I would like to congratulate Stanford on a hard-fought game. They've had a great year overall. Coach Harbaugh and his staff have done an amazing job in just a few years. Watching them play throughout the year, I knew this would be a challenge.
We are just excited to see our players play well overall. We did a good job getting them prepared and getting them ready. The players have had a great attitude this month getting ready for this game and even today fighting through some injuries. They just never got dejected and they work through it. I thought some guys had some special games. Gerald McCoy played really sensational. Ryan Broyles was outstanding. Landry Jones, minus the one play [interception], had an outstanding day. DeJuan Miller came up as a young guy with some big third-down catches. Defensively, the second half was outstanding and I thought even in the first half we weren't far off. They were put in a bad position. Overall we were physical, we tackled well. We had a couple missed tackles but not in the second. It was a good solid day and pleasing to come out with a good win.
How did you handle the injuries to the defense?
[DT] Adrian Taylor had a fairly significant ankle injury. I am sure they will have to work on and operate on in the morning. Gerald just had a hip pointer that knocked him out for a few plays. Jackson couldn't play. He had some headaches during the week that didn't clear up so they didn't feel he should play. We found that out a day or so ago. Jonathan Nelson and Demontre Hurst came in and did a heck of a job. Demontre is a true freshman.
Talk about your short to intermediate passing game?
It was good. I thought of course Ryan had a huge day catching the ball and then Dejuan Miller and Jaz Reynolds caught some nice slants and some intermediate stuff.
What's the future on [LB] Ronnell Lewis?
We call him the Hammer. He had so much power and explosiveness. He's a young guy, he's just unusual how powerful he is and the way he can run. He's got a chance to be a special player. It's funny we were with the hypnotist a couple nights ago. He was in the crowd not supposed to be getting hypnotized and then was. When he came out of it he had a bad headache. You could tell he wasn't all there. He was in he was out. So I walked up to the guy afterwards and I said ‘I want my hammer' I said ‘I'm not leaving without my hammer'. I told him you got to get my man right. He put him back in and by the next morning he felt all good.
Was Lewis the anchor for the entire defense?
He was. Him playing that SAM position with all their big formations … he played it great and all of his responsibilities.
Your team looked like they enjoyed every play?
We did. I thought our kids did that and no matter what the situation. We got some tough breaks; that happens. We got a few other ones that went against us but we still did what we had to do to get the win.
More Stoops notes:
Stoops mentioned Oklahoma often deployed a special package to combat the Stanford run including three DTs, three DEs, a linebacker at strong safety and just one cornerback. He attributed Oklahoma's ability to more or less hold Stanford at the point of attack to this bigger package. Look for 2010 opponents to consider trying the same against the Cardinal (and look for Andrew Luck to make them pay).
Stoops also repeatedly mentioned how mentally complex Stanford's offense is to defend: "They're an exceptional offensive team so I'll still compliment [Gerhart]. He's a fabulous running back and did run though us a couple of times. They do a good job of making you really work mentally with their personnel and their shifting. And if you foul up your alignment, they'll make you pay – on their big run, we only had ten guys on the field. So overall, it was a good job of [Defensive Coordinator] Venables and his staff to get the kids together.
Quarterback Landry Jones
I thought I played pretty good this afternoon. I had a crucial mistake -- I forced the ball down the field a little bit when I should have used my check down -- but other than that I thought I made some smart decisions. I got a lot of help from my teammates. They played great.
I can see a big progression the way I see things out there. At first it was kind of hard to see some coverages, but now that I've been able to play a couple games, the game has slowed down more.
We came out the second half and we said how it was a 7-0 game now. We came out there and executed like we could.
The coaches put together a great game plan. We came down here and it was a total business trip. I just felt the game plan and the way we prepared was really good this week.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
This is the first bowl game we've won since I've been here. The depth of our team is what's always going to save us. It just shows how much heart we have.
I asked all the guys early in the week. I told them this was a great team we were playing and I would really love to win out for my last game. We played really hard and they gave all they had. I love my teammates.
This reporter asked about his impressions of Stanford's offensive line: "They're a pretty good line. We knew coming in they would be probably the best we've faced all year with their scheme and execution. They stay low and use leverage to open holes for Toby, who's also pretty good. But we knew it would be a tough task and we handled it pretty well.
I had to pop Chase [Beeler] a few times. [Laughs.] It was a lot of fun.
We knew that as good as that offense was, we gave them a lot of the stuff they had. I'm not taking away from their stuff, but a lot that they got, we gave to them. We knew we had to tighten up, fix it and make adjustments, but we did what we needed to.
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles
On his big day:
It was really just the game plan. The guys came out there and played, while the O-line was blocking for us. This isn't all about me. It is the situation and I did the best that I can. … I felt like ever since Oklahoma State [Oklahoma's final regular season game, a shutout win], we've been heading in a great direction to finish this game and the season and build momentum for the 2010 season. We have to keep building in the offseason.
Miscellany from the Media Relations folks
If El Paso was indeed the site of his last collegiate game, Toby Gerhart will finish with the most rushing touchdowns in school history (44), and the second-most yards (3,522). His 1,871 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns this season were both easily school records, with the 27 rushing touchdowns also a Pac-10 record. Thinking about all the great running backs to come through the league – guys like Reggie Bush, Maurice Jones and JJ Arrington in recent years, all the way back to OJ, Charles White, Marcus Allen and the rest – that's incredible. Gerhart's 20 100-yard rushing games (11 of 13 this season) is also a school record, and he had multi-TD games in 10 of this season's games.
Bo McNally finishes seventh all-time in interceptions (10), while fellow senior Richard Sherman's punt block was the first of his career and the second of the season, after Chase Thomas' effort at Cal.
Oklahoma last won a game they trailed at the half against Iowa State in 2007. The Sooners have forced at least one turnover in 129 of 145 games under Bob Stoops! (Wonder what Stanford's mark would be.) OU has multiple interceptions in 46 of the last 97 games! In fact, Oklahoma had 30 takeaways this season and converted 16 of them into scores.
Ryan Broyles set an OU bowl record and Sun Bowl record with three touchdown receptions. His 15 touchdown receptions this season tie him for most in program history with Mark Clayton. His school-record 13 catches in El Paso gives him 86 receptions on the season, which is another school record and second-most in Sun Bowl history.
Landry Jones' career-high 418 passing yards was also the second-best in Sun Bowl history and sets an OU bowl record.
Ryan Broyles was named Bowl MVP, with McCoy winning Most Outstanding Lineman and Broyles the Most Outstanding Special Teamer.
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