Oklahoma vs. West Virginia: Key Quotes from Sooners Coaches


Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops on the sidelines with his brother head coach Bob Stoops during the fourth quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Bob Stoops

On his decision to put in Blake Bell in the fourth quarter:
“I was talking to Josh [Heupel] and I’m not going to detail much of it but at the end of the day this was a tight competition and I just feel that it wasn’t as good as we needed to be in the throwing game so we gave him his chance.”

On the running game:
We ran it really well. I don’t know what that average is set at per carry but it’s pretty strong. Well over five yards per carry throughout the night. Brennan [Clay] averaged eight yards a carry, 7.7. That’s exciting when you can do that. The line blocked really well, and Trey Millard and Aaron Ripkowski out there with the offensive line.”

On how he will go forward with the quarterback situation:
“That will be something we will discuss, obviously, with the way we finished the game. That’s a factor now, so I’m not going to detail it here right after the game. That will be something as coaches that we need to talk through.”

On Kendal Thompson’s status:
“Kendal was throwing the ball, running around this week. Not in full uniform, but out and throwing and going through the motion. He’s getting closer. I’m going to say hopefully, maybe after the off week. But don’t hold me to that, that’s something that the trainers may scold me tomorrow for saying that.”

On if how the defense was playing influenced his decision making on offense:
“We had so many red zone turnovers that sure, field goals matter. If we kick field goals through all of those, it’s a three-possession game. And we were running so well. Why not? I could see if we weren’t gaining anything, but we’re popping 10, 15 [yards] here and there. When you’re doing that you have confidence that you could pop another one.”

On why Blake Bell only threw one pass:
“We were going to but then the situation dictated it with where we got the ball and then we get the first down running it. I mean, why? At that point in the game, the clock is the enemy. You don’t mess with as they say the football gods. You do what you’re supposed to do and burn the clock so that if they do get it they have minimal time to get the chance.”

Co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel

On Trevor Knight:
“I thought he did have a good week of execution. They did some things differently as far as the blitzes and coverages on the back end. I thought he had a really good grasp heading into the day’s game. I thought he played well. He did some positive things early. Some things happened in the third quarter that he just can’t do.”

“There is nothing better than time on task. Experience, certainly. The things that he did, he understands that he can’t do either. One was the run-pass option. The other one a wide receiver was supposed to convert a route, and he gets stuck holding the ball, which he can’t do. You’ve just got to throw it away and go play the next play.”

On the off-tackle runs tonight:
“We had a couple negative plays that got us in some long situations. But for the most part, their techniques and the front blitzes we were seeing, we thought that needed to be something that was going to be key for us. Our guys did a really good job of combination and getting the ball out on the perimeter. I think our edge blockers did a really good job, too. Whether it’s in our three back sets, (Aaron) Ripkowski or Trey Millard or some of our 11 personnel sets.”

On the offense as a whole:
“We want our guys to play extremely well. Trevor did play better tonight than he did in Week 1, I think except for the critical turnovers. You can’t do that at that position. But moving forward, do we need to run the football efficiently? Absolutely. While you’re doing that, you should be really good at play-action pass in some of your one-on-one game because you’re dropping against the safeties in the box. We are going to need to throw it better, too.”

On wide receiver play affecting quarterback play:
“When the quarterback’s playing good, the guys around him are playing at a higher level, typically. A quarterback’s going to get too much of the credit and probably too much of the blame. That’s consistent of playing that position.”

Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops

On the defense’s performance.
“They didn’t line up in 10 personnel the whole game, and that tells you we’re changing people’s philosophy against us. That’s the first thing I noticed. They weren’t going to let us get to the quarterback when they were going to slide protection to (Eric) Striker all the time. That’s something we’re going to have to adjust to, and we will. We learn. He (Striker) did some good things. And then when they did have short edges, he was getting to the ball quicker when they were doing screens. We at least made it uncomfortable and different for their offense, so that was a positive.”

On the defenses’s pressure on the WVU offense:
“I was just disappointed in our tackling. I didn’t think our tackling was great all night. We went in, we weren’t going to let them get comfortable regardless. We felt like we wanted to put pressure on the quarterback, make the quarterback work throughout the course of the game and not let him sit back there and go deep on us. We tried to keep him off balance, and we did a pretty good job of that throughout the course of the night. We didn’t have a bunch of sacks — that’s two weeks in a row we’ve only had one sack I think in both games — but there’s a lot of pressure. We’re making it uncomfortable in the pocket for the quarterback to get the ball out. That’s just as effective.”

On the safeties:
“Gabe (Lynn) has really worked hard. He’s a very versatile player. He does a lot of things well. And I think we finally got the right position for him where he’s really comfortable. He’s in a position to make plays. I’m really pleased with how Gabe’s played. And Quentin Hayes has played really well, too.”

On Aaron Colvin’s injury:
“That was scary. You’re taking virtually one of our best players against a team that can throw the ball. That made it hard. It was scary. We miss him. We miss his leadership. We miss he presence. They kind of went over there, we missed a screen on third-and-12, where he’s going to make that play. Cortez (Johnson) was just soft and just didn’t recognize it like Aaron would have. So it was hard playing without him. But the other guys, they picked on Zack (Sanchez) a little bit tonight, and that’s what going to happen. But he’s getting more experience, and just needs to keep playing. It was good to see both those guys get some playing time.”

On the defense through two games:
“I really like this group. I like the players. I like their attitudes. I like their toughness. It’s definitely something we can build on. We keep bringing in new wrinkles to the package. We’ll keep expanding the package each week. We’ll see if these trends stay consistent in the way we’re approaching our attacking style of defense. Each week is a little bit of a chess match. What’s great about it is that we put stuff in. It’s controlled chaos in a way, but our players, it keeps them thinking all the time, it keeps them working, and that’s what I like about it, too. We’re not stagnant.”


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