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Sooner Spectator
Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss
OU coach talks about attitude

In the aftermath of a stunning upset loss to Texas Christian, Bob Stoops did his best to explain the whys and hows of then seventh-ranked Oklahoma’s performance on Saturday. Positives were hard to come by, but the veteran coach had no problem listing the areas he and his staff were less than pleased with, including his own coaching effort.

The following excerpts were taken from Stoops’ postgame press conference in the Memorial Stadium Red Room:

Bob Stoops...
Compliments to TCU and Coach (Gary) Patterson. His team played an excellent game and just outplayed us (and) outcoached us in most all areas. We didn’t do a very good job of protecting the quarterback and we didn’t throw the ball real well. Defensively there were times we allowed them to move the ball. Even if they get the ball in favorable field position, we have to force field goals, and toward the end we didn’t. We allowed them to work the ball more than we’d like, though it was reasonable.

The turnovers were really critical. We’re going in to score on the 5-yard line and we fumble. The other one we give them the ball inside (our) 20-yard line for a sack. Again, they outplayed us and out-coached us throughout the whole game and they deserved to win. They’re a good team. I understand they had an average year a year ago but the previous two years, I knew all along it’s a prideful program that’s played well through the years. They just came in here and beat us and that’s it.

Q: Is this as disappointed as you’ve been coaching a team at Oklahoma?
Stