Wilson says Buffs' D will present challenge

OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson talks about how the loss of Adrian Peterson could change the Sooners' offense and the challenge they will face against Colorado's defense.

Below are excperts from Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson's meeting with the media ealier this week.

On the differences that Allen Patrick and Jacob Gutierrez will bring to the table

Wilson: Allen's probably a little stronger, probably a little bit better inside running through trash and will probably handle some things in the I-formation or under center. Jake is probably a guy you'd be in a little bit more spread sets, kinda like Quentin Griffin would be.

As good as Quentin was, Kejuan (Jones) was kinda our I guy at that time, as well as he played. So, not that he's like Quentin and not that Allen can't be in the gun, but we'll probably see a little bit of both those guys.

I think we'll go through the week and see how the freshmen do. I don't think we have an exact plan or rotation. We're going to start with Allen and if there's a point where he needs a blow we'll go with which guy we feel gives us the best chance and what's working well.

We'll probably do some things in the gun, we'll probably do some things under center. We'll try to keep our mix. The team we're playing is very solid on defense and great in run defense, so we're going to have to get our run game going.

We've kinda got it as Allen is the guy, but at the same time with the limited plays he's had through his career, he's never been the featured guy since he's been here. He was a great high school runner, but until you get out there and ou're the every day guy and the every play guy, you just don't know for sure exactly how a guy's going to respond.

On if they'll try to be more creative without Peterson or just stick to doing what they've done best this season

Wilson: A little bit of both maybe. I do think there's some things we need to do better that we are doing well and we'll need to keep doing those things better.

There's probably some things that now certain backs or certain things get emphasized a little bit more, a little bit less. But a lot of times to me it's going to be dependent on the way that you're going to be defended. And each week it starts with the structure and the talent of the defense.

Last week, Iowa State defended us no differently than they did Nebraska. We got a turnover on the 35-yard line and we put our big people on the field, and I think they thought we were going to throw the ball. They played cover two and we ran it for eight yards. They thought, 'Hey you're going to take a shot, you just got a turnover,' and they were playing pass defense with three tight ends on the field.

We thought last week they were guessing. The only team really that has not played like we thought was Washington. Oregon, Middle Tennessee and their blitz package, Texas, Iowa State defended us the way their defenses defended (this year).They played run defenses when they thought we were going to run, they were playing pass defense when they thought we were going to pass. I think you'll see the same thing out of the team to come this week.

On if they'll have more diversity with Allen Patrick than in the shotgun and I-formation than they had with Peterson

Wilson: A little bit. I think Adrian sometimes was still a little fast with some of the gun (offense). That's why coach Gundy sometimes would even back him up in the I, because he was so fast and in a hurry to get up there and make plays.

I think Allen can do things in the gun a little bit more if that's the direction we want to go. I know definitely Jacob Gutierrez is very good in the gun. We saw that last year at Baylor. I think the two freshmen are kinda like Allen.

Chris Brown, we're going to take a look at him. We're going to take a look at Mossis Madu. I think DeMarco (Murray) is still a little bit gimpy on his toe, so we'll have those other two freshmen ready. I think those guys are kinda like Allen, where I think they're OK under center and we can run some standard issue deals or we could put those guys in the gun.

On the added pressure on Paul Thompson without Peterson

Wilson: I think as a quarterback, it's always on his plate. Quarterback is the first guy that hurts you and the first guy that can get you beat. The next thing is if you can't block, and then after that you've got to take care of the ball.

I don't think we've got to be perfect, I don't think he needs to play better. At the same time, he missed some things the other day. He was really hot in the first half, but the second half we busted a couple protections, didn't block as well. We missed a couple throws and then when we got those two things right we dropped a couple passes.

Again, I keep saying I think he's playing well. He can keep playing better, he knows that. He said that immediately after the game when he broke the team down. And that was even before he knew the situation (Peterson). That was his comments as he broke the team down in the locker room.

I know he'll want to play better, I think he will play better, but I don't feel like he or anybody or any coach needs to be magnified. I've been in situations where certain players you lose kill ya, but we've got a bunch of good players, a bunch of good blockers, some guys that can catch the ball, a guy that can throw the ball and deliver it.

At the same time, it's not like everything's on Allen Patrick now. We'll see how he plays. I think he'll play well, but I think also we'll probably give those other guys a chance keeping him fresh, keep him going. I think the first time you can tax out a little bit, wear out because you're not used to that load and the emotion and the drain that it takes on your body. I will say that one of the best things that coach Gundy does on gameday is he has a great feel on players.

I think he really feels the way guys act, and especially his position. Shoot, he was actually wanting to get Adrian out in the fourth quarter earlier. He thought he looked a little bit tired on a couple runs.

On Patrick and Gutierrez fumbling in past games, and if he's concerned about ball security with the running backs

Wilson: That is a concern of our offense. That being said, that is why we want to include these young freshmen. Because again, if we are not going to play smart and be sound, we're playing a football team that even though their record is 1-6, they're giving up 19 points a game. They were 0-4 giving up 17 points a game.

Their offense is coming into themselves. They're playing short games. It will be a little bit like the UAB game — they bootleg, quarterback run with sprint-outs. There's not a lot of incomplete passes and the game kinda goes fast. They're starting to take care of the ball and win turnover ratio. The game has gotten, with these limited plays that we're getting now, that turnovers really are magnified because we're getting less chances.

Those guys have been good, but Allen for whatever reason in the Middle Tennessee game the ball got out, and Gute, last year in the Baylor game, the ball got out. That will be issue 1 with those guys — is ball security. But it should always be issue 1.

Then the next concern is will you play fast and play decisive and be aggressive? Not be out there dancing around, looking and being tentative or being unsure of yourself. Let's take the football at 'em. We'll get you some good blocking, we'll compliment it with a good pass.

We might be in the gun, we might be under center, we might spread it out. We'll kinda keep doing the stuff we're doing. Will things get emphasized more or less? Time will tell. The flow of the game will tell, the structure of the defense and how they set up sometimes makes you do things more or makes you do things less.

Again, it starts with what Paul can handle, what the line can handle, and we said that in two-a-days. And now with the new tailback it comes back to can your quarterback do these things and can your line blocks these things?

We are not going to get away from running the ball. We are playing a great run defense, we've got to run it. We've got to have balance, be physical, we've got to take care of the ball. We're counting on all those guys and we're going to make sure they know it's enough competition that they'll embrace that and be competitive with themselves.

I want Allen Patrick to know that we have confidence in him, yet all of the sudden it's not on a silver platter. We're going to expect you to play good, smart, physical football. And if you can, you're going to be our guy and get a boat (load of carries). But if we question that, we'll give another player an opportunity.

On Colorado's defense

Wilson: Colorado is playing outstanding defense. They're holding opponents to 70 yards rushing. I think they've held four opponents under the 100-yard mark, and I think they've held six opponents under the 124-yard mark. One team has rushed for more than 124 yards, so they play great run defense.

And a lot of times, they're playing great defense out of a cover two, but they're stopping the run and they're doing it with team effort. I think their guess will be are they thinking we're going to pass playing coverages or do they think we're going to run. I just think that's a guessing match that the coordinators are playing as you're calling plays throughout the game.

I think the way we've been playing, we'll have a great challenge with Colorado, in the way they play, to run the ball. We were going to have a great challenge with Adrian Peterson.

I mean, they held Georgia to 54 yards rushing and they've played very well every week in run defense. So we're going to have to get our run game going as best as we can, compliment it with the pass, and that was going to be a huge challenge with our without Adrian.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories