Below are excerpts from OU head coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference Tuesday in Norman.
On the win over Kansas
Stoops: Through the entire night we were very solid in everything we were doing. We started off a little poor in tackling, but improved as went.
As far as our positioning on the ball, I thought guys were really physical up front. Our secondary really covered well and came up with some big turnovers that were key.
Guys that really played well that stood out for us, obviously Rufus Alexander. He had a great number of tackles and a big play with the interception down on the goal line. And then Clint Ingram is kind of like a ball magnet. It seems like he's always got his hands on the football. D.J. Wolfe, with the touchdown interception, was really good the entire night.
Guys up front, Dusty Dvoracek had an excellent day. C.J. Ah You, Calvin Thibodeaux really played well up front.
Offensively, we started off slow. We had really good field position a number of times. We had some opportunities for points.
Some of our execution offensively and then the missed field goals made it more difficult. We had an opportunity to get some lead there and we miss some field goals that we were capable of making, so that kind of magnified some of our offensive problems.
We settled down in the second half and really moved the football well passing, running. Just our overall execution I thought was much better. And things loosened up when you started completing some throws and protecting the quarterback a little bit.
It was good to see guys, like Malcolm Kelly, make big plays who are capable. Even Manuel Johnson getting open. The ball hits him actually in the face mask and we had an opportunity for a touchdown. At least he's position. He broke free and he'll make that catch.
Rhett threw some really nice balls as you watched through the entire second half. So we're making improvement there.
I thought some guys on offense that played well — Brett Rayl stepped in and really did an excellent job on the offensive line. Also, Kelvin Chaisson played well up there. We had some young guys — Jon Cooper was in there a good number of snaps and really fought hard and played pretty well.
And then Kejuan Jones and Donta Hickson together were really good. I think the two of them combined for about 110 yards rushing, and the defensive front for KU hadn't allowed that for many people. So it was good to see those guys come in and be solid.
It was a good win away from home and we did what we needed to do to win.
Stoops: It's good to be back home again and playing here in our home stadium.
Baylor, at 4-2, everyone realizes how greatly improved they are. They're a very good football team when you watch them offensively, defensively. All of their schemes are very sound, very disciplined.
Coach Morriss, his staff, I have felt for a number of years have done an excellent job. Competing against them, they really make you work they're very good and structured in everything that they do.
They've got an excellent receiving corp that are making a bunch of plays, solid running back in (Paul) Mosely and a quarterback in (Shawn) Bell. They're solid when you watch them and they've moved the ball on most everyone.
Defensively, they have always year in and year out been very good. They make you work for everything that you get. You look at their scores through the year and they have held people down.
They've got a great punter in (Daniel) Sepulveda, who I thought a year ago was one of the better one's in the country and continues to be awfully good.
Again, we're working hard this week to build on trying to establish some consistency in our discipline and our effort in what we're doing, and how we're trying to play and realize we'll need to improve this week to be able to go out and win this week. So that's what we're going to try and do.
On if Peterson is going to play
Stoops: We're going to see how the week goes. We've been a little frustrated, as is he, what the right answer is. Should we rest him more? We'll determine that probably on Thursday. We'll try and get him some light work today and tomorrow and just see.
It's frustrating because do we just sit him and allow him to heal and try and get what we can by the end of the year at some point? Or do you keep trying to push through?
I don't know that anyone has the perfect or exact answer for that. Our doctors and trainers are working with him and us to see what they feel is best.
On if he'd announce that Peterson was going to play even if he wasn't. And if it does anything for Baylor knowing or not knowing his status
Stoops: I don't think it does. Not at this point. I don't know. They'd have to answer that. I don't know that it would change their thought-process a whole lot.
Like we have been, we're going to work towards and do our best to have him ready. But to be in there and only be able to go four or five snaps, we don't want to set him back and only get such little production because he's not quite able. So that's what we're trying to measure, is can he really go?
We have thought the last few times that he could and he has felt like it, until you get in there and that game speed and all is different than it is at any other time. That's where, when he gets out there he realizes, and we do.
On if the offense broke out in the second half and gained more confidence
Stoops: Well, everyone wants to keep saying that, but we have at other times this year too. We have to do it consistently.
We have had spots at UCLA and in the K-State game. We have had it, but we have to get it consistently and through four quarters.
We have had signs of it throughout the year. We just need to establish with it.
On how tough is it to establish consistency when every game the offensive line changes
Stoops: Well, not only the offensive line, when you look at the injuries Travis Wilson didn't play last week either. Adrian Peterson has been in and out. Davin Joseph gets hurt.
You can only play the guys that are available and ready to play and that's what we're doing. It's challenging, but I believe what I want the players to realize is evidenced by what we were able to do in the second against a good defensive unit.
