The Oklahoma Sooners are fresh off a bye week and return to the field Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's game against the Baylor Bears.
Bob Stoops and a handful of players discussed the upcoming road game at Tuesday's press conference and talked about what they expect from the Bears.
One key for the Sooners is limiting the success of quarterback Robert Griffin and the Baylor offense.
Griffin and the Bears lead the Big 12 and rank second nationally in both total offense (567.9 ypg) and passing efficiency (189.4).
"They are a tough offense to handle; they are number one in the league for total offense right now. I feel like our defense is good and I feel like we can handle this," said OU defensive end Frank Alexander. "That's the mind set and attitude that we need to have; that we can play with anyone in the country. That is what I feel, and I am confident to say that our defense can play with anybody. We just need to go out there and make it happen."
"They are very explosive, of course with the athletes they have. It's just the type of offense they are running. Robert's efficiency throwing the football has continued to progress and it has been excellent this year. That is probably the biggest part that I recognize," added Stoops.
"(Griffin's) athleticism and his quickness make him a good player. This year, he is completing a high percentage of his passes, so when you can do that, and be a running quarterback, it makes you just as big of a threat," added Alexander. "We need to do a good job of getting after him and containing him and not letting him get out of the pocket. We need to do a good job of judging our rushes and not running past the quarterback and letting him out."
"A team that is six and three, a thing that is really obvious to us is the three losses are on the road. All their wins are at home. They are averaging 50 points a game, and they have really played with a lot of energy and have had great success at home," said Stoops.
Both OU and Baylor rank among the top teams in the conference in every offensive category. While Baylor is first in total offense (567.89), the Sooners are in third (545.89). OU has the edge and ranks higher than the bears in both scoring the offense (45.44) and passing offense (380.89).
The Sooners will be without Ryan Broyles who tore his ACL in the game against Kansas State.
"Ryan is still probably close to two weeks away from having his surgery," said Stoops "Kenny Stills will be returning the punts. Roy Finch can also return punts."
Stoops said Broyles has been out at practice and visits with the guys.
"Ryan has been out at practice-- he has been rehabbing or I am sure they will start some strengthening of the leg now that the swelling has gone down," added Stoops.
"You can't replace a guy like Ryan Broyles. It's kind of like you can't replace guys like Sam Bradford or Jermaine Gresham," said OU tight end Trent Ratterree. "We've had amazing players here, so missing a guy like Ryan is tough and we have big shoes to fill. Really, what it comes down to is for others to step up collectively and help fill that gap. It's not going to be just one person; it has to be a ton of people by committing."
"As a defense, we always want to go out there and play well. With Dominique (Whaley) and Ryan (Broyles) going down it is a big loss to the offense, but I feel like they have other guys that are on the offense that are capable of making plays as well," said Alexander.
Stoops also noted that Tom Wort is expected to return to practice Tuesday. Coach Stoops said he did not go through the team workout Monday but did run and do drills and that he looked better and closer to playing.
"We have three weeks left of the regular season and we just have to do all we can to stay together and to play as a team and to make the best out of every situation and every opportunity," said Alexander.
Saturday's game at Baylor will kick off 7 p.m. in Waco and will be televised regionally on ABC.