Stoops on Tech

Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops talked about Saturday's Big 12 opener against Texas Tech at his weekly press luncheon Tuesday in Norman. (Photo Courtesy of SoonerSports.com)<br>

Below are excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press confernece Tuesday in Norman.

On Texas Tech
"Anxious this week to play a very good Texas Tech team off to a 3-1 start. As everyone knows (Tech) put up over 100 points in the last two weeks. Year in and year out Coach Leach and his staff put together really strong teams each and every year.

"This team is much like the teams he's had, where offensively you could see they're really clicking moving the football. Cumbie, they're quarterback, has done an excellent job just watching them execute the offense, and that's to be expected. A guy (Cumbie) that's been in their system for a good number of years. And all the players around him are really executing Mike's offense in an excellent way."

"Defensively, very sound, structured. Really played us well last year and better than I think people realize. We understand that.

"We see it as a big challenge for us defensively for us to be able to hold them down and try and make our share of plays. And offensively to be productive — to continue the running game and continue to make big plays in the passing game and execute like we're capable of. It will be exciting to open Big 12 play here this week and looking forward to the challenge."

On Texas Tech's version of the spread offense
"They're different than most people that run spread offenses. Mike has a structured, set system that he runs and sticks to it. You have to admire the fact that he sticks to what he knows and believes in. It really still has a lot of similarities, I look back I could go through my Kentucky notes when I was at Florida going against Hal Mumme and Mike, and the principles of the offense are still there. They have a set way that they like to execute their offense. It's different than maybe some other people in the spread offenses."

On how Tech's spread is different than others
"I'm not going to sit here and do Football 101, and I don't mean to be short. Again, they have patterns or a set group of plays and structure to what they do that they don't deviate from. They change up formations and disguise it here and there, but in the end you see a lot of the same plays and routes and principles that they don't deviate from. Without getting a chalkboard out and diagraming it all, it's just different than some other people."

On the difference of defending a spread offense and a conventional offense for the defensive line
"It's different. They (Tech), in most of their spread sets have really wide splits, so it's unusual. There will be more pass rushing than maybe in some teams. Mike will run the ball more than people give him credit for. He's got a heck of a back in Henderson that really is a quality back. And if you look at his production each and every game, he has a lot of yards — probably near 30 percent of the total when you look at running plays, screens, shovel passes. He produces a lot of yards. They're good at using their backs as well."

On the status of Moe Dampeer and if he'll play on Saturday
"No. He won't dress this week, next week. And there's a chance, that's still being evaluated, that he may not be on the team from here on out."

On Kejuan Jones' injury status
"He's coming around. He did a little bit of work yesterday. We'll see where it goes as the week goes on. He feels as though it's improving, so we'll just see."

On if they'll change some things they do offensively this weekend if Jones isn't available
"No. We'll do everything the same. Donta Hickson is actually doubtful for this game. So, as we worked yesterday Adrian Peterson, D.J. Wolfe and Tashard Choice really shared the snaps and really did well with it."

On if Tech's defense is playing better this year than they have in the past
"I think they're playing well, sure. I don't know how to compare to other years. They're playing in a solid way. They held Kansas in the second half to no points, so they came on. Really, in their last couple of comebacks, have really played well in the second half. They're playing solid and look good."

On Tech coming back from 21 and 25 points down the last two weeks to win
"We've been aware of that each and every year we play them — that you have to continue to play well throughout the game to put yourself in a position to win. Their offensive structure sometimes allows them to score without using as much clock maybe as other people. You've got to play all four quarters and continue to be productive in all parts of the game — not just defense but offense and kicking as well."

On if they prepared for Texas some during the off-week
"No. It's more as you look through the schedule. You can't get too far ahead of yourself, but you look down three-four weeks and what are similarities that each of them have — that each of these teams maybe have on offense-defense. And there are similarities, so you focus on things that maybe all of them are going to run or some principles that they all work into their offense or defense, and you kind of work against it. Again, that's no different than anybody. Everybody does the same things in their off-weeks. It also gave us an extra day or so to work on Tech, which is also hopefully helpful."

On if they've ever had as many quality running running backs
"No. Those guys that are listed to play are really talented guys that have worked hard and feel good about what their opportunities are. As we go into the week they'll be fresh and ready to go."

On if Tashard Choice is finally healthy
"Yes. Tashard has come back and is fully healthy and ready to go. Hopefully, that's a plus as well."

On the pressure Tech's offensive attack puts on the secondary
"It isn't just the secondary, they make your backers and all your underneath cover work hard as well. So sure, as much as they throw it and their precision in the way that they throw it they do make you work. You have to be very disciplined in where your drops and where your coverage is and recognizing routes and being aggressive to step in and make some plays. You've got to be able to make your share of plays as well. Hopefully, we can do that."

On if the defense will have to be patient because of Tech's schemes
"Somewhat patient, but also aggressive enough to make our share of plays. You try and disrupt their timing. You have to try and make the quarterback uncomfortable, you have to try and create some turnovers and do your best to eliminate their running back."

On the success in the kicking game despite some struggles around the country
"I think our guys have been solid, and we're not the only ones. TV only shows you the one's that aren't, and there's a good number around the country that are successful. Hopefully, your execution is what it needs to be. I feel Trey (DiCarlo) has really been kicking the ball well. I think he started off early in the year in the Bowling Green game still recovering from some shin splints. But as he's progressed he's been strong. And Blake Ferguson as well has really hit the ball well. He's been solid. Again, it just gets down to execution and timing, and fortunately ours to this point has been pretty good."

On if Chijioke Onyenegecha will get more playing time this week
"Yes. I believe so. We feel Chijioke has earned more time in the way he's playing and prepared. We've got a chance to get him in and get more snaps and give him his opportunities to make plays."

On if he'll play more because of the fact they'll use an extra defensive back against Tech
"No. It's more just his play leading up to here and his play on special teams. He's been really solid on all of those and has show the consistency and ability to make plays. We just feel he's earned that right to get more time on the field and from there see where it goes. We will play standard package at different times with five or six DBs depending on their formations."

On the defensive line
"They've been solid. We don't have as deep a rotation as we normally have, but that's OK. We've played before with rotating three guys at each position. We've been in that position many times. And hopefully, there's still guys in this game that we'll bring along in certain spots. I think Steve Coleman, the more and more he plays has a chance to help inside. We've got some other ends that are coming along that we've got a chance to also try and get more time."

On if he fears his team will look past Tech to Texas
"I was waiting for that. You guys took a long time to ask it (laughs). Uh, no. We get the same question every year and I think our track record speaks to that. We've been pretty decent before and after that game. All of our attention is where it needs to be and that's totally on Texas Tech, who is a very good football team. We're the one's that have to go play, so that's what we're looking at and focused on and anxious for it."

On how they'll motivate the team for Tech
"They're 3-1 and just put the tape on and see the plays they make. You also see that they're a few seconds away from being 4-0 and being ranked. Again, other people can talk. They don't have to play, we do. It's pretty easy when you watch them."

On how much of a feel he has on Tech QB Sonny Cumbie through four games
"A good one. That's a good number of snaps and a lot to evaluate. I think he's awfully good. He's shown the toughness in the pocket to sit there, take hits and deliver the ball. He throws a great deep ball. I'm sure Mike is happy with the way he's playing. He's playing in a very strong way."


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