We should be able to do that regardless of who's in there.
On if Joseph could move back to guard with Brett Rayl now playing well at tackle
Stoops: He'll probably stay at tackle, but it will give us more opportunity to work Brett in and give him more opportunities.
On where the offensive line is at this point protecting the quarterback and allowing him more time to throw
Stoops: It has been there at times and at times it hasn't. And that's where we have to continue to improve.
It isn't just the offensive line either. At different times, fullbacks, running backs are required on certain blitzes to also hold up, or tight ends.
Throughout some of these gams, when we have had some trouble, it hasn't been the o-line. It's been tight ends and backs. So together, all of them need to continue to improve on it, recognize where it's coming, make the adjustment. And once we've made the adjustment be able to hold up and keep people out where we have time to get the ball off.
On how much opposing defense are trying to confuse Rhett Bomar as young quarterback
Stoops: There's not a whole lot of it. For the most part, what we have seen coming in are things that we have prepared and looked at.
They'll throw in a coverage, like the other night, some man-free robber that KU hadn't played coming in. We have seen from other people that we recognize a lot of times that maybe they hadn't used for someone else, but we'll get it.
It isn't like we're totally surprised when we see it. We usually recognize it right off the bat and understand what it is and start making adjustments in how we need to try and attack it.
People aren't coming up with whole new packages at all. People generally stick with what they're good at playing.
On how challenging it is to play with eight freshmen on offense
Stoops: You play with what you have and that's what we have. They're gaining experience and have at times shown the ability to play really well.
That's just the situation we're in with our depth, whether it be injuries or graduation. The guys we've got ready to play, that's just the situation we're in. Those guys are, I believe, growing and coming along as the year is going along.
Same thing defensively. I called the one timeout when the defense was on the field. Lewis Baker had gotten hurt and for our nickel and dime package, we were pulling guys off the sideline.
'Alright, who do we have here? You go in.' We're teaching J.C. (Jason Carter) on the run to go in and play Lewis' spot. 'This is what you're going to do on third down.' And he did it well.
Lewis got out so we were sitting here putting it up right at that time. It was a third down, it was a critical down and we wanted to get off the field. So we called timeout to make sure we had it straight.
So that's where we're at and we're fighting through it.
On if it's realistic to think you can win in the Big 12 with that kind of situation
Stoops: Well, we have some. I mean...
On winning big-time in the Big 12 with a younger team
Stoops: Again, they will only be freshmen for a certain amount of time. They're halfway toward being sophomores already.
On people wanting to take shots at OU
Stoops: We're working through the year. All I'm thinking about is Baylor this week. And I'll be honest, our players have had a good attitude.
People think the sky is falling. Our guys are out there, even after the Texas game, by Wednesday a little bit light-hearted, having fun realizing we're fighting through through a lot of adversity.
But that's part of it. No one ever said it would be easy. Nothing is promised to you. You work through it. That's all you can do and that's what they're doing.
All that's around us, I don't think, for the players and us, really infiltrates us as much as everyone may think.
On someday these freshmen will be juniors
Stoops: Absolutely. And they're going to be awfully good.
On the fact that had he not called timeout the officials wouldn't have reviewed the Rufus Alexander interception play
Stoops: One, the only confusion I had was initially when they put it in place the official was to see something on TV that would cause him to buzz. Well, in some of these plays the TV isn't quick enough on putting it out there.
So a few weeks ago they changed it to where if it was a change of possession type play or a scoring type play that you believe is tight even before TV goes to it, you buzz it and say let's look at it.
I'm not faulting anyone, but for some reason they didn't buzz. I kept looking at the guy on my sideline and he kept looking at me like, 'No buzz'.
Finally, I said this is too important. I don't need that timeout that much. I'm going to call timeout and hopefully something will happen, because I knew it was a reviewable play.
Some of the other one's that we've had in the past few weeks that were turnovers, I knew the way those had unfolded those weren't reviewable. But this one I knew was reviewable and I felt this is too important. Hopefully they'll see it and make a change. And fortunately they did.
On if he thinks the 'review' rules are hazy
Stoops: No, I think they're on the right track. The way our head of officials explained it to me is a play like that should've been buzzed before I called timeout.
It's a change of possession play, scoring play, right there at the one yard line. We need to really look at this. He thought it should've been buzzed before I called timeout.
On whether he has the option to call for a review
Stoops: No, it doesn't buzz for me. One of my coaches say you get that timeout back. I said, that's the NFL boys, not here. That one's gone.
But it was plenty worth it and fortunately they looked at it and made what they felt was the right call.
