Below are excepts from Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson's weekly meeting with the media earlier this week.
On the penalties and turnovers against Texas
Wilson: The only thing we're to the point of, because we don't want to be negative if guys are working hard and doing well, but if the same guys continually are doing the same things over and over, maybe we'll look at the plays we're doing or start getting some comepetition with some other guys.
We're going to keep doing what we do in our practice format with the turnover and ball security drills that we do and emphasizing that. We were not very cute or fancy in the snap count, so to jump offside was a little disappointing because it wasn't like we were trying to draw them (offsides). We were pretty basic trying to put our guys in position to play hard.
So we'll work on it and work on it in a positive way. Again, if we have repeat offenders over and over, maybe as coaches we need to start looking at getting some competition to play some other linemen for procedures. Or where I've been before, if a guy fumbles the ball he comes out of the game. So we've talked about that with those guys.
It's unfortunate. We thought we made some strides at Oregon and Middle Tennessee. Thought we'd practiced well, so it's unfortunate. To me, where our offense starts — it's not schemes, it's not play-calling, it's being physical and being sound.
And to turn the ball over and to have that many penalties is not sound football.
On what he liked from his offense in the game against Texas
Wilson: I think our guys played reasonably hard. We had some good performances up front. Down the stretch in the fourth quarter, the one young freshmen's (Trent Williams) playing well so we're trying to get him on the field.
I thought we pass-blocked them a little bit better than I would've thought. Our third down plan was executed pretty well. We got behind the chains but made some nice third down plays.
The key thing you've got to do is score points. It's not getting yards, it's not percentages on this or that. It's you take care of the football, not hurt yourself and you get the ball in the end zone. And we didn't get the ball in the end zone and we turned it over and hurt ourselves.
If our defense wouldn't have played well it could've been a bad game, because fortunately for us our defense didn't let those turnovers turn into points. But what it led to for us was it led to long fields. I think we, in the second half, had three nine-play drives and one eight-play drive and we got zero points for that.
On how true freshmen offensive lineman Chase Beeler and Trent Williams are progressing
Wilson: Chase is mainly the backup center, although he can play some guard. With Jon (Cooper) having had the injury, he's primarily getting the bulk of the work at center to be our second guy in there with Brian Simmons and Sherrone (Moore) basically handling the backup guard duties.
Trent Williams, we said in the preseason is doing well, and I think we're just getting more confidence that he can play. I don't think his situation is much different than a few years back when Davin Joseph was a freshman. As the year went along he started playing and Mike Skinner, who was a three-year starter and was playing well, all the sudden started rotating a little bit.
Chris Messner played a heck of a game and had a winning performance, but we were just getting Trent on the field just because he's a good player and he's doing well. Shoot, we're down 21-10 and put together a nice drive in the fourth quarter with the four sophomores and a true freshman in the line.
So we like those cats. They're not perfect yet, but they're gaining on it. Coach Patton's doing a heck of a job and those guys are buying into him and they're working hard and getting better.
Cory Brandon is doing well at left tackle. Yesterday (Monday) in our young guys' scrimmage, he was flying around and getting after it. He played a little bit at the end of that game, so we have three true freshmen and four true sophomores that have a chance to give us a strong future down the road and they're playing pretty solid right now.
On who impressed him in the younger players' scrimmage on Monday night
Wilson: Both Cory and Trent. Curtis Bailey's our one freshman who just has a bad back and has just had a hard time moving. He practices every day and we've ran a boat load of tests, but it's just something that we've gotta get strengthened and get through that.
He's lost some weight. He's down to about 315 so it's not an issue of conditioning level, as much as he's just got a muscular problem that prohibits him from moving as quickly as he would like. We feel good about him, it's just getting him healthy.
Mossis (Madu) and Chris Brown are doing well. We're doing a little bit with DeMarco Murray at tailback and once in a while throwing him out there at the slot receiver and watch him run around and catch some balls. I would say those three backs and those offensive linemen are the most impressive.
Sam's (Bradford) doing well. Yesterday, he made a couple of really great throws on the run. We even watched it this morning as a staff and several times a couple coaches commented about Sam. So he's making some strides.
Again, we felt back in camp that this was a pretty talented freshmen class. I think in the year's to come you'll see some good players emerge from that crowd.
