Stoops talks about Colorado

Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about this weekend's matchup with Colorado and other topics at his weekly press conference Tuesday in Norman

Below are excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference held Tuesday in Norman inside the Barry Switzer Center.

Opening Statement
"Good week off. Got a good start on Colorado. Players rested, ready to go. Had an excellent practice yesterday starting off this week. Fortunate to have our indoor field somewhat completed, at least the field part of it's complete. They're still polishing it up and refining it, but we had an excellent workout in there yesterday kicking, punting and everything that we do outside. Feel very fortunate to have had that finished in time for this week and maybe just in time to help us prepare for a very good Colorado team."

On playing Colorado
"We're excited about the challenge here this week with the leader of the North, defending Big 12 champs. Our team recognizes all of that. We've got great respect for their team, for what they did last year and the way they're playing right now. In their last five games they have shown to be a very physical, hard-playing football team and very sound in everything that they do. Very good in their kicking game. They're a strong running football team. Just all around a well-coached, good football team. We recognize it as another big challenge in this season."

"We come in as healthy as we have been, rested. With a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence in the way we've played our last couple of Big 12 games against ranked opponents. I really feel like we're playing in a very confident and strong way right now. We're looking forward to the challenge."

On playing at home
"We like the fact that we're at home here to play. We're counting on our crowd to be a big factor, as they've been more and more this year. More then any other year I sense our crowd with more positive energy."

"We come in as healthy as we have been, rested. With a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence in the way we've played our last couple of Big 12 games against ranked opponents. I really feel like we're playing in a very confident and strong way right now. We're looking forward to the challenge."

On the fact that Oklahoma hasn't beaten Colorado since 1988
"Part of that reason is we haven't played them in the last few years. But another big part of that if you look at it is since Coach Switzer left in ‘88 we haven't beaten much of anybody that was ranked. I think we're 6-29-2 from the ‘89 season through ‘98, when our staff started here in the ‘99 season."

"So through those nine years we had only beat six teams that were ranked at all. And I think Colorado spent a good part of that time not only ranked, but through their national championships years. They were in a pretty good run there for a good while."

"Our history there for a period of time wasn't real strong against anybody. I think it's fair to assume that we're a little bit different team right now, and the last couple of years, then we were through that time as well as we were in ‘99 when we played them. I know we're going into this game feeling strong and confident in the way we're playing and prepared."

On if Colorado is different over the last month then they were earlier in the season
"I don't know. They're playing in a very strong way right now. I thought they've ran the ball well all year. They're running well. They're playing good defense. Their kicking game is solid. I think what's always hard to determine is your opponents and how they're different. That's the part that changes from week to week. They're playing a good way right now."

On if the Buffaloes have tweaked their offense with Robert Hodge replacing Craig Ochs at quarterback
"It doesn't seem so. They still have a heavy emphasis on running and play action. That seems to be the same now. Their style is to be strong at running the football and try to fool you and get behind you with some play action and boot passes. That style doesn't seem to have changed any."

On if Colorado running back Chris Brown is comparable to any of the other running backs Oklahoma has seen this year
"I never think too many people are very much like any other. He's a big, strong physical back. I don't know what the dimensions are of some of the other guys, but I look at everybody as different."

On what makes Brown so effective in Colorado's running attack
"They create good blocking and good holes and seams for him. He does a very good job of finding them and he has the power to run through any kind of arm tackles, or any kind of tackles where you don't hit him square or have people to come help finish them. He's got power and good vision."

On last weekend being an off-week rather then playing a game against previously scheduled Oklahoma State, which was moved to the last game of the season
"It works out great for this year. I love it. I think it's perfect. We had an extra week for Colorado. Couldn't be any better.

This year, because of how it sets up I'm glad we had it off. But I don't feel it will be that way anymore."

"If you want to lead into that for next year I think it's a great advantage. For instance, two years ago when we were fortunate enough to play in the Big 12 championship game, Kansas State had two weeks to prepare for us and we had one. That's a lot of days. And we've done pretty well around here when we've had two weeks to prepare. Two weeks to prepare for a championship game, I think, is a big advantage."

On if he thinks Quentin Griffin should get more play for the Heisman
"We don't sit here and gauge who's getting what play. If we continue to play well and win, and Quentin continues to rush the ball like we have the last couple of of games then he will."

"Each week it changes. Let's face it, Seneca Wallace came into our game as the frontrunner. After our game that may or may not have been the case. Other players have been in a similar situation. You have to play each and every week. I don't think anyone is voting right now. I think there is a number of players who deserve the consideration they're getting. I think at the end it plays out."

