Bellotti on Oklahoma

Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti (pictured above with quarterback Kellen Clemens) talks about his Ducks' loss to Indiana and Saturday's matchup with Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)<br>

Below is a transcript of Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti's teleconference with the Oklahoma media on Tuesday.

On last week's loss to Indiana
"Obviously, we're very disappointed in our performance against Indiana. We gave them the ball seven times and still managed to accumulate about 500 yards and held the under 200. But yards don't mean anything, it's points that count. I think there are certainly great lessons to be learned from that of never overestimating yourself or your opponent.

"The good thing about the game is that a lot of the mistakes are very, very correctable. But obviously, we've got to get it done and it won't be easy against a very, very good, if not great, Oklahoma team."

On quarterback Kellen Clemens' ability to bounce back from his three interception performance against Indiana after only throwing nine picks all of last season
"He, historically, has done very well. I would assume that he will do well. He's a great leader, a great young man. He had a couple games like this last year and it did not effect him. He came back and played very well after that.

"I think there were some techniques with footwork and his release point — that we worked on a lot last year and gotten rid of those problems and he really finished the season one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. Unfortunately, I think he reverted somewhat in this game and got a little antsy in terms of trying to rush some things with very disastrous results."

On how much Indiana's pass rush helped force the interceptions
"I think he was just rushing himself. It was decent, but not a factor. Not anything like we're going to see against Oklahoma. I think when you spot an opponent 23 points there's a certain sense of urgency that takes over and often times that can effect you. And it didn't effect us in a positive manner."

On what he's seen on film of Oklahoma's secondary
"I see a very active defense. Great team speed. Very active defensive line, which we've said many times they create havoc and don't allow the quarterback a lot of sense of security in the pocket. And they have great team speed. Brodney Pool can cover a lot of ground, and we know about Donte Nicholson. We recruited him several times, both out of high school and junior college. I'm very impressed with that entire group. They run to the ball, they tackle very well. They don't allow a lot of big plays down the field."

On receiver Mark Clayton
"He's an awesome receiver. I noticed that they any time they find soft coverage they're going to get him the football right now, otherwise he just finds ways to make plays down the field. I noticed that Jason White, when he scrambles, tends to find his number. They must have some kind of telepathic communication that works. But he's a great receiver, and certainly one of a vast array in that arsenal of guys that can hurt you very badly. Whether you throw him a short pass or a deep pass, he has ability to make plays."

On freshman running back Adrian Peterson
"He's a great running back. He doesn't look like a freshman. He runs with speed, elusiveness and also authority. He's a big running back, he's already 210 pounds. He looks like a big guy, but he runs fast. He has sort of an innate ability to lead blocks and set up blocks and make people miss. Pretty exciting runner, forms a great two-some with (Kejuan) Jones. Those guys have different styles of running, but both are excellent at what they do. They see the cutbacks lanes, but they also have the speed to take it outside. If you don't get your pursuit angles correct they can make you look bad."

On if this Oklahoma team is one of the most loaded teams with playmakers that he's seen
"Yes, absolutely. We've played Wisconsin when they were Rose Bowl Champs, Michigan, Texas and Colorado. And this is by far, on both sides of the ball, the most playmakers I've seen."

On Oregon's offensive weapons
"We fee like Demetrius Williams, one of our starting receivers, led the conference last year in yards-per-catch and is very elusive. He just finds ways to make big plays. Tim Day, who we missed greatly in fall camp and is really playing himself now into playing shape because he had a stress fracture, is a big play tight end. Our tailback situation, I like it in terms of the depth there. Terrence Whitehead and Kenny Washington give us a nice 1-2 punch. They're different types and styles of runners, so I think they compliment each other. We like to think that Marcus Maxwell, a senior wide receiver, can be a big play guy. He's big, physical receiver — 6-3, 200 pounds. I like the way he's practicing and playing. We have them (playmakers), but we've got to see how we match up. I think that this is a tremendous challenge and a tremendous opportunity for us.
"

On the Ducks' top defensive players to watch
"Jerry Matson, our middle linebacker, made a lot of plays. I was probably more pleased and impressed with guys like Ramone Reed and Anthony Trucks, our other starting linebackers who had not really played a whole season but are considered veterans on this team. Haloti Ngata, a defensive tackle for us, is a playing himself into shape. He did not play last year at all (ACL). I think he can be a dominant force in games. He just needs to continue to play with great intensity. Devan Long is a playmaker off the edge for us. He was the fourth-leading sack guy in our conference.

"Our secondary, we lost both of our starting corners in the Indiana game by halftime, so we went with some backups who performed very well. I think that our secondary certainly will be challenged this week by the speed and athleticism. Not just the receivers, but I think the entire process. I think the one thing that Oklahoma does a great job of is make you defend the width and depth of the field. They have the kind of speed that's not just vertical speed, they can go horizontally get up the field."

On how their relationship with Nike helps the program
"The Nike brand is obviously world renown. It stands for quality in sports performance. So, I think they nice thing for our players is they know they're going get the best quality sports wear to help them run faster, jump higher and perform better every time they take the field. We're one of only 12 schools in the nation out there in Nike head-to-toe in every sport that we put on the field.

"The other facet of that is that Phil Knight is an alumnus of this university, and on his own has given a great deal to both the academic side and the athletic side. So, there's two sides to the Nike issue. But Nike, in terms of the products that they provide for us and we purchase from them, I think give us a chance to be as good as anybody in the nation."


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories