Stoops on Iowa State

See inside for excerpts from OU head coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference. Stoops answers all the questions following last week's loss to Texas and takes an early look at Iowa State. (AP Photo)

Opening Statement

Stoops: I felt that there are a lot of positives in the way we played, how we played, the effort in all parts of the game.

In the end, we weren't as consistent as we needed to be in a few areas. Penalties, as I've said a number of times, 11 penalties hurts — were hard to overcome, stopped drives — and turnovers stopped drives. Offense and defense go hand in hand. You turn the football over you give them the ball, you're either sacrificing points, giving them the points, taking pressure off them, taking away momentum.

Defensively, I thought, the first half five of the six possessions were three and outs. We're playing really well. We give up one drive that we give up a couple of breakdowns that we feel we can be better at. And then the disappointing part is in the second half we give them a short field to start with. But we end up with back-to-back drives the second half that we give up scores and weren't able to overcome that.

It's the same thing in that there's a lot of good. You hold them to 232 yards — isn't easy to do when you've turned the ball over five times and you still are able to limit them to that, so you are doing some good things. But we need to be able to be more consistent and take away the one big play.

We need to be able to take care of the football better and eliminate some of the non-playing penalties. The judgement calls, you're going to have to live with. But the penalties that we're getting that are prior to the snap, we need to be able to control and be more disciplined to give those up.

Regardless of what transpired or the way that game ended, we have seven Big 12 conference games ahead of us. The first one here this week with Iowa State. For us to be back at home here and to start again with another game in the Big 12 with this stretch run of seven straight games, is important.

Dan McCarney and his staff I've got great, great respect for. They always work hard and do a really good job of coaching. Their players are always playing hard and play well, so we need to improve this week and eliminate some of the things that have hurt ourself and keep pushing for improvement.

I felt really good and great yesterday in the way we practiced. Our guys came out, had a really good and strong, positive attitude. They realize watching the tape and studying it where they need to play better. They also see where they played awfully well in some areas, and we just need to push for the consistency we want to be able to win this week.

On how the coaching staff will correct the turnovers and offensive line penalties

Stoops: You have to continue to focus on it, continue to concentrate on it up front. We'll do some more drills here in practice time getting different cadence's, practicing and taking care of the football.

You know, we do work it. We're constantly doing strip drills and pulling on the football. Some of it is just players have to be more concentrated in those areas where they've just caught a football and being able to finish with it.

So some of it we have to continue to work and we will. And they have to take a greater concentration in games to secure the ball.

On if Texas was doing anything on defense 'like barking signals' or moving lineman around to confuse the offensive line

Stoops: At times they did. They had made a call with their middle linebacker and shifted their defensive line and that caused us, for sure late in the game, it caused us one of them (penalties).

On if it's true that one of the points of emphasis from the officials and the staff was the 'barking' of the Texas defense, and the lateral...

Stoops: I'm not going to get into detail on what the communication is with myself and the head of officials. You know, it isn't going to serve any purpose. I know where all of that goes, I become another story. We don't need that.

You guys all watched the football game. You're all, I'm saying this in a decent way, are well-educated on the game. You call it as you see it. That's not for me. I wanted to say experts, but that would be complimenting you too much or you'd think I was being facetious (smiles).

You guys understand what the rules are, and I'm not going to do it.

On if the 'barking signals' rule was brought up before the game as a point of emphasis by the officials

Stoops: I don't feel comfortable each week explaining what the points of emphasis are and the officiating crew. That's just not my job to do.

On what's legal and illegal when the defense trys to draw the offense offsides

Stoops: You're allowed to move your line to get into a blitz as long as you're not making some kind of hard command that would draw the offense offside or into procedure.

On if he still feels that Reggie Smith's biggest impact is at safety and not cornerback

Stoops: Uh, Yes.

On if it's tougher dealing with a loss to Texas mentally than it is other weeks

Stoops: No, I've only been here eight years and we haven't had an issue of it. We've lost it, we've won it. We've always traditionally come back and played well.

