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OU Notebook: Stoops, Clay And Colvin Meet With Media

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops met with the media Monday, following the Sooners' 34-0 win over Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday, along with running back Brennan Clay and cornerback Aaron Colvin. Here are some news and notes from his press conference.

• Brennan Clay said Trevor Knight's running ability opens up things for the running backs "tremendously." With more players to account for, the defense becomes more stretched and vulnerable.

• Clay said the zone read the Sooners implemented in the offseason has brought about the need for him and the other running backs to alter their running style slightly, thanks to the amount of motion in the offense.

• The different styles that Clay, Roy Finch and Damien Williams present helps the running game achieve a good level of balance. Clay said that balance definitely helps the running backs have success since the defense has to adjust to their different styles.

• Bob Stoops' biggest point of emphasis for improvement was the screen game for the Oklahoma offense. Stoops said the throws needed to be better, but said the offensive line and receivers were far from perfect as well.

• Stoops said the Sooners came out of the game healthy and had no new injuries.

• Stoops said he wasn't surprised by the defense's performance, saying he had seen the unit do a lot of good things during two-a-days that made him excited about the prospects for this season.

• When asked how Aaron Colvin ranks among the best defensive backs OU has had during Stoops' time in Norman, Stoops said he ranks up there with the very best, citing his speed and coverage ability specifically.

• Stoops said putting in the zone read as part of the offense during the offseason wasn't an easy process. There was no shortage of struggles for the offense in trying to grasp the system, but Stoops said he knew it would take some time to learn. Stoops added the offensive coaching staff consulted with other coaches around the country on the read option, but declined to say which schools they talked to.

• Stoops was very pleased with the OU running game, saying the ability to chew up clock and allow the defense time to rest is a huge benefit. He also added that the defense's performance is directly tied to the offense's because of the need to rest between series.

• Zach Sanchez started at corner for the suspended Cortez Johnson on Saturday and Stoops said he would remain the starter for the West Virginia game. Stoops said defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue would also have to earn his way back into the rotation after being suspended against ULM.

• Aaron Colvin said the Sooners' altered defensive scheme allows for the defense to be more aggressive and mess with the quarterbacks head. Colvin said the Sooners were too predictable by the end of 2012 and are disguising coverages and blitzes much more this year.

• Colvin said although the Sooners ended up with a win last year against West Virginia, the defense was unable to enjoy it as much because of their discouraging performance.

• Colvin added that the OU defense is expecting performances like Saturday against ULM, saying the defense is playing with a much different vibe this year and has a big chip on its shoulder after finishing so poorly last season.

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