Below are excerpts from Okahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' weekly press conference at the Barry Switzer Center in Norman.
On playing Oklahoma State
We're awfully excited to be playing Oklahoma State this week to finish up the regular season. I like the way we come into the game off of a lot of momentum, playing awfully well and a lot to play for. Although we already have the South locked up, everyone understands this game, an in-state rival situation where a year ago they took us out of an opportunity to play for the Big 12 championship. Our players remember that and a have heard about it for an entire year. We have a lot of motivation coming into the game. It will be exciting.
On Oklahoma State's team
They're a better football team. It's obvious with their record with six wins this year. They have some good players. I've spoke before about Rashaun Woods and Tatum Bell along and Kevin Williams on defense. This has nothing to do with one school or the other, I recognize good play and good players. Those guys, who we've watched for a good part of the year, make a lot of plays. Greg Richmond gets good speed off the corner. They've got players on both sides of the football. We recognize that, but we'll also accept the challenge and will be looking forward to it and see what we can do this year.
On why Oklahoma will practice on Thanksgiving this year as opposed to having the Holiday off in year's past
Our Thanksgiving schedule for the last couple years, I've never totally felt good about. Instead of practicing earlier on Thursday and letting them go home to their families until Friday afternoon when we get back together with them, that would be fine if the Big 12 Championship and BCS bolls weren't involved in it. I just have a feeling when they go home there's a lot of talk about all of that and not about what's immediately right in front of them. I just want to make sure that we're here and focused on the game at hand, instead of all of their family figuring out who's going to the Big 12 Championship, who's going to this bowl. Last year it was what bowl will it be, when will you leave?
That's been the case for the last three years now, that we've been in a position to be in the National Championship and Big 12 Championship picture. I believe a lot of the families, and that's what families to and that okay, end up talking about that as well as the media and everyone else. I just don't know that's what needs to be talked about with them with the game coming in a day and a half. So, we're going to stick around here and have Thanksgiving together. They sacrifice being with their family, that's the way it goes when you have the game at this point. Hopefully we'll play a little bit better this year.
On if he's happy that the OU-OSU game will be played earlier in the season next year and not after Thanksgiving
Yes. Again, this is the third year in a row we've had an opportunity to possibly play in the Big 12 Championship game. We will two out of these three years. I think it would be absolutely perfect for our players to practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and let them be with their families Thursday, Friday, Saturday to relax and catch up and come back on Sunday and work again on the Big 12 Championship. In the ideal situation, that would be it. I see not one reason or benefit for us to play at this time.
On his thoughts on the color orange
I don't know a whole lot people that walk around in orange outside of Oklahoma State. We've got a few oranges that we aren't particularly fond of.
On the attitude of the players in practice this week compared to last year's practices prior to Oklahoma State
We've only had one, but it was very focused and concentrated. I'm not much to go back and compare. I'm not going to sit here and do that. You know me, I'm not going to sit here and say anything in regard to that. Just like the time that we play them has nothing to do with us winning and losing. The bottom line is we weren't good enough to get it done last year. Period. I said that then and I say it now. We'll see what we can do this year.
On if he feels OU's offensive line can control the line of scrimmage against OSU
It's something that you always try and establish. Not just in Stillwater, but in every game you play. What you do up front is always a major factor in a game. And it will be again this week. We feel good about it. We feel we matchup with about anybody. They're good and do a good job with what they do, but we feel like we matchup well with them on both sides.
On OSU receiver Rashaun Woods
He's a guy that has a great knack for finding the ball and has excellent hands. He's strong in how he goes after it. They do a nice job of just putting it up to him and giving him an opportunity. He makes a lot of plays on everybody. He's a major factor and a guy that we definitely have to be focused on.
On if the defense will do anything differently to try and contain Woods
We do that with most everybody. We try and mix up what we do so sometimes there is a corner on him and sometimes there is a safety on him or once in a while they're doubled. We just change that up.
On if there is any advantage or disadvantage to playing a team twice in the same year
I don't know. I kind of said that when we played K-State the second time, you've seen their gameplan, they've seen yours. You adjust it slightly and anticipate what they may do differently. I don't know where it much matters.
On other conferences like the Big 10 not having championship games
Can't believe they miss out on that great experience. Isn't that hard to believe, that the Big 10 is sitting there with two undefeated teams in the conference? To me, you would want to find out who is the actual champion instead of having two of them. I don't know if you guys can get that figured out in the next week or two, and get them to play.
Sure, I think all conference should play one. I think the fans would love to see it. It would sure even things up in the BCS picture if they did. Don't think they will though.
Stoops, Sooners not looking past Bedlam
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