Thompson likes the early start time

OU quarterback Paul Thompson talks about Saturday's matchup against Missouri among other topics.

Below are excerpts from OU quarterback Paul Thompson's press conference Tuesday in Norman.

On what stands out to him about Missouri

Thompson: Their record overall. They're a physical team with some of the bigger defensive backs that we've played. So for our receivers, it's going to be a challenge for them getting open because normally they're playing guys a lot smaller, not only in height but in weight. These guys have some bigger cornerbacks, so there's going to be some good match-ups on the outside.

And they're solid up front, so it's going to be one of the better teams we've played this year. We're looking forward to it, especially on the road.

On if he's seen OU's defense improve since they started practicing good on good (first unit vs. first unit in practice)

Thompson: Yeah, you can definitely see growth, as well as you can definitely see growth on the offensive side. As an offense, we feel if we get some points on the board we've got a good shot at winning the game, because they've done a good job of stopping the run and stopping the pass and keeping them in low-scoring situations.

We do go against each other during practice —one's on one's. That not only helps them but it helps us, especially this week because Missouri has a defense similar to what we run. I should feel comfortable out there against Missouri because they give a lot of looks I get during the week.

On if Allen Patrick's play Saturday changed his thoughts on what type of running back he could be

Thompson: I definitely got a lot of respect for him. I told him I was real appreciative of him after the game and keep working, because I definitely have a lot of confidence in him. He came out and proved, not only to us, but to everybody that he's a quality running back, as well as the other guys we've got in there who can make some plays for us.

You knew he (Patrick) was a workhorse since he got here, and I knew he would be successful at whatever position. He came in at cornerback I think and we needed some depth at running back. He moved over, made the switch and has been great ever since.

On if Allen Patrick has a quiet personality

Thompson: I wouldn't say he's too quiet. He's started to become more of a vocal leader for this team, and I think he will be one of the main leaders for this team next year. He's not quiet. A lot people say I'm quiet too, but it's different maybe on the field than off the field.

In the locker room. he's joking. On the field, he's getting people straight, asking questions and trying to get things straight. He's definitely real animated, not a quiet guy. Maybe a little more off the field, as most guys are, but on the field he's becoming one of the leaders of this team and very vocal.

On freshmen tackle Trent Williams

Thompson: He's big, a young guy, but we're pretty young up front. Talented guy. I think he'll come in and start fitting in real well with us. We're comfortable about having him in there, and from what he did coming in this past game we're real comfortable in his ability.

On how Missouri's defense is similar to Oklahoma's defense

Thompson: Just how they rotate. Their blitzes — rip dogs, bringing two outside. How they rotate, cover two defense. It's similar to what we do and I think that will be easier for me to recognize blitzes, recognize rotation with the safeties. This team's pretty similar to our defense.

On teams have changed their schemes much from previous weeks to when they've played them

Thompson: I think they've pretty much stuck with what they do. I don't think they've really adjusted too much as far as blitzes. When we watch films throughout the week and get out there on gameday, they're pretty much doing the same thing they've done against other teams. I've been successful throwing against the blitz, so I don't think they can use that too much to rattle me.

On this only being his second true road game, and if this team is prepared to play in back to back road games

Thompson: I think we're prepared. Playing at Oregon was our first away game. It was real loud, a big game, nationally televised game. There was a lot of implications on that game and I think we went into that game feeling really confident, and then came out feeling confident about where we were at.

So we have that experience with us now. I think going into Missouri, we'll just be similar to that. I think the fans in this stadium are a little bit further out so it might not be as vital to go with the silent signals. We've just got to make sure we block out all the extra stuff and eliminate the mental errors.

On the early start time

Thompson: I don't think it will bother us. I, for one, enjoy having an early game. I don't like to wait until 6 or 7 o'clock at night to play a game. I'm real anxious and ready to get going. I love jumping out and getting an early start. I think the main thing is we've got to get focused a little bit quicker on Friday.

On what he remembers from the atmosphere in Missouri in the 2002 game

Thompson: It was a crazy atmosphere, especially the game that we played with the fake field goal. I do remember the stands being a little bit further out than most are. I'm not sure if that's changed any. I believe the crowd noise will be a slight factor, but not as much as maybe the Oregon game or A&M.

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