Stoops confident in rematch against Colorado

OU Head Coach Bob Stoops talked about this weekend's Big 12 Championship game against Colorado at his weekly press conference

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

On making it to the Big 12 title game
That's an excellent accomplishment because we're in a great league. It's exciting. We're looking forward to it. It represents a year's worth of work to put ourself in that position to have a chance to win a championship this week.

Our team is extremely excited about it, we are as coaches. Our first and foremost primary goal was to win the South and the Big 12 Championship. We've got half of it done and now we're on to the other half.

We had a good practice yesterday. We have a good week of work that we'll have an opportunity to come out and play a good game on Saturday. I believe we will. We've done it a number of times. We'll need to correct some mistakes from a week ago, but we've also had ten other games where we've played in a very good way. We know we're capable of playing an excellent football game. We have a number of times. We have played well in big games and championship games.

On the matchup with Colorado
We have already played Colorado once this year and played pretty well against them. All of that gives us a great deal of confidence and excitement coming into this game. We're looking forward to the challenge of it.

My compliments to Coach Barnett and the Colorado team, excellent football team. We had great respect for them coming into our game and great respect for them as they left. They play hard, physical, tough football in all parts of the game. That's why they're the defending Big 12 Champions. It makes for a great matchup, being that we just won the Big 12 the year before, they won it last year. It puts us head to head and it's exciting.

On the atmosphere of the Big 12 title game Having been in it two years ago, the atmosphere in the Big 12 Championship game is incredible. Going down there to Reliant Stadium will be a great atmosphere and exciting. We're really looking forward to the environment and the challenge.

On the inconsistencies of the defense this year We had two really poor games. How to explain that, I don't know. Those guys work hard, prepare hard and they're good players. We just had a couple of games where we got outplayed and outcoached. It's all of us together.

On if OU's defensive struggles happening late in the year concern him going into the Big 12 Championship
No. Late in the year we played probably our best game against Texas Tech. So, one balances out the other. I think the way we've played overall through this season has a stronger point, and played against Colorado once already, has a little more emphasis the fact that we didn't play to our standards in some other games. I feel very strong in that our track record and overall play through the year, and in recent weeks has been pretty good.

On if he thinks the pass rush has been satisfactory this year
In some games it has and some games it hasn't. Through 12 games that's usually the case in about everything.

On if it is difficult to get the team re-focused after last week's disappointing loss
Once the season's over you take it for what it is. For us, it's something special to be going to the conference championship game. Not everybody gets to do that and everyone's fighting for it. There's a lot to be excited about. I woke up, I can't say Sunday morning, but Monday morning as excited as I've been all year and looking forward to the challenge and competition of it.

On the possibility of Colorado running back Chris Brown not playing this weekend because of injury
He's tremendous, great player. His reputation and everything that's said about him is true. They still block and create seams well and they've got other strong running backs – Bobby Purify and Calhoun their freshmen that showed up last week and had an excellent day. Their attack I don't believe will change.

On how much he expects Colorado to use play action passes after watching OSU last week
Probably every down (laughs). We'll look for that and hopefully we'll be a little better at it. They threw it last time we played them. They threw quite a bit last time we played them, but so has everyone else. I found it humorous someone asked me yesterday if we were going to start working this week on the play-action pass. Believe me, through 12 games about everybody has done it. We've covered it well at times and other times we haven't. Hopefully this time we will.

On if OU plans to throw the ball more this weekend then the first time they played CU
The stadium will be closed so the weather conditions will be perfect. We have great confidence in our running game. Nate throws the ball well and we will throw the ball more then the last time we played them. The last time we played there were rotten conditions out there and that won't be the case this week. We'll be ready to throw it as well.

On the Bowl scenario if they win or lose this weekend
I don't believe anyone knows right now. I haven't bothered a whole lot to investigate it, just because we need to win this game. Being the Big 12 champs, if you can win this game and do that makes for a great year. That's what we're after. That's what we're focusing on.

On if the senior's have voiced to the other players how important this game is
No. Those juniors want it as bad as those seniors do. So do those sophomores and so do those freshmen. That's why some of them came here, because they know they'd have an opportunity to do this. They want to take advantage of it.

On if the Big 12 Championship game being in Houston helps recruiting in Texas
I think if it was in Kansas City or anywhere else it's important because all of those recruits see you and see the exposure you get. They see that there's a team that has a chance to win a championship. Regardless of where it's at it helps you. Those players in Houston, through the week, will have more exposure to it then if it were somewhere else. In the end, what your program has stood for through several seasons is what I believe ultimately helps players decide on.

On if playing in the Big 12 Championship is like playing in a bowl game
Sure, it is like a mini-bowl game and like a BCS bowl game because it's for a championship and the winner is going to one. It's a great atmosphere. That's one thing people always ask, 'Do you like the championship game or not?' I have always said everybody should play one. It's just great to compete in that environment. It's exciting and as good as it gets. In fact, it's better then a lot of bowl games. Some bowl games aren't sold out. Some aren't on national TV. Some teams playing each other aren't ranked at a certain place.

On the injury status of Brandon Everage's injured ankle and Andre Woolfolk's nose
It's still a little early, really without not stretching it at all. We're pretty optimistic that they'll play. Brandon Everage was in better shape Sunday, and actually better yesterday morning then he was Sunday and Saturday. He was improved and hopefully that will continue through the week. Andre's headaches and blow to the nose have cleared up to a good degree. They said all along that the nose would not hold him out, that they could put a shield on his mask. If he continues to improve through the week he has an opportunity to be able to play. He's counting on that and it seems reasonable to believe that he will.

On Jammal Brown's shoulder injury
There was no evidence of any ligament damage. It's a deep bruise that seems to be getting better. There's a good chance they'll all play.

On having to play Colorado twice as opposed to playing someone else in the title game
I don't know that it much matters. They've got to play us twice too. You make your adjustments. They'll make some, we'll make some. You try and make some changes and go at it again. It's a completely new game. They have a good feel for us, we've got a good feel for them. In that way it's a little different. You go out and have at it again and see what you can do.

On Quentin Griffin returning to his hometown of Houston
I said something to him stretching yesterday. I said, ‘Q are you able to get enough tickets?' And he said no Chike (Ozumba) had already scooped them all up (laughs). No, he had a big grin. He's excited about it.

On if it bothers him when Colorado Head Coach Gary Barnett blamed the Buffs earlier loss to OU on their poor play rather then giving OU credit
I don't think that's a big deal. My only comment was just that the whole entire week everyone wanted to say all of the pressure was on us because we were still undefeated and all the BCS talk. And that they had circled this game and had been pointing to it for a year. Then we go out and play pretty well and nobody wants to talk about that. My only point was that we handled the pressure and played pretty well and that ought to be acknowledged. That's it. I understand too, he's (Barnett) in a situation where he had a big lead in the North and thought maybe we'd meet again and wanted to make sure his players psyche was in tact and they wouldn't worry about playing us again. That's not a big deal. Gary has done a good job and we have too. We'll just go at it again and see what we can do.

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