Stoops recaps Texas A&M, previews Texas Tech

See inside for quotes from Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference Tuesday in Norman. Stoops recaps OU's win over A&M, updates Dusty Dvoracek's, previews Saturday's showdown with Texas Tech and much, much more.

On the win over Texas A&M

Stoops: Another good win in our conference and in our division. A good, solid win.

I love the way we played early, built up a solid lead. Really came out in a great way offensively into the wind and really put together several really good drives.

I thought Rhett Bomar was very, very sharp starting off the game and his first 11, 12 passes were very solid. Running the ball, I liked the balance that we had.

Some guys on offense that were recognized as players of the game — Adrian Peterson had an exceptional game and some really, really great runs, J.D. Runnels continues play at such a great level and made some catches on third downs for us, and Juaquin Iglesias. Those three guys had the best games.

Other guys credited, Rhett Bomar of course had an excellent game, Malcolm Kelly, Travis Wilson, Kejuan Jones was solid in there. Allen Patrick chimed in and really contributed in a big way.

Defensively, I thought early on for the most part we were playing well. I thought our pass coverage was very, very good. They really limited their yards throwing the football, no big plays throwing the ball.

Some guys that were recognized by us as players of the game — Chijioke Onyenegecha covered their really good receiver all night and played great. He just had an excellent game. D.J. Wolfe was very good. Also, Calvin Thibodeaux. He had three sacks. He and C.J. Ah You were also again very, very guy, especially Calvin.

Defensively, we didn't do a very good job (stopping the run) for a number of reasons. I think our biggest problem during the game was the option.

Some of it were missed tackles when we were in position to make plays. Other times we didn't read it out very well and didn't have somebody, whether it be the quarterback or the pitch, and it resulted in some good plays on their part.

Turnovers were a problem. We have two unforced turnovers where we have a handoff that's misplaced between Rhett and Adrian, and a fumbled snap. So there's two opportunities in our red zone that are costly and you can't have.

I thought our special teams were good. I thought our cover units were very good. Cody Freeby was co-player of the game and did a good job punting the ball. Reggie Smith and Allen Patrick were also excellent on special teams.

On Texas Tech

Stoops: We're looking forward to going to Tech. It's another really big game for us as we're heading down the back stretch here of this season.

Going down to Lubbock, they're a team that has played awfully good — 8-2. They really have had an excellent season.

I know Oklahoma State played them in a great way last week and were able to beat them, but we recognize going down there we've got to be able to do the same thing and play very sharp.

Offense needs to be able to have some balance — run and pass. The defense needs to be great tackling in space. I think one of the better players in the league, Torrian Henderson they're running back, is a big key in the game. And we all know Hodges, their quarterback, is also a major factor.

We've got to be very disciplined defensively and in our positioning on the ball, in routes and defending the run game. And when we blitz, be very precise in our timing that we get there and we're able to cover until we get there.

It's another big game for us.

On Dusty Dvoracek's injury status

Stoops: It's another one of those situations where we'll just have to see how he goes through the week. It's a sprain, so it will be what he's able to tolerate.

It will be one of those deals from day to day how much more weight and how much pressure can he put on it. We've got a good number of days until we play, so we'll see where it goes.

On if Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach's offense is the same now as it was when he was at Oklahoma

Stoops: I've got my playbook from when we defended him at Kentucky, and it's the same plays.

When we were at Florida I'd pull them out every year and I'd look at them, and they were the same things. It goes back a long time.

He has a few different variations and a few different wrinkles, but for the most part the body of it is still there. They try and change up with formations and how it looks, but in the end there are a lot of the same plays.

On if this Leach's offense is the most unique offense he's had to defend

Stoops: Probably, unless you're going to play like we did at Air Force one year and they were still running the triple option from the wishbone. It's one of them. Probably, yeah.

On if he sees Allen Patrick playing more at running back

Stoops: Well, we'll see. But I'm not too willing to take Adrian off a whole lot...(laughs)

He can do a lot of things. He's an excellent receiver too. We probably do have to try and keep finding ways to give him more to do.

On the news of Bill Snyder's retirement

Stoops: Really, I guess I'm happy for Coach Snyder or pleased for him. I think back and have got great respect for all that he's done.

I feel fortunate, for a number of reasons, he gave me my first opportunity as a full-time coach. I'm fortunate that I was there for those first seven years. Not only for me as a first-time coach full-time coach, but in such a growing period there at Kansas State.

I learned a lot from him and I know I'm a better coach for having that time to help develop that program and to be around him every day — to see his persistence.

I think back at that time and everybody would love to try and convince us that we were wasting our time. You can't win here. Here are all the reasons why you can't. The feeling around the community was that way, and he never allowed any of us or the players to buy into that.

He just had a great determination to get it done. I really felt, and maybe I was naive then as a young coach, but it never entered my mind that we wouldn't win.

So, I'm happy for him. He's had a long and great career and a lot of great memories and served that program in a great, great way.