On the offense not running as much option against Kansas because of Bomar's ankle injury
Stoops: Yeah, he had it wrapped but it's better this week. I think a little bit of that to is we're also a little cautious on how much we want him being hit and running. So we have to monitor that as well.
On wanting to have that package in after only gaining 82 yards in the first half
Stoops: Well, we had it in with Texas. Everyone thinks because you have that in it's going to automatically generate yards?
That zone read play isn't the answer to everything. Everybody runs it. Kansas ran it a bunch on us, they didn't have whole bunch of rushing yardage.
On not using Bomar's running threat
Stoops: It will still be there. Some of it was. His ankle was sore. We're going to watch how much he gets hit.
And again I don't believe that's the answer to everything that we're doing — him running the football and running the option.
I see a lot of people run it (zone read) and it's not that big a deal really, defensively.
On why Lewis Baker started at safety after Nic Harris started against Texas
Stoops: Obviously, we felt that he (Harris) needs to pick up his level of play. And Lewis, the times he has played and what he has done we feel has played better. He's making more plays and had a really good game the other night.
Those are switches you make as you feel guys deserve it and how they're playing. It's obviously helped in that his play has picked up, as has some other guys.
Again, just because a guy one week is doing it everyone thinks he's got the position the rest of the time he's here. You have to keep earning it on how you play, how you practice and your production.
On Travis Wilson's status and the rest of the team's injury situation
Stoops: Travis (Wilson) practiced some yesterday. He was improved yesterday.
Eric Bassey's closer. There's a decent change he can play. Davin (Joseph) will practice today. Most of them will be back. Of course, Chris Chester won't.
AD, we'll see. And I'm not playing here with that. I think it's been obvious, we've tried to play him. And like I said, when you get into game speed and really need to push off and make a game type cut, when it comes to that he's been he has been a little more tender than he thought he would be. We'll see how that goes.
Lewis (Baker) is supposed to practice today. He did some things yesterday. Marcus (Walker) is supposed to practice today.
Bassey, I said, it will probably be more like Wednesday or Thursday before we see what he's able to do.
On defensive ends Calvin Thibodeaux and C.J. Ah You playing every snap against Kansas
Stoops: I could not be more happy with C.J. and Calvin — how they're playing and the way they've stood in there and held up.
On Baylor blitzing OU a lot in the past while not blitzing other teams as much
Stoops: That's right. They probably do. They pick their times about like everyone does.
We may get a little bit more than other people, so you've got to be able to make your plays when they do. Pick it up, beat somebody quick enough to get the ball out.
On Garrett Hartley's missed kicks
Stoops: Yeah, that's a little bit frustrating because I do believe in Garrett. He really hits the ball hard well.
I believe he'll correct that. It was good to see him come in and hit a 40-yarder at the end of the game there and nailed it. I just believe he'll work through it and be solid for us.
On how close was Hartley's missed field goal attempt at the end of the first half
Stoops: In the end, the guy's sitting right under it and that's who you trust. I do. He has the best look at it.
In college, or anywhere, the ball has to be clearly inside the goal post or upright. If it goes over the upright, any part of it, it's not good.
So a portion of the ball must have been over the upright as it goes over, and he's the one looking right at the pole. From what I understand, the whole ball has to be inside it.
On the importance of getting a young team to a bowl game
Stoops: It's critical. It's important that we win this week and keep trying to build. No question.
We understand that and recognize and look at this game and each to come as big games for us.
On the importance of the matchup between Baylor's receivers and OU's defensive backs
Stoops: It's a big matchup, definitely. But again, it isn't just the secondary. At times the backers or underneath coverage are just as important.
It's definitely a big matchup that we're in a position to cover, and when we blitz or come after them that we're able to get there and execute them properly.
It's a timing issue. Can you get to them before they can work open or find a hole that you left? That's the game you play.
We've got to be precise in our coverage and in our pressure to make plays in the passing game.
On Lou Holtz saying on TV that Bomar and Peterson were the two biggest disappointments in college football this year
Stoops: Well, that's for him to say. He's the expert, I guess. I think the whole issue in even addressing that is it's obvious, no matter who you are, is nobody does it alone.
These guys, when you look at with all that we have been through and all the different reasons out there, it's not Adrian's fault that he's got a bad ankle. That's disappointing to everybody, but is that something to criticize a kid about? I don't believe it is.
Rhett, in all honesty, has had a few games to play. What, five games now? That's not a lot of time. And when you look at all the issues with young receivers, the injuries, different o-linemen, it's not like he's come in with the best of supporting casts.
So in the end, I truly believe they're excellent players, they're going to have great careers here as they go.
For these six games their numbers haven't been the greatest, so if that means they're the biggest disappointments and you don't consider the reasons, then I think that's pretty foolish.
Stoops reviews Kansas, previews Baylor
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