity on offense."
On who makes the decision on whether he wears the brace or doesn't
"It's funny, I asked him on Thursday. We always wear them in practice in our blitz drill because of the fear of someone falling into them at practice. I saw him getting wrapped up for the blitz drill last week and I said, 'Hey Jason. What are you going to Saturday? Are you going to wear braces or not.' He said, 'I wasn't going to unless you want me to.' I said it's up to you, and that was it. Of course, I checked with the trainer (laughs). The trainer said there's no reason he needs too. His legs are strong and his knees are fine. So, that's how it went."
On using the play-action more as the season develops
"Hopefully. As long as your running game is effective the play-action becomes more effective. Sure, it will hopefully be a mainstay in what we're doing."
On the tight ends
"They did a nice job. I thought Bubba Moses blocked really well, maybe as well or better than anyone we've had there in the last several years. So, that's good, as far as blocking and giving us an edge. We need that. Bubba did a nice job and the other guys all contributed. I thought Joe John Finley's fourth down catch, for a young guy in there in his first game, coming back with a guy hanging all over him made a heck of a play."
On the defense getting pressure despite not recording any sacks
"As you watch that game, and very critically, we hit him a good number of times. He's throwing a 5-yard, 8-yard pass, and we've still got guys ready to hit him in the hip, hit him in the legs and grabbing and reaching on him, that they're forcing him to throw the football. I thought we had good pressure."
On how close Tommy Grady was to playing
"Probably pretty close until the defense goes out and relaxes. That's not fair to say, Bowling Green moves it on us the one drive and scores, and then we throw an interception right back. More than anything, Bowling Green having that drive kinda ruined that, at least for the time being. And then us throwing one right to them and giving them a touchdown just kind of solidified it. That's the way it goes. They hung in there and kept playing."
On the need to play Grady sooner to get him some experience
"We're just more apt to do it if we're in that position to get him snaps. But more than anything, if we feel we have it in hand then we'll do it. And we'll do it with other positions as well. If we don't, we don't."
On the possibility Antonio Perkins' ankle injury bothering him through the entire season
"No, I don't think so. He said it feels pretty good today. I think as much as anything, it's probably fatigue. He gets out there and has two pounds of tape on it and lugging it around gets tired. I teased him actually when he came off the field. Someone will probably take it the wrong way, but I said, 'Perk, how could you even turn it you have a cast on it?' He snickered. But no, I don't think this will be a season-long deal."
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