Bob Stoops' OU-Tech Postgame Quotes

OU head coach Bob Stoops talks about his Sooners' 34-24 win over Texas Tech.

How good is your team and how resilient is your team?

Coach Stoops: I'm not gonna go talk like that, it's just not me. I love the way our team is playing and competing; we made it hard today. We've go to be able to take care of the football, I don't know what to say about that. It's something that just apalls me. It just goes against the game in such a way - and not the interception, just when we have the football.

But I love the character. We go down 14 and we come right back in another two-minute mode, we get a good return and Paul (Thompson) made some great throws. It shows a lot of resiliency on his part, toughness just to hand in there and he ends up having a great, great night. That touchdown was big to give us a spark going into the locker room. Malcolm Kelly, what a catch he makes.

Defensively, I just thought we really played well. They're gonna work the ball a little bit and they did but we came up with a lot of plays, a lot of stops. You know, they're not easy to hold down like we did.

So, we're working through the year and we still have two games to go. But with a great attitude and the way they've worked, they've contributed well on the field.

Would you have gone for it on fourth down had Chris Brown not made the touchdown?

Coach Stoops: Well, if it was inches, I was going to go, half a yard, a yard. Same scenario in that it has a chance to finish the game if we can make a half a yard, so there's a good chance we would have.

What are your thoughts on Chris Brown's performance in just his second career game? Having to go to a fourth-team player at running back?

Coach Stoops: Chris is a good player. Yeah, we've been through a lot. Heck, Garrett (Hartley) hurt his ankle last week, so I thought, 'What else could happen?'. Chris, we have confidence in him. We sat there and nobody, we didn't flinch all week. We said going in that Jacob (Gutierrez) and Chris are good football players and they're ready. We had Mossis (Madu) ready as well.

Hey, our expectations don't change and I felt last week, too, we got away from the balance that we've been so good at. And I'm not second-guessing what we did. We won a good football game away from home in a different style.

We're capable of throwing the football well. Paul showed that today and Kevin (Wilson) did a good job going in where we knew we needed to have more balance and use our receivers and tight end and he did a really good job of orchestrating that through the night.

Were you impressed by Paul's ability to bounce back after throwing the interception for a touchdown?

Coach Stoops: Sure, any time you can rally back. That'll take the wind out of you anytime you throw an interception for a touchdown and put you down by 14. You can just hear the air come out of the stadium. He comes firing right back and lit the spark again and that was a huge series and that was a huge play, great pass he threw to Malcolm and Malcolm to get behind them.

You had to shuffle your line around tonight and use a lot of different plays. What does that tell you about your depth?

Coach Stoops: Well, it just tells you we're a diverse group. We've got different ways to handle situations. And what I appreicate is our guys, they never flinch at it. This is what we've gotta do now, let's do it. So we're able to be flexible and you have to be. And we do have a lot of ability in a lot of areas and I think our assistant coaches have done a great job of adjusting to the situations that have come up.

Have you gotten an update on Manuel Johnson?

Coach Stoops: Yeah, so far all the X-Rays are negative. Everything on his way to the hospital was all coming back to him. To this point, everything is looking good and hopefully, he'll be fine. They'll keep him (in the hospital) overnight just to be sure.

But everything that was bothering is starting to come back. There were some things, there was a little numbness, but he's moving, everything was moving, so hopefully, it will continue to improve that way.

Your defense has been playing really well in the last month. Talk about how you really needed it tonight with the four turnovers.

Coach Stoops: No queston. You can't give the ball up that many times and the defense came out and really responded in a great way and they needed to. But they're capable of it. I wouldn't sit here and be pleased, turnovers or not, if we didn't do that. We can run in space, we can close on people, we can cover, we're disciplined. So I thought they did a really good job to hold them to under 300 yards and 17 points, though I believe we're capable of a little bit more. We had some breakdowns in some areas.

But give Mike (Leach) credit. They do a great job. Everyone knows that. They work the ball and put up yards and big numbers on everybody. Fortunately, we can play well with that style.

Can you talk a little more about Chris Brown? He really came through with flying colors.

Coach Stoops: Really proud of Chris. We've given him a game ball, he made such a great run, and he's a good football player. He's a quiet guy, goes about his business and works hard.

You could see all the players all want to go chase him down as soon as he scores. He's a likeable guy, he's a talented guy. And he made some nice plays.

And again, the line I thought was awesome. The line, tight ends, those guys, made some nice holes for him, too.

What was the mood like when Manuel went down? You're obviously concerned but you've got to go back out and play.

Coach Stoops: It's just something that you deal with. When he left, though, I told the kids he was able to move, they had him on the stretcher and locked down for precautionary reasons. But things were coming back to him and I felt encouraged. I'm hopeful that he's going to be OK and hopefully that's the case.

But the players have to keep playing. Do you just mentally flip a switch and try to forget about.

Coach Stoops: Yeah, they have to, because the game continues and you've gotta keep playing. So you have to get focused in and compete again.

You've lost seven fumbles in the last three games. Is it soemthing you can correct?

Coach Stoops: Hopefully we can stop it. I don't know what to say. They practice it, emphasize it, focus on it, but players have to, at some point, take the responsibility for covering the football up. There are certain times you have to absorb collisions. You have to put two hands on the football and finish with it. I don't care if we get another yard and hopefully our guys will get hold of it one of these times and we'll keep hammering on them with it.

But I can't run for them. I can't hold on to it for them, nor can their coaches. They have to. It's funny how a lot of times us coaches want to take responsibility for everything. Sometimes, they've got to take responsibility for it. I can't tell them any more how to carry the football. They've got to shoulder that responsibility and take care of the football.

Will Allen Patrick be ready to play next week?

Coach Stoops: He improved throught the week and was close the other day. It just wasn't going to be effective. We believe he'll be ready to play, so we'll just see.

Did you go in this past Monday thinking you wouldn't have Allen and game plan around that?

Coach Stoops: We initially thought we would and then as the week went he didn't keep making the progress that he made early in the week. So we kind of figured by Thursday that he was out. These other guys are getting all the work in practice anyway so we were prepared.

As you walk in here, K-State is 14 points ahead of Texas, so you're still alive in terms of the Big 12 South. Can you talk about the goals that are still out there for this team?

Coach Stoops: Well, there's a lot of possibilities. My whole focus with them is that you shouldn't need a carrot out there to be excited to compete and play. My whole deal all year has been keep improving, keep getting better, enjoy practicing, know you're getting better, and let's do our part and win. And be as good as we can be and if things work out, they'll work out.

I'm not much on paying a ton of attention on things that aren't in my control. So I don't spend a lot of time with the team on outside factors, outside of what we can do.

Did you ever go into this game thinking Paul Thompson could out throw Graham Harrell and outperform him?

Coach Stoops: Listen, I can't answer that without criticizing them (Texas Tech). They do a great job, alright.

My point is, Paul can play and can play awfully well and so this doesn't surprise me. We went in know last week just wasn't us. And you have to admit, through the year, that was the anomaly, would that be the right word? See, I'm smarter than you guys thought.

So anyway, Paul can throw the football, we can catch the football, we can protect the quarterback. So we went in to make sure this week that we had the balance that we've had in the past and we showed it.

But is it fair to say that he went into this game being asked to win it. That's something he hasn't been asked to do all season long.

Coach Stoops: Yeah he has. You guys, everone is like, one guy. This is the ultimate team sport. You're not going to move the football without Paul, without a running back, without a line, without the tight end, without receivers, Malcolm Kelly making big catches. And it all goes together.

Paul has won games for us and he's been a factor in whatever our record is right now, all of it. So we have asked him and he's done a great job of it.

We asked you a few weeks ago who Hartley's backup was and you said you didn't have one. Who is Blake Baublits and where did he come from?

Coach Stoops He's been a non-scholarship guy working with us and he's done a nice job. He kicked the ball off well and we had him ready for field goals. And he did a nice job the last couple of days in practice. He came in at the start of the year. I don't think he was in two-a-days.

Wasn't it another good day for your secondary?

Coach Stoops: It was a great day. They covered well, I was pleased, as the (line)backers did. We had a few get away but through the course of a game with them it's going to happen. But overall they covered well.

Talk about the final touchdown drive. You controlled the ball and ran almost seven minutes off the clock.

Coach Stoops: That was huge. I finished with my talk with the players that what a great drive, maybe one of the best we've ever had when it really mattered so much. Up three, six something minutes, you know they're an explosive offense and you don't want to give them another chance. And we ran it, threw it, used the clock, managed the whole drive in such a great way to where they're using their time outs by the end of it.

And then to finish it off the way we did. Just really appreciate the offense. That was a great, great drive. One of the best we've ever had.

It seemed like you need everything that Paul had tonight. If he throws for 250, and completed 60 percent of his passes, you probably don't win. Did he respond to a lot of pressure tonight?

Coach Stoops: Sure he did. He did and he's capable of it. He shouldered it and handled it in a great way. And what a great way for him to finish out his senior year out in here in his stadium playing like he did.

And again, what you have to really appreciate is his throwing the interception early that gets us down 14, the courage and toughness it takes to come back and to rally like he did and play like he did. He never flinched and just kept going.

Since the Texas game, there hasn't been a lot of national interest in moving Oklahoma up in the BCS. Do you think that is going to start happening the more you guys win?

Coach Stoops: Ususally it does, the more you win, and a lot of times you hear a lot of people have a lot to say about it. You still have so much to finish and things keep changing. Sure, the more you wins, the more that happens.

It's obvious why we haven't because of where the Oregon situation was. That's what started it all. So in the end, you have to keep winning and like anybody, you can have a lot to say about it but if you don't go out and win, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is, the more you win, hopefully, that'll keep happening.

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