Stoops regrets trying to score late against NU

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about the way Saturday's game against Nebraska ended, Jason White and Gayron Allen winning Big 12 Player of the Week Awards, Baylor's blitzing defense, the BCS and Sooner fans throwing oranges late in the game. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Sooners have survived for another week in the BCS holding off Auburn for second place. OU is still undefeated and un-tied and after winning the Big 12 South heading towards a Big 12 Championship. OU is still very confident they will be playing in the Orange Bowl against either USC or Auburn.

Head Coach Bob Stoops can't win in the national perception game. The BCS polls demands grand performances each week and thus the Sooners continued to try to score late in the game. However, Coach never felt good about it and wishes he would have called off the dogs.

On this issue, he can't win for losing and he is taking some unfair criticism. However, it is strange how the national media portrays OU anyway. Today after practice, Stoops talked about a number of different issues involving the Sooners and college football.

JH: Today you had two players named Big 12 Players of the Week. Once again you had Jason White on offense and on defense you had Gayron Allen. That is quite an honor to have two players isn't it?

BS: ""Gayron won it? I didn't know that. They told me about Jason, but they didn't tell me about Gayron. That is wonderful. Gayron has been an excellent player here and a great team guy. Every time he is in the game he makes plays and he is very consistent. I am happy for him. He is a senior and that was his last game at home and it is great that he went out like that."

JH: What about Jason?

BS: "I guess here I am taking him for granted by not mentioning him. Here I am going to brag on him again, but he had just an incredible performance. You don't see anyone hitting 18 straight passes and 29 of 35 is just amazing with three TDs. His efficiency has just been unbelievable. He is playing in a great way."

JH: Could you explain how Baylor's defensive attack last year was different from what LSU did?

BS: "I think it is very similar to what a lot of people have done. They blitzed us with six or seven guys, but other people have to. They had some success with it, but it wasn't much different than what some other teams have done. There are no magic formulas out there. If it was the pattern I am sure we would have seen it this year and everybody drew from it. This year we have handled it decently."

JH: Baylor Head Coach Guy Morris suggested today on his conference call that other teams took from what they did and used it against you. He also said that he didn't have anything to lose, so they just rushed everybody against you?

BS: "That is right. And people have done the same thing through this year and we have been a lot sounder and better at protecting the quarterback. We have had a stronger run game as well, which has made a big difference."

JH: Did you change a lot of things in the off-season with your protections to guard against those kind of blitzes?

BS: "We are always tweaking things, but it wasn't because of that game. There are other issues. There isn't some magical defense or everybody would be doing it and we would have seen it for 10 straight games. Remember, everybody was going to pattern Kansas State's defense after they beat us last year in the Big 12 Championship. We have played 10 games since then and we have handled it decently."

JH: Was it self-scouting that helped you improve your pass protection?

BS: "It goes into a lot of things – our players maturity, different running game. We are back under center and we are smart enough to see areas where somebody might have taken advantage of us, and we change them. Like I said, last year is last year and this year is this year."

JH: Bill Callahan suggested today that Oklahoma's game management was out of control. Do you have any thoughts on that?

BS: "That is the first time I have heard that, but I would guess that he has his reasons. I am not going to dispute it since I am sure since the atmosphere for us being at home is different. I am not saying that I am contesting it, but I haven't heard that before."

JH: You weren't happy with the oranges being thrown from the stands either were you?

BS: "I fear for people who are out there without helmets. Those would be officials, coaches, cheerleaders and who knows. Somebody getting hit from one of those getting thrown from way up high could get seriously hurt. Those are coming from way up there and that is dangerous. Sure, I just don't believe that it is necessary."

JH: What are your thoughts on the BCS vote, which still has the Sooners No. 2?

BS: "Again, our strength of schedule is still an issue, even though it wasn't as much of an issue as it was a year ago. You don't know, but if it was still as strong as a year ago we might be one. I am kidding because maybe we wouldn't be, but my point is that it still does matter enough at this point. I guess our schedule has been the strongest and that is helping us. Again, you just do the best you can to play well and to win. What still gets over looked is that all three of us still have two games left. The bottom line is that you still have to play well to win."

JH: What are your thoughts on criticism that you have taken for throwing the ball late in the game against Nebraska?

BS: "I can see where it comes from and it is understandable. I said that after that game, in hindsight, I would have probably not have done that. But in heat of the game I got caught between sportsmanship and BCS points. In my mind, I chose the wrong one because I do believe in sportsmanship. Given the opportunity again, I would have done it differently. There is another argument to that is still Nebraska, and maybe we have more respect for Nebraska than everybody else. I have always found it is disappointing when somebody quits playing against you than when a team continues to play. So, we still have great respect for Nebraska. There is also an argument that we are in a tight race for the National Championship. So, again, it is a difficult position to be in. I am saying that I should have chosen differently, but somebody will present the argument why I would be forced to do something like that."

JH: Is there anything that you would like to see done to take that out of your hands?

BS: "I don't know if there is anything that can be done to be quite honest with you. So many people judge compare scores to who they played and what the score was. Unless that is going to stop there isn't a good way. So, I don't know if there is anything that can change."


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