Aug 31, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops reacts to a play in action against the UL Monroe Warwawks during the first quarter at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma vs. Louisiana-Monroe: Post Game Coach Quotes


OU HEAD COACH BOB STOOPS

Opening Statement:
“Offensively, I thought our line early on had some trouble picking up a bunch of their movement, then as the game rolled on they did a better and better job of identifying with what they were doing and blocking better. Anytime you can rush the football that way, over 300 yards, that’s a big positive. I thought the quarterbacks, Trevor (Knight), of course you saw his ability to run and the opportunities it gives you. I’m sure he will settle down and get smoother with some of his throws. We see him make these throws over and over daily. Some of the ones he missed, we know he is capable of making. We expect him to continue to improve in that part. I thought Blake (Bell) came in and he threw the ball well there at the end and ran our offense well. I thought our running backs did a great job. There wasn’t a ball on the ground all day. They ran physical. It was positive. Defensively, it was one of the better games that we have had in a long, long time where all of the assignments and communication were as clean as any we have had and they give you a lot to work on with all of their formations, personnel groupings and empty sets. I thought our guys really did a great job of handling all of that. I thought we had great pressure all night. It was pretty evident that they handled the run really well. Some guys that stuck out to me were (Charles) Tapper up front, Eric Striker, Corey Nelson and Frank (Shannon). Those guys played really well in there. These guys have moved the ball and had tons of yardage last year on about everybody and they are a more experienced group this year, so to be able to hold them down like we did, I thought it was a great credit to the defense. I thought we tackled well and played physical. Again, Todd Berry and his group, they did a great job. I thought our kicking game was very good. Nick Hodgson was kicking balls out of the end zone. Michael Hunnicutt was excellent on his field goals and extra points. Jed Barnett, I don’t know what he averaged, but he hit the ball pretty well. I think he will get even better the more comfortable he gets. Well, he averaged 43 yards. That’s pretty good. It was all in all, a really solid day.”

On what worked defensively:
“We just moved around a little bit. We tried to bring guys in different ways and put pressure on the quarterback. I thought they did an excellent job of it.

On if they went with a three-man front:
“Yes, most of the time but we can kick into a four-man front, too.”

On if the way the defense played allowed Trevor Knight to settle down:
“It allowed the team to hang in there. What it does for him, I don’t know that it does anything. It allows the team to continue on the path we were on. We exchanged punts there for a while. Then we got settled in and got things going. It helped the team definitely.

On RB Damien Williams’ run on 3rd and 2:
“Yeah, that’s a big play. Damien is a powerful guy. He’s capable of runs like that.”

On if this offense should set expectations on Trevor’s stats:
“A little bit. We still feel we will be more polished throwing the ball as we go. Some of it is going to be on the ground. Regardless of how you get it, as long as you get it. As long as you are getting yards and points it adds up the same.”

On if Trevor’s slow start was caused by nerves:
“It’s hard to assess, I’m sure that some of it was that.”

On if there was any discussion of putting Blake Bell in after the first quarter:
“No.”

On Charles Tapper:
“He played excellent. I expected him to play well. Charles is a really good player and he’s along the lines of some of the players we have had here. Hopefully he will keep playing that way. Charles has a chance to be one of the guys that we are used to having around here. We have had a lot of good ones and he is on par as a young guy. He’s as good as any of them. We just have to keep bringing him along and he works hard. He has got great athletic ability, he can run, he has got stamina and he’s strong. The guy is almost 270, 265 and he can move.”

On if he expected to run the ball this well:
“Yeah, we were a little off. Jalen (Saunders) had a bubble screen that would have been out of the gate, but he dropped it. Early on our run game wasn’t what we believe it will be as we get better and better with it. We didn’t identify a few things and they got us and hit us right at the line. Then, about the third series, I thought the line did an excellent job of just figuring it out, blocking it up and giving us space to run.”

On Eric Striker:
“I thought Eric Striker was incredibly disruptive. Eric was all over and that was fun to see.”

On the production of Frank Shannon and Corey Nelson:
“I thought he (Shannon) and Corey in there were really stout. They were really sound and they were where they needed to be at the time and did really good at communicating. They were jumping at the no backs and all the personnel groupings and got everybody lined up. That was good to see.”

On how Jordan Phillips along with the rest of the team played in the heat:
“It seemed like Jordan played well. We were strong in the middle. We handled it well. What I don’t think the fans or media usually get is the time of possession. Offensively, we used a bunch of them. They got good breaks. When you go three and out, three and out, three and out or a turnover and out and you are back out there it doesn’t work so well. You have to play together as a team and tonight it worked that way. He (Phillips) handled it well. We didn’t have a guy cramp the whole night, so that is a positive this early in the year.”

On what he liked about what Trevor did that people may not have seen:
“I thought the line of scrimmage, for the most part, was good. I think we had a procedure and a couple of holds but the line of scrimmage, the calls, the communication all seemed to go well. He is directing all of that. Again, there were no fumbles. Some of it needs to be cleaned, we had a few bubbles that didn’t go very well. Some of that, will get better. For the first time out there, I thought he handled it well. When Blake (Bell) was in there at the end I thought he did, too.”

On how he feels about this win knowing what this team was a year ago, watching what happened to Kansas State and West Virginia:
“Regardless of what they did, I feel we are on track to keep improving. I think we will get better. We need to of course. The inexperienced that we had in this game played really well and will grow from it. It’s our job to coach them up for that to happen this coming week and to keep happening. We have got a lot of really good young players and we just have to keep grooming them. They are going to get more and more polished and more confident. The more they play and play well, they will grow in confidence, too.”

On special teams:
“We had the wind before and it didn’t feel like it was a big wind. What was it? Five or eight, anybody know? Nick (Hodgson) hit the ball great. Fortunately, all of those were with the wind. Nick has hit it really well all camp. I think Jed will keep getting better the more comfortable he gets too.”

On Nila (Kasitati) and the offensive line:
“I’ll have to see. He had to have done well. They all had to have done well to rush the ball like we did and I didn’t see any quick pressure. There was a time or two where the quarterback held it pretty long. I thought they did a really good job.”

On if the defense has done something dramatic with the shutout:
“Not yet. We haven’t done anything dramatic. Last year we had a lot of good games early too, right? You guys were bragging on them and bragging on them, then you wanted to throw them under the bus. It’s “what have you done for me lately”, but lately it’s pretty good.”

On Zach Sanchez:
“Zach Sanchez had a heck of a game as a redshirt freshman, first time out there. He was challenging, competed, and had tight coverage. I thought he did a really good job.”

Co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel

On quarterback Trevor Knight’s performance:
“He carried himself with great body language. Great energy. Not that everything was going right all the time, but he was confident. A young quarterback is going to make some mistakes, but I thought he bounced back and continued to play the next play.”

On if the three touchdown passes balance out the stat line:
“You want to see a better stat line. You want to complete more than we did, obviously, and there’s a lot of things that go with that. It’s the quarterback being right in the decision making, the quarterback being accurate, wide receivers catching the ball. It’s us being better in our protection scheme up front. All those things combined to give you the stat line that you have.”

On Knight:
“We got him in a couple of situations that I didn’t want to get him into early. We tried to give him a couple he could throw early, but it ended up not working out the way we had assigned it. All of a sudden you’re in tough situations and scrambling trying to make a play, but for him, I think all young quarterbacks, you want to give them some positive energy … We were able to do that. The great thing about that was he continued to play.”

On if there was any concern early in the game:
“I don’t think anybody was going to hit the panic button. I think that’s one of the positives that came out of it. Trevor didn’t have everything go right early, but we didn’t hit the panic button. Offensively the guys around him didn’t hit it, the coaching staff didn’t. We just continued to play ball, and that’s the way it is sometimes early in the season offensively — trying to get 11 guys back as one.”

Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops

On the defense’s performance and the shutout:
“I was happy for our guys. Just our execution and just our overall play I thought was much better. We’ve got a lot of things to clean up. And just more explosive as a defense, and that’s what we wanted to be — more aggressive in some situations and get our speed and athleticism on the field. Certainly it was a good test with these guys. They move the ball on everybody, so really pleased with just our effort, our awareness, just our lead up to the game. It’s just better. I think our leadership from our seniors has been key, and we’re going to get some players back this week to really add some depth to our team that we’re going to need here obviously coming up next week.”

On if he has a sense that what the team did in the offseason worked:
“It worked for one day, and if we can do that 11 straight times, then I would be happy. It’s about the window. We certainly got embarrassed last year against West Virginia. I am glad we got off to a good start. It gives us confidence. We will be challenged by a much more diverse offense in West Virginia. But I just liked the way we covered. I thought our secondary was excellent all day. I thought our pressure was excellent all day. And our ability to stop the run. I mean that’s really a perfect day in a defensive coach’s mind if you can be successful on that … In every phase we wanted to improve, we improved.”

On defensive adjustments during the game:
“Really more speed is critical in this league. This isn’t a pound-it-out league. This is a finesse and spread-you-out league and running zone option. That’s kind of what it is now. We had to adjust. We made some good adjustments tonight. We will change week to week. We’ve got to build off what we did tonight, and we are going to show hopefully some different looks. This package gives us the ability to build a lot of different personnel groups. It puts different guys in different spots. And it lets them play more aggressively.”

On the linebackers:
“I thought they were great. Corey [Nelson] and Frank [Shannon] — it’s nice to see our two leading tacklers as the linebackers. I think that’s a good indication. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m happy for both of those guys. They played hard and prepared well and really played good football.”

On defending ULM quarterback Kolton Browning:
“We made it uncomfortable for him. We hit some good calls on boot and play-action passes where we got up in his face. That guy, he’s a tremendous player, and his ability to get the ball out of his hand quickly is one of his greatest strengths. Our players had great respect for him. They respected the preparation. They knew he was an outstanding player. We gave him our best shot tonight.”

Quotes from SoonerSports.com

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