On who's responsible for the 11 penalties and putting the ball on the ground six times against Texas
Wilson: I think it starts with me on offense with what we do. I look at our snap count, which we weren't try to draw them off, and in the check game we weren't trying to do a lot of checks. We just had five times where our offensive linemen and tight end got a little antsy and jumped, and that needs to stop.
The ball security — we've done that every day and we'll continue to do that. But for the ball to be loose and on the ground, that's just not sound football.
As coaches, to me the first thing you start with is not what your plays are and not how you're going to attack, but how are you going to play? We want to play physical, we want to play fast and we want to take care of the ball and be sound.
And we make that many (negative) plays, that starts with us. Now, yesterday (Monday), we addressed that every day with our team. Every practice we've charted every penalty, every fumbled snap from two-a-days on. We have done all the reinforcements you could want to do. We're at a point with repeat offenders that maybe we need to consider that someone else maybe play.
Sometimes one of our best allies is the bench. So instead of doing a bunch of up-downs or yelling at guys or getting negative, the bottom line is let's perform better, let's perform smarter. And if there are repeat offenders, than maybe in time we as coaches need to consider playing some of those other guys.
That's not a threat, but we've got a young team that's been practicing pretty good and did a lot of good things the other day. We don't need to go in there and beat our guys up and tear them down and start pointing fingers. We just need to be a little bit more accountable and little bit more responsible.
On if they tried to get the offense to do too much against Texas, which caused the penalties
Wilson: We're not scailing back. What we look at when you make mistakes and don't play well offensively, is you look at are we a part of the problem with miscues? Are we doing too much?
And we didn't feel coming out of the Texas game we did too much. But that's the first thing you start with. You start with us, you start with me. I'm not deflecting things from us, but part of our plan when you're playing a good team, and a fast team, is let's make sure that we try to stay aggressive and come at this crowd.
We wanted to attack them, we wanted to take some shots, we had some misdirection. But we didn't want to come out and be totally different from where this team has evolved to based on our personnel, what we can block and the things that Paul does well.
So we weren't going to be radically different. For the most part, you go back and look and the mistakes that happened for us Saturday and they were not because of new variations where kids were confused. It was just mistakes that happen.
You're never going to be 100 percent mistake-free, but offensive execution is getting it as minimal as you can. I said that from the first day in December, when they said what kind of offense are you going to do? We're going to be physical and we're going to be sound.
When we had those four turnovers against UAB my comment was we won't win again if we turn it over like that, and that happened Saturday. History repeats itself if you don't learn from it. Hopefully we'll be a little bit more mature.
That was our deal yesterday, was not to be negative or down on our players but say, 'Listen, we showed you this and said it can't happen again and it just happened. You as a player need to look in the mirror and say it's my responsibility to take care of the ball, it's my responsibility.'
Our snap count — as good as their front was, we weren't trying to go on two's and three's to get them to jump offsides because we wanted our kids to come off the ball and not be out there thinking a whole lot.
We just challenged our guys to put it on themselves, take care of their business and play at a higher level. Hopefully in the weeks to come we'll see that.
On Iowa State's defense
Wilson: Stat-wise they've given up some pass yards, but their defensive coordinator has been there forever. I think they lost about seven or eight players from last year and I think he's playing a little bit more conservative.
They've not blitzed a lot and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a little bit of what we saw from Texas in the second half, where they're deal was just soften up, play cover four, keep everything in front, don't give up the big play and rally up and tackle.
I think we're going to see a lot of cover four. They're two leading tacklers are their three linebackers. They've got over 200 hits combined in six games. They just had a linebacker get injured, but they moved their second-leading tackler from safety to linebacker. They're a little bit more inexperienced in the back end now.
Nebraska ran the ball well on them with 250 yards where most guys have thrown the ball more on them. They shut Iowa's running game down. They have a very good three-technique inside in a kid by the name of Kirby.
More than anything, we're working on them but we're going to keep working on us. We said the last few weeks our young crowd's getting better and playing good. I was kinda pleased in the fourth quarter with the freshman and four sophomores moving the football, and (Jermaine) Gresham being a young guy coming on. There's some good, young players there.
We just want to keep worrying as much about us and us getting better as anything else.
Wilson talks offense
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