"I wish they'd wait until the championship game was over to see who's what. I believe in the end if they had, guys like Josh Heupel might have had a little different consideration. I'm not saying he should have won it. I'm not taking a thing away from Chris Weinke, but I think it would be wonderful to wait until it's all played out and then see."

On the improvement of the goal-line offense this season
"I don't think there's any question, it's much better. Not only our goal-line but our short-yardage out in the middle of the field. We get in our goal line and power sets and they've been very effective and efficient for us. We've got third and goal from the three in the Texas game and we wouldn't have had the confidence any other year to line up in our power set and go straight downhill, and he (Kejuan Jones) goes into the end zone two yards deep before he's hit."

"Same thing with Alabama down inside the ten. We get in it and rush it in the end zone. It has been a major factor picking up short-yardage fourth down plays for us and even picking up some of our boot passes for touchdowns off of it. It's been a big factor for us to have the ability to run downhill in some situations. Hopefully we'll get better at it."

On the health of the of the team and if Brandon Jones and Travis Wilson will get as much playing time as they got against Iowa State
"It just depends on how the other guys are playing and how they're feeling. We had a few of those guys who were just slightly bruised, but they're fine."

"The young receivers are doing a great job and getting better all of the time. They're excited about the future with those guys. We like how we've been playing our guys to this point."

"Everybody else is practicing and are fine."

On Colorado's defense
"Everyone plays about the same anymore, structurally. They spread out in a 4-2 or 4-1 depending on how you line up. They'll pressure a good bit. We see a lot of that from about anybody. They jump in a three man front once and a while and put an extra DB in there. But a lot of it is fairly common. They did a great job in their last game creating turnovers."

On what he remembers the most, aside from the outcome, from his first meeting against Colorado in 1999
"The outcome... and how poor we were. How poor overall we were as a team still. I think now how far we've come from that time in everything we're doing. You go back and watch that tape and it's hard to believe that was us."

On Oklahoma's first place stronghold in the BCS rankings
"It means for seven games we've played awfully well. It means our strength of schedule has been good and better then most."

"All that matters is what we do in this coming game. This game is all that matters for us. When you have to play it, that's what is right in front of you and that's all we're concerned about."

On if he's ever thought about college football having a playoff
"It doesn't do me any good to. After the season is over you get in head coaches meetings and knock that around, or you try and get the ear of people who will listen to it and then we deal with it. It isn't going to change by the end of the year right now. I'm not spending any time right now thinking about it."

On the possibility of several teams being undefeated at the end of the season and not getting a shot in the Fiesta Bowl
"Hopefully we're one of those undefeated teams and we'll worry about it then. I don't know that we'd have a whole lot to worry about."

On the possibility of OU going undefeated and not getting a shot at the national title
"I'm not here to talk about that. We're not undefeated yet. It's not the end of the year and we're not 13-0 at this point. So, it doesn't matter much to me at this point

On the scenario of a possible split national champion between the AP and the BCS
"I'd say whoever it was get together and play the next week somewhere. Let everyone know where you're going to play and see if you can get in. Shoot, we'll go play over at Norman High and see what happens."

On if Brent Rawls is cleared to play this week and if Paul Thompson is still the No. 2 quarterback
"Don't know just yet if Brent Rawls will be available this week. If he was, Paul Thompson would still be the No. 2 quarterback."

On his reasoning behind making Paul Thompson the No. 2 quarterback
"He's earned that position. He's got the practice time. He's got the preparation. We love the way he's preparing, the way he's throwing the ball. Until Brent gets out there and can earn that back that's the way it is."

On the advantages of the new indoor facility
"It's great for days like we had yesterday. It gets to a point where there's such downpours players can't hear you and it just gets too distracting. At some point you need to go inside and get good work. It's going to allow us in days through the season when you get those kind of days, but also in bowl preparations when you get some of the months leading up to bowl games."

"I remember our national championship year, which we managed well, but we're out there and there's snow drifts all over the place. We're having to scrape the field off every day just to go out and get something done. I think we'll get more and more quality work with the indoor as well as through the winter. A lot of our training and exercising, we can do in there through the winter. It's going to be a big boost to us."

On the if the new indoor facility will help recruiting
"Should be a big boost in recruiting. It will be awfully impressive once its finished, polished and we get to hang a few championship banners across the walls. It ought to brighten it up pretty good."

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