So we've got another game to play. Regardless of what happens in that game, you put it behind you and you get ready to play again.

On if Iowa State plays a no-huddle, up-tempo offense like several teams they've already played

Stoops: Like who?

On Texas running no-huddle quite a bit...

Stoops: Was it up-tempo? I mean, they sat at the line and we got our calls just fine. Up-tempo's different. I didn't see the up-tempo part of it.

Just because you're no-huddling standing there at the line, you're looking over (the defense), you're getting you're call. That isn't up-tempo. That's just no-huddling standing at the line. So there's a difference.

I haven't seen the up-tempo yet is what I'm saying. They (Texas) stood at the line, waited. It's no different standing at the line than standing in the huddle. You see what's out there.

They (Iowa State) do it some, but about everybody does it some.

On who played well against Texas

Stoops: Manuel Johnson played really well. Made a lot of nice third down catches. C.J. Ah You, Calvin Thibodeaux, defensively, played well. Darien Williams played well. Reggie Smith played well. Allen Patrick, special team-wise, played well. Made some nice plays.

On if Gerald McCoy is a definite redshirt this year

Stoops: That's something we'll see as we go through the year. He's getting more snaps in there with the 1's and 2's and the way we rotate in there in practice. It's one thing to look good in certain segments of practice, it's another thing when things are at the level that we're playing at. Not everybody sees that part of it. We do.

So Gerald's closer and closer. We're bringing him along and if we feel he can make an impact we'll play him. So I guess it isn't a definite no that he would definitely redshirt, but we want to make sure if he's playing that he's going to be at the level we need him to be and it's going to be worthwhile for him.

On if the Texas game was the best effort this season from the defensive ends

Stoops: They did a good job, but they've had other good games. They're playing well and they did get decent pressure.

The one touchdown he (Colt McCoy) throws C.J. Ah You's hitting him in the arm just as he throws. The first play of the game he knocks him over. They are playing in a good way.

On if they're getting pressure on the quarterback despite they're lack of sacks

Stoops: Yeah. It's like the one third down leading up to their first score, we have a blitz that comes free and we allow it off the edge. That's just us. We've got to be able to stay in control, be more disciplined and not let them out. Those are some things we've got to be better at.

At times when we have been there, we've allowed people to escape us or are not in control enough to finish the play and allow them to get out, and make a play that really hurt.

On if he feels like he's in a stretch of games where they can't catch a break

Stoops: Do I need to answer that? Obviously not. That's the way it goes. You've got to keep playing and eventually you do get some. And I'm sure through those other years we've had our share of them.

I'm a positive enough person that I believe by the time the whole things runs it's course we'll get our share too. Yeah, we've been on the opposite side of some tight calls. That's the way it goes.

On if he'd like to see instant replay thrown out if the problems can't be fixed

Stoops: I still say no. It's only our second year using it and I, again, continue to believe that it should only get better as we go.

On how it will get better

Stoops: I guess in the process of the reviews whether there's something on the field that the people that are actually calling the game can see, I guess. Maybe the equipment and the quality of the replays that people are looking at and who's doing the replay. I guess everything all together, all of it, I would think would continue to improve.

On if replay should be handled as it is in the NFL

Stoops: Possibly, yeah. I'm sure there are issues whether we can do it like the NFL or not. But you would like to think we would work towards that best we can.

On if they should have thrown to Malcolm Kelly more after looking at the tape

Stoops: Not really. Let's face it, if we don't turn the ball over five times, or in particular three fumbles, we've got a lot of opportunities. And, who knows, if he wouldn't have gotten it more if we have that extra possession time and yardage.

We were 8-of-16 — 50 percent on third downs is pretty darn good against anyone you're playing. You're 330-some yards, you're moving the football. Penalties and turnovers stopped us, not who we went to with it or that we didn't find anybody open.

