Oklahoma quarterback Rhett Bomar talks about the Sooners' matchup with Oregon and the changes to OU's offensive coaching staff.
On getting to play in his first bowl game
Bomar: I'm really excited. It's a great opportunity for us to play against the No. 5 team in the country — to go out on a winning note and send our seniors out on a good note and kind of boost us into next year.
On what makes Oregon good defensively when he watches them on film
Bomar: First off, when you look at them they have All-American defensive front. Big, strong guys. So, that will be a challenge for our offensive line to keep those guys off.
In the back end, they're really athletic. I think their two corners have 11 interceptions between the two of them, so they've got the job done this year.
They've got a lot of difference coverages, so it's going to be a challenge for us.
On Oregon's secondary schemes
Bomar: They do a little bit of everything to tell you the truth, just depending on down and distance.
They have a lot of different looks, which is pretty much a combination of what we've seen all year. It's just different looks. You just have to recognize it and they try to disguise it a lot just because the Pac-10 is a passing league mainly.
They have really good offenses out there, so they'll disguise their defenses really well.
On what would a win mean going into next season
Bomar: We look at it as a great opportunity. We do have a lot of young guys who are getting a lot of experience this year, and we're looking forward to next year being a good year for us.
We want to send our seniors out on a good note. They deserve it. But it could be great momentum for us going into next year to win this game against the No. 5 team in the country and give us a lot of confidence going into 2006.
On getting the chance to prove themselves against the No. 5 team in the country in their last game
Bomar: It is a great opportunity, just because the perception of Oklahoma this year might be that we're down and everyone is down on us around the country.
But we're not going to worry about that. We know ourselves and we've gotten a lot better this second half of the year.
We're a good football team and this is a chance to go out and prove it against a great football team that's 10-1.
On if he sees a difference between the way Kevin Wilson runs practice compared to Chuck Long
Bomar: Every coach is different. They have their tendencies the way they coach and things like that, so I guess it's changed a little bit.
I think Coach Wilson's going to do a great job. I can already see the gameplan we're putting in is going to be good, and I think he's going to do a really good job.
On Josh Heupel joining the staff
Bomar: I think he'll do a great job here. He's a great coach and he's had a lot of success.
He kinda knows how to play the quarterback position and knows the little things that will help me out a lot. So, I'm looking forward to it.
On how well he knows Heupel
Bomar: I know him pretty good. I was here a year with him my freshman year when I was redshirting.
I wasn't around him a lot working with him and things like that, but I was around on the sideline when he was talking Jason during the game. Jason would come to the sideline and he would talk to Jason about the things that he saw on the field.
I was around him enough to realize that he knows what he's talking about.
On what part of offense has improved the most this year
Bomar: Everything. I think from the first year of the year, it's a total change to now. I think everything's improved.
My play's improved, the receivers have improved greatly making plays. Our freshmen receivers have really stepped up lately, and getting Adrian back helped out a lot.
And the offensive line is playing great towards the end of the year. I think they finally got a firm set of our guys that are playing every day and they started really responding as a unit.
On how satisfying it is to have silenced and the critics and proved that he is capable of being OU's starting quarterback
Bomar: It's been good. I guess there was (criticism). I didn't really pay attention at the first of the year.
I had my struggles. I'm not going to shy away from that. I've had my ups and downs this year, but I think as the year progressed I got more comfortable out there and things got a little better for me and the offense as a whole.
Hopefully, it's only going to get better for us.
On the UCLA game being the turning point for him
Bomar: I don't know if there was a turning point.
I guess everybody looks at game because in the Tulsa game we didn't throw a pass in the second half and everybody made a big deal out of that. So, in the UCLA game I actually came out and threw.
I don't know if there was a game, but I guess that would be it in everybody's eyes.
On what factors contributed to OU's slow start offensively
Bomar: It was just basically experience, getting used to the college game, getting used to the speed and how fast things happen. What's coming at you? What kind of defense is, what kind of blitz is? Everything like that.
You can only learn by being out there in a game. Practice only does so much. You have to be out there in a game to realize what to expect and everything like that. And I think once all of our freshmen learned that we got a lot better.
On if he's to the point where he can just react and not think so much on the field
Bomar: I'm getting there. You know, I'm not perfect yet. There's still a lot of things to learn.
But I am to that point where I am reacting realizing what's coming at me and going through reads, checking down, not forcing things if things aren't there.
Things are kinda slowing down for me, I guess you could say.
On how the offense will be affected by the loss of Chuck Long two weeks before a game
Bomar: It's going to affect us, I guess you could say, but we have great coaches here that are great offensive coaches.
Coach Wilson has been coordinator before. He's been involved in the play-calling all year and he knows what he's doing. I think he'll do a great job putting together a great gameplan.
On if he was disappointed to lose Coach Long
Bomar: It's disappointing just because what Coach Long's done for me since I've been here in these two years.
The thing's he's taught me being a quarterback, the thing's that he's learned in the past. He can kind of feel what I'm feeling and see what I've seen on the field.
But Coach Heupel's going to come in here and do a great job, and I have all the confidence in him.
On Coach Wilson saying he'll rely on his opinion on what plays to call in certain situations
Bomar: I'm looking forward to that a lot. He'll ask me do you like this right here on certain down and distance situations and stuff, and I like that.
I like to be involved. I think I'm getting to that point now where I've been playing enough and I'm not that young guy anymore. I can tell them and be mature enough to tell them what I wan to do and don't want to do.
It's only going to work if you feel comfortable doing it, and I think that's how we're looking at it now and I'm going to enjoy that process.
On if he'll like Wilson more because he might call more run plays for the quarterback like he did at Northwestern
Bomar: You know, that was his thing when he was at Northwestern with all the quarterback run game.
We could have a little bit more of that. I guess everybody will have to wait and see.
I always enjoy that, even though a lot of people think I'm going to get hurt or something like that. So, that's why they stopped it.
But I enjoy it a lot, so if he brings that aspect to our offense I'll appreciate that.
On if Kevin Wilson saying he wants a more physical offense means that the coaches won't be on him as much to slide instead of taking hits when running with the ball
Bomar: I don't know, he'll still probably tell me to slide (smiles). I can't even count the number of times I've heard that this year, but I still can't get myself to do it.
Coach Wilson is going to bring a diverse offense, throwing and running. I think he won't be keying on one thing, so I think he's going to do a great job.
On Long's decision to leave
Bomar: You can't ever fault a guy for wanting to move up in his profession.
To move higher in the chain and be a head coach, that's what all the coaches strive for — to one day be a head coach.
I've been there growing up with my dad as a head coach going to a couple of (new) jobs. You're always looking forward looking for a better opportunity, and he found his. That's good for him.
On how losing Long as his position coach affects him personally
Bomar: Well, it's not going to affect me football-wise or anything like that. I'll still continue to play hard. These coaches that we have here are coaching me hard and they'll step in and do a really good job.
I wish Coach Long a lot of luck. He's going to do a great job out there.
On if he'll miss the personal relationship he had with Long
Bomar: We were around each other all the time, and me being basically the only quarterback it was a one-on-one situation all the game.
I built up a really good relationship with him, but he's wanting to move up and he found himself a good opportunity for him and his family.
Bomar looking forward to first bowl game
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