The Oklahoma Sooners are heading into the bye week after an impressive road win over West Virginia on Saturday night. Monday, OU coach Bob Stoops and players met with the media to discuss the win over the Mountaineers and where the Sooners stand after the first third of the season.
Bye Week Comes at Perfect Time
The bye week couldn't have come at a better time for the Sooners, who have several key players banged up and are in need of some good rest and recovery.
Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who had back surgery last year, said the rest was coming at a great time for him to recover and get his back to 100 percent. Phillips didn't elaborate on how his back was feeling, but did note he has been practicing regularly the past few weeks.
As for cornerback Zach Sanchez, Stoops said he won't be seeing any contact the next two weeks, hopefully allowing the shoulder he injured against Tulsa to get better and back to normal. Stoops said it was tough to see Sanchez basically playing with one arm against WVU, but said he and the coaching staff were constantly checking on his status throughout the game.
Charles Tapper went down late in the game, but Stoops said he was fine and attributed it to exhaustion. Tapper has a sickle cell trait, which could lead to very dangerous situations if Tapper exerts himself too much. It was the first time that had happened while Tapper has been at OU, and Stoops said the staff doesn't let Tapper participate in off-season workouts with the rest of the team because of the high risk.
Where's the QB Run Game?
Quarterback Trevor Knight has great speed, something he's showcased on multiple occasions, but on Saturday the OU signal caller didn't run a single time against the Mountaineers.
“Obviously, I didn't really need to run,” Knight said in reference to Samaje Perine's massive performance against WVU. Be sure to look for more on Perine later this week in our Sooner Spotlight.
Stoops said the Sooners are going to be selective with how much exposure they give Knight and running the football. The reasoning is two-fold. Obviously, the Sooners want to keep Knight from taking a bunch of unnecessary hits, but there's plenty of strategy involved as well.
Teams know Knight can run so they have to prepare as if he is going to, opening things up in other places. If they decide to not account for it, the Sooners can gash the defense with Knight's legs. It seems as if Josh Heupel is trying to lull teams into a false sense of security before exposing them.
Alternate Uniforms a Hit
Stoops said it took him a little while to get used to seeing his team on the field in the alternate uniforms on Saturday, but said they grew on him throughout the game.
As for who loved them, Stoops said the important demographic—his players, recruits and other young players he talks to—loved the uniforms. He was quick to mention the Sooners wouldn't be making it a habit of breaking out the new uniforms often.
Defensive end Geneo Grissom was almost speechless, trying to describe how much he loved the uniforms. He settled for “sick” and said the font for the lettering and numbers were his favorite part. He added he hoped the Sooners would wear them several more times this season.
While Grissom make not get that wish, the Sooners still have a home version to wear, along with a white helmet. It will be at least a month before we see those, as OU doesn't play in Norman again until Oct. 18 against Kansas State.
-Perine was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for his game against West Virginia, while Alex Ross, who returned a kickoff 100 yards against the Mountaineers, was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week