Monday, coming off a win over Texas in the Red River Showdown on Saturday, Bob Stoops and players met with the media to talk about the game and the Sooners' upcoming matchup with Kansas State on Saturday. Here are some notes and thoughts from the press conference.
Home Sweet Home
Oklahoma is playing at home for the first time since Sept. 13, when the Sooners rolled over Tennessee. 35 days is a long time to go between home games, but the thought of playing in front of the home crowd has the team excited for Saturday.
“It seems like it's been an eternity since we've played but we're ready to get back with this home crowd and get a win,” linebacker Jordan Evans said.
Travel is something everyone has to endure in college football, but for some, the travel over the past month, which included two bus rides to the Metroplex to play TCU and Texas, hasn't been the easiest things for players to endure.
“Oh yeah, especially the bus trips,” defensive tackle Jordan Phillips said. “Those bus trips are something else. Personally, I lay down on the ground. Too much sitting for me.”
Stoops said travel shouldn't play a factor in how a team plays since everyone knows it's part of the regular season schedule, but said it can affect players.
“I don't want to say it shouldn't be (an issue) but if it is, it is,” Stoops said. “You're not going to play all your games at home. For us to load here, go to the airport, get checked, it's going to be the same thing flying. It's just the way it is.”
Sanchez Makes Statement
In Saturday's game, cornerback Zach Sanchez wrote “Free Frank Shannon” on his headband and had “Free Baker” on his eye black. Of course, both statements are referring to players the Sooners don't have available to them this year. The school has suspended Shannon for the year, while Mayfield's absence is due to an NCAA ruling.
Stoops said on the Big 12 teleconference he was unaware of that during the game, but addressed the issue during his press conference.
“They shouldn't be (making those statements); I don't like that,” Stoops said. “I stand by the university and what we've done and that will be addressed. Nothing team related is to be made public and that's the same on social media. I would regard that as social media. The team matters are to be with us, period.”
Appeasing The Masses
Stoops isn't one to call players out in public or throw his coordinators under the bus for mistakes during games. But this approach doesn't always sit well with fans that want to see the head man take decisive action to show improvements are being made.
Stoops assured everyone on Monday things were being addressed and improvements were being made week-to-week.
“These aren't professional players,” Stoops said. “I'm not going to call kids out by name and point out in detail what they did. Maybe that isn't the best, isn't right, isn't what we worked on, but that's not going to happen with me.
“You can bet in our meetings, it's being addressed, every bit of it.”
-Quarterback Trevor Knight again emphasized defenses continue to give him looks that cause him to give the ball to the running back on zone read plays. Knight has rarely pulled the ball and run himself in those situations this season, and many want to see him run and open up the offense more.
-When asked about his Sunday routine in regards to film study, running back Samaje Perine gave an exceptionally detailed account of his entire day, from the time he got up to the time he went to bed. The guy's maturity in all areas is really impressive.
-Phillips said the Sooners' defensive line has to do a better job of pressuring the quarterback to help the secondary be better. Oklahoma has recorded four sacks in the past two games after 12 in the first four.
-Stoops hinted at the possibility of seeing some of the young wide receivers on the field against Kansas State, but as with all Stoops hints, we'll wait and see.