On if Kelly's lack of catches was a case of Thompson not seeing him open

Stoops: There was one play where he possibly could've, but overall I would say no. Overall, I like the plan we had. And in some of those plays where we did complete it to Manuel or somebody else, we're getting to him on the next read or two and it just didn't get to that far. Again, I don't know that you could fault the way we moved the football.

On if safety Keenan Clayton is getting closer to getting back on the field

Stoops: To some degree.

On he expect any new players to emerge, like on the offensive line or linebacker

Stoops: Those guys (offensive line) are coming along getting and better and better, but I really liked the way our offensive line played.

Curtis (Lofton), possibly, is playing better and better in practice and more consistent. So we're feeling more confident to get him more snaps.

On if Jermaine Gresham will get more snaps

Stoops: Possibly, but he played about 20 snaps the other day. Again, it's not like Joe Jon (Finley) or Brody (Eldridge), those guys were all singled out as having really good games. We'll continue to find ways to continue to get them involved, but I feel like we are.

On if he hasn't seen enough consistency from DeMarcus Granger to give him more playing time

Stoops: He's been out there a lot. He was out there as much as anybody the other day.

On how Granger has played

Stoops: He's playing OK. He does good things and he's playing good. He's improving and getting better.

On why some of the veteran defensive players haven't made as many big plays as they've made in the past or should be making

Stoops: Yeah, it's hard to put your finger on it in that we're doing a lot of things that we've done here traditionally for eight years, and we haven't been able to come up with that big play whether it be a deflection for an interception, a sack that rips the ball out.

Again, it's hard to say to put your finger on exactly why whether it's more aggressiveness, whether it's more discipline in what we're doing. We just have to keep pushing for that kind of play.

On him not 'ripping his players publicly' even though it's obviously going on internally

Stoops: No, it isn't obviously. You want us, defensively, to publicly rip them? I mean, five of the six first possessions in the first half are three and out. Not many people are going to keep them to 232 total yards. And I'm not sitting here bragging on statistics, but with 232 yards when you've given the ball up five times, right?

So what I'm getting at is there's a lot of good play there, and what you're getting at, and you're right, is that we didn't come up with the really big play. Credit to Texas. They took care of the football and they only threw the ball so many times. When they did they got it out quick, so they played in a good way also.

So when you've played that way, you are playing pretty well. So who do you want me to rip?

On Rufus Alexander not making big plays and C.J. Ah You and Calvin Thibodeaux recording 17 sacks last year, but none so far this year

Stoops: I agree. Listen, I just said the same thing. We haven't come up with those big plays, but it isn't like they're not playing well. We just haven't come up with the big plays.

I guess my answer to you is it's hard to rip them when they did do a lot of really good things. But we do want and expect big plays. We always want turnovers, and push for them, and we're going to keep doing that.

Again, that's what's frustrating as a coach is so many parts of that game were pretty darn good, but it wasn't enough obviously.

On the game being closer than the final score and the perception that Texas is on a level that is ahead of Oklahoma by a big margin right now

Stoops: Hey, whatever. I can't fight people's perception.

On his thinking about the difference in the two programs

Stoops: When you look at the how the game ended, when you look at the opportunities missed by us, you can form your own opinion.

I believe it is close when you look at the first half and the way we played. I'm not going to sit here and talk yardage and talk this, that and the other. We made some turnovers, they didn't. To me, that was the biggest factor in the game.

Talent-wise or anything else, I don't see that as very different. I the end, we made some mistakes and a judgement call at the end put it out of reach and made it appear much different than the game was.

On the touchdown pass to Limas Sweed and how the corners played overall

Stoops: That's the other frustrating part. Other than that, they played really well. Again, it's other than that.

Other than that one play, they played awfully well. They'd have less than 100 yards passing and they played in a good way. But we've got to be able to not give up that one play.

So that's where again, though it is good, it's not good enough.

On if Marcus Walker is setting in at corner

Stoops: He played well and D.J. (Wolfe) outside of one play played awfully well. But we've got to be better in that one play.

