Stoops: "We've got to be better than that"

See inside for a transcript of OU head coach Bob Stoops' postgame press conference. (AP Photo)

On Adrian Peterson's injury

Stoops: "After talking with doctors, (they) confirmed they believe Adrian has broken his collarbone, so best case scenario they feel is maybe the bowl game.

"Disappointing, of course. Sad for AD for sure, just for him personally. The competitor that he is I know it's hurting him. Just diving into the endzone and when he landed, it landed wrong and so there is a fracture in his collarbone.

"We'll see later on how that goes but it at this point, again, it looks like, they're feeling like, the best thing is earliest he'd be ready to play would be a bowl game if that's the case".

Opening comments
Stoops: I felt for most of the game, we really played in a good way. Still, I get tired of the same things. I still felt early on the one drive we give up, a lot of it – and again, Iowa State took advantage of it – but there's some things that we don't do, some things that we practiced. And that's frustrating, but we'll keep trying to get better. But overall, throughout the game we made some big plays, we got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Really, for the most part, outside of the one run at the end of the first half, played the run game well. It's frustrating, but you realize there is a lot of good, but we've got to keep pushing to get better.

"Offensively, the same thing. I felt the first half we were excellent in everything that we were doing and in the second half we have two drops on third down that are catchable balls. Easy, easy catches. We have a turnover in the end zone. We just hurt ourselves too much and that's just stuff we've been fighting against and we just have to be a better team and not hurt ourself in those situations. We let a punt drop and go all the way to the two yard line, fumble one of the returns and I just can't stand that kind of sloppy play.

"Fortunately, we were able to get away with it but we've got to be better than that.

It seemed like the defense front did a much better job of rushing the quarterback today.

Stoops: Well, we got really good pressure. I didn't count up the sacks, but I know there were several other plays where we're tackling them right on the, maybe the line of scrimmage or just beyond the line of scrimmage where they aren't counted as sacks, but we were pressuring them, chasing them. There weren't very many times that he was allowed to just sit there and survey the field and deliver it, which is good. I felt our coverage was really good and the pressure overall was good.

Still, even that was frustrating. He escaped us a few times when I feel we've got to be better, we've got to be able to be in control and make tackles back there when we get the opportunities.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased about the win. Guys are in the lockerroom and they feel good. They understand the good things, but there was just some frustration in there. I don't like it when we give things, when we do some things that we can control and be better at and we've got to keep trying to be better at it.

Any explanation of why Paul Thompson went two of 10 in the second half after hitting 14-of-17 in the first half?

Stoops: No. Again, the drops were a factor. When you've got balls in there that should have been completed, one or two just went high on him when he had somebody. In a few other instances, the coverage was just there.

Did you see improvement in the pass rush from your ends and interior linemen?

Stoops: Overall, yes. And I was pleased with our coverage really all day; it was really solid, which allows them some time to get there. I really do believe Iowa State, watching their offensive line, it's a good offensive line. It's one of the better ones I think Dan has had. Don't know what he would say about that but I think they're a solid unit.

Protection seemed to break down in the second half for Paul.

Stoops: That was the case. Sometimes we allowed a linebacker to run through instead of coming off of a double team and blocking down on a linebacker running through. At times, I thought their defensive tackle, 52 (Big Play Curvey), really a good player, he penetrated and made some really nice plays, I thought. And they were playing a conservative coverage in that they could come down from the secondary and just squeeze it once it did break the line of scrimmage.

Darien Williams seemed to have an outstanding game today.

Stoops: He was given a game ball and I'm sure will be the defensive Player of the Week. He had an excellent game with the sacks and the pressure, several good tackles and a nice interception there at the end.

Was Adrian Peterson any more emotional with his dad in the stands?

Stoops: No, we talked about it. He said "Coach, my dad has seen me play." TV is not a new invention, so he'd been watching him and like he said, maybe everyone else made a little bit more of it than He was excited, don't get me wrong. I'm not at all downplaying it. But I think they kept it in pretty good perspective. We're still glad that he got to see him.

It's not like he wasn't a fierce competitor to begin with.

Stoops: Exactly. Everyone said "Now watch him". That guy puts it all out there every time he goes and so I even mentioned that to him. I said "You haven't been holding back on me. You don't have another gear do you?" and he said "Naw, coach". Just as you said. He competes, always has with everything he's got.

Do you think you got the performance in terms of big plays that the defense had been lacking all season?

Stoops: Sure. It is pleasing to get those kind of big plays. You know, we've been on the verge of them, close to them all year and fortunately, some of them came our way and we were able to make some of those today.

You said the team is capable of more. You mean overall on both sides of the ball?

Stoops: Sure, just what I said. Iowa State took advantage of where we fouled up, which a good team will, but when you drop balls on third down that are right in your hands and you're a good receiver, when you fumble the football, when you're late on your blitz and you're not where you should be in your coverage on something that you worked on, that's what I find unacceptable.

When you yourself give an opportunity and allow it to happen. As opposed to when you're back there and someone outfights you for the football. That's going to happen. That's OK. I just think there are still some issues that we can be better at.

You have continued to make changes in the secondary on a weekly basis. Based on what you saw today, are you ready to say that this lineup is what you will stay with next week?

Stoops: From what I saw today, probably yes. I say it a lot. Nobody has anything set in stone. You have to earn it every week. You earn it the way you play in practice, the way you show up and play each day. In practice and in games. It's constantly being looked at and evaluated. It's the only fair way I know how to do it. Somebody else, if you're not doing it to the level we think you should, someone else deserves an opportunity to do it.


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