There's always a time when that you need to get on to other things you want to do in your life, and I'm sure he'll do that.

I'm happy for him and respect what he's done there. And I don't think anybody truly...all of you write about it but all of you weren't actually in there every single day and really realized what that program was like when he took it over.

I don't believe, as much as you write about it, you truly know how down it was and how poor and how bad it was. When you look at facilities to players on scholarship, to who was there, to the budget at the time. I don't even know and didn't want to know then.

What he has been able to do is just remarkable.

On the rumors that Brent Venables will be considered for the Kansas State job

Stoops: I'm sure that's a natural thought-process. That's something that I'm sure in time ... to me it would be way too premature right now for that to happen. That's something that will be talked about and discussed.

Hey, I'm all for my coaches Brent and everyone else for what they want in their coaching careers. Brent's an excellent coach, so if that's something that goes in a positive direction I'm all for it.

I think there will be a lot of rumors and people jumping the gun to say they have the scoop, when I believe it will be way too premature. I think that's something, as time goes, will be worked through.

On if he thinks Venables would be a good candidate for the job since he played there

Stoops: Absolutely. He'd be a great fit. No question.

On OU's win streak not being noticed nationally and if the game against Tech could make the nation take notice

Stoops: I think every game gives you more and more opportunity for that. If it does it does. If it doesn't it doesn't. Winning's all that matters.

On why the team has had problems protecting big leads

Stoops: Well, there's two ways of looking at that. First of all, in all those games I believe we have led I think the whole game. I think the one time Baylor tied us, but still we haven't been behind any of them.

Someone had asked how they've lost the lead. We haven't lost any leads. You know what I mean?

I think, in the end, it's a combination of everything in that we have been awfully good in spurts. Like the other day on offense, we have a bad snap on third down and Rhett has to fall on the ball. We have a bad pitch on the option on second down and we lose six yards. Now we're behind the chains. We have a fumbled snap.

It doesn't take a whole lot all of the sudden to lose ruin a drive. So, even defensively, we're walking along doing awfully good, one guy blows something and there's a big play. One guy lines up wrong, there's a big play.

I'm not going to sit here and label it. You can find your reasons. In the end, we're good enough to get the big lead. Maybe we're not great enough to play a full 60 minutes in a great way. But you know what? There's not a lot of teams who do.

I guess we've done that for a good number of years out here, but this team is still learning how to do it over and over and over for a full 60 minutes. So, we have our periods in there that in the end that maybe were not quite good enough to do it for all four quarters for 60 minutes, whether it's good enough, experienced enough, coached well enough, focused enough to do it for the full time. And that's what we're working on.

On the offense making key drives in the fourth quarter

Stoops: I think you do believe it helps build character that they have confidence in those situations. They're focused and talented enough to get it done when they've had to, and that is a positive sign.

In many of these situations we've come through and responded in a very positive way to win, and I don't take that for granted because you look around the country that's not easy to do all the time.

Again, we're just looking for more of that consistency to do it more consistently through full quarters.

But it builds your confidence, definitely, that in those tight situations that you can get it done.

On why OU has had so much success against Texas Tech while other teams have struggled

Stoops: I don't know. We've had a fair amount of success against everyone, up until this year. And even this year we're doing OK. The team's we've lost to are pretty darned good, which everyone recognizes.

I think we have always for the most part matched up well when you look at our ability to run and close on short passing game and come up and tackle. Our speed when we're blitzing to get to the quarterback.

Offensively, we have played well also against them where we've moved the football and had our possession time as well.

I think all of it works together, but fortunately we've had some pretty strong teams that have played well togethe to be able to handle them.

On Texas Tech running back Taurean Hendeson

Stoops: He's an excellent player. Very quick, very elusive. Even though he's not a real big guy, he's a strong runner, a powerful runner. He's excellent out of the backfield. He's excellent in space. He's a really good player, definitely.

On the success Oklahoma State had against Texas Tech's offense help them in their preparation this week

Stoops: Sure. You always look at who defends somebody the best and what they have done to do so, as well as what they did offensively to move the football.

Absolutely, it's something that we'll look at to some degree on what fits what we do. We definitely break down all game and analyze them closely.

On how much did the offense in the national championship year change from what Mike Leach did the year before

Stoops: Not a great deal, but to a degree yeah. We definitely ran the ball more and were in more run formations.

We closed down our splits on the offensive line a little bit differently, but there was still some parts of the passing game that remain with us today.

It may not always look that way just because our splits aren't where they are.

You just don't change a whole staff, you just evolve from year to year. You're always keeping what you believe is good and strong and what works for you. There are still some elements of what we did in our first year there that remain with us today.

On if he watched Roy Williams' interception return for a touchdown against Philadelphia

Stoops: I sure did. I was about to fall asleep at the end, and jumped out of my chair when he caught the ball and started yelling at the TV "Go! Go! Go'

Being this close you've got to work for the Cowboys, and it was fun seeing him make the play for sure.


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