Stoops says "It wasn't meant to be"

See inside for a transcript of Oklahoma's Fiesta Bowl postgame press conference with quotes from Bob Stoops, Adrian Peterson, Paul Thompson and Rufus Alexander. Stoops (pictured) has lost his last three BCS bowl games. (AP/Photo)

Here is a transcript of Oklahoma's postgame press conference. -- BOB STOOPS:

Opening Statement

Bob Stoops: I'm proud of the way the guys responded and fought back. Boise made the big plays on some fourth downs and a two-point play, and they deserve the credit for making those plays. They did an excellent job.

I'm very proud of these guys and my entire football team for the way they competed and the way they've handle theirself through the entire season.

On Boise State running back Ian Johnson saying, on record, after the game that he fumbled the ball in overtime, and how frustrating is it to know they can't go back and change it

Stoops: You know, I haven't seen it. In the end, if it is that's way it is. There's nothing I can do about it. It's unfortunate if it is, but what am I going to say about it at this point?

On if they were expecting 'anything and everything' when Boise State ran the hook-n-ladder for a touchdown at the end of regulation to tie the game

Stoops: Yeah, but we've looked at many (plays) through our preparation and are always looking for them. And I want to give them credit because I thought they executed it in a really good way. But on 4th and 19, you do get some things like that.

We were in as conservative and as good a coverage as you can be in and they executed it. Their timing just happened to be right. I think one of our inside backers slips as the ball's thrown, so we can't get on the receiver quick enough before he can lateral.

It's just the circumstances â€" the way it happened they hit it perfect. And, again, to their credit.

On the second half comeback, Marcus Walker's play (interception return) and the three two-point conversion tries

Stoops: Well, a lot happened. Again, I'm just proud. Everyone can make of this what they want, but these guys are great to work with. Even though we made our mistakes and dug ourself a hole, we dug out of it with those plays. I'm proud of them the way they did and executed.

To make two two-point conversions, and Marcus makes a great play after giving up a big play early in the game to give ourselves an opportunity to win. It just wasn't meant to be.

On what he talked to the defense about during the final timeout on what play Boise State might run

Stoops: Yeah, the two things we were looking for were sprint to the trips guys out there, but we made a special point to emphasize the backside. We call it the 'nub side' away from the end over. To look for something to throw back, something back to that side. And we didn't do a very good job defending it.

On the tide turning in the second half

Stoops: Sure, but the first half, again, defenisvely there's two big plays. And I thought their quarterback, on the second one, just makes a ... we're all over him and he swings it back out to their sideline. Other than that, we're playing good defensively.

Offensively, I felt we were pretty average to poor in the first half. Of course, we didn't do a very good job running the football at all. Again, to their credit they did a nice job taking it away. And the turnovers really hurt us.

In the second half, we started executing a little bit better and making some plays.

On where he'd rank Boise State in relation to the other teams they've played this year

Stoops: They're an excellent football team. Anybody that's covered us long enough knows I don't get into comparing teams. They're a really good football team and we knew that all along. Their execution, the way they play, I think coach Petersen and his staff do an excellent job.

They obviously deserved their ranking and had a great year. They've had a great number of years, but we understood that coming in. They're a good football team.


On scoring a touchdown on what could be his last run at Oklahoma

Adrian Peterson I don't know, it was just crazy. The play that they ended it with was a crazy play. I don't know, I don't know. My head's just spinning right now to be honest.

On his thought process as far as making a decision

Peterson: I've got a little time, so basically I'll just sit back and find the time to relax and think over everything. Then I'll make my decision. No rush.

On how it felt to be back on the field

Peterson: It felt good to be back out with the guys. The offensive linemen gelled and improved throughout the season, so it was great to just get back out and play with the guys.

On his final touchdown run and his thoughts watching at the end of the game not being able to do anything about it on the sidelines

Peterson: I was able to make a good cutback inside and bounce it back out. I had great blocking by the receivers and was able to get in the end zone. At that point, I was excited.

I don't know, I was just ready for the defense to get back out there and get the job done. Unfortunately, it didn't happen that way.


On if he thought that they were wearing Boise State down at the end of the game, and if he was surprised by their trickery

Alexander: The play they scored on before the two-point conversion, we actually had seen it on tape. We kinda was like in awe of the way he did the mis-direction with the ball. I saw whenever he faked and had the ball in his back hand.

I was flowing over the top and he (Johnson) kept stretching it out. I thought he was going to cut back, but they executed their plays. They did a great job of doing them. Hats off to them and we didn't execute and play back when we should have.

On Ian Johnson saying after the game that he fumbled the ball in overtime

Rufus Alexander: We still had a chance to stop them later in the game. The defense has to step up and make stops, and we should've made them.


On him bouncing back from the early turnovers and almost having a storybook ending

Thompson: Yeah, I started off a little rough and made some passes I normally wouldn't make. I think I might have been trying to do too much being a big game, so I wasn't really playing within myself.

We were able to regroup regardless and did a great job of staying focused towards the end of the game, and never doubting ourself and never not believing we could come back.

I started off ... it was definitely rough. I wasn't really nervous, I just was trying to do too much really.

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