On his relationship with Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney

Stoops: We have a long history. He was there (Iowa) when I was recruited, he was there my five years playing. In five years as a young graduate assistant coach, I used to tool around with he and (Barry) Alvarez whether it's recruiting or going to games or coming home from games. They were great friends to me, mentors. Mentors first and then as I got older became friends.

I have a very close relationship with his family. I just talked to his dad last week in fact. I call him every fall to see how he's doing, so we've got a long history together and a close one.

And they've done a great job. You see Mac's teams every year play hard, well-coached. He always gets the most out of them.

On his impressions of Cyclone QB Bret Meyer

Stoops: As you watch him, he's got the ability like so many guys any more to run around and make some things happen when maybe not much is there. So the ability to run and scramble is always there with him, but he's efficient throwing the football.

He's got three big receivers that he uses in a really good way. If guys are covered he'll throw it on their back shoulder giving them an opportunity to come back and get the football, so he's smart in the way he plays.

On Adrian Peterson's father getting to see him play for the first time this Saturday

Stoops: I think it's great. It's hard for me to talk about in that's a personal thing between the two of them. But I'm happy for them. I'm sure for them it's been a long time coming and it will be a nice and good experience for him.

On if he'd like to see Paul Thompson create more plays with his legs like ISU's Meyer

Stoops: Yes and no. Again, I go back to what does it do for you? He was sacked twice the other day, but that's not a lot. And one of those he had every opportunity to throw the ball away.

It isn't like we're not able to protect him. It's not like we haven't been able to play-action and hit people deep. We have in every game. Sometimes when you roll and get out of the pocket you've eliminated half the field. So this is the only part you're able to work in.

We're not real anxious to run him a ton and get him beat up. We've been able to run the ball and I think play-action and the way we're working it, I'm very pleased with. So not really. I don't know that that's going to give us a whole lot more than what we're doing right now.

Everybody acts as if the speed option is a new ... we ran it the other day and got four yards and got him smashed in the middle. We ran AD and he got about four or five yards every time we handed it to him.

At times there's a purpose for it, and I don't know with the way people are defending us that that's really something that we need to do a lot right now.

On how good a runner is Thompson and on some wanting to see more running game from the quarterback

Stoops: Again, I get back to why? We're running the ball well.

On if there are instances where it's open for Thompson to run the ball on a zone read play

Stoops: At times, but at times it's not. I think it's fair to say we have not emphasized the zone read as much as we have Adrian behind Paul, and for good reason. We're not in the shotgun zone-reading as much as some other people because of who we've got behind the quarterback.

I don't know that anybody can deny — when he's back there, even when we fake it to him — there are a lot of opportunities out there. It's different than when you're in the shotgun and what the opportunities are.

On the official on the field saying the ball, on the lateral play, was thrown at the 12 and it hit at the 12

Stoops: No, he said it was thrown at the 12 and it landed at the 12. Therefore by rule it is deemed a lateral.

On if the rule was supposed to be judged by where the ball was touched by the player

Stoops: That's what I thought too. I don't know. I can't explain that. I asked for an explanation and they just said they were just going by what I (official) was told upstairs.

On if he'll try and seek clarification on the call that was made

Stoops: Again, you guys can discuss it all you want. I'm not going to.

On if he'll hear from the Big 12 this week with their clairificatin on the call

Stoops: Yes, I should.

On when the Big 12 sends their report back on officiating questions

Stoops: Usually Wednesday.

On if he'll share what they tell him with the media


On if it was a good call that the ground caused the fumble on Adrian Peterson's run in the first half

Stoops: I'm not going to answer that.

On his interpreation on if the ground can cause a fumble

Stoops: The ground does not (cause a fumble).

On if there is anything the coaches can do to teach the players to make big plays

Stoops: Well, we're trying to. You practice, you do the things we've done for a long time. We've had a lot of big plays here, so we're practicing the ways we've always had. We believe in them and I believe as we go we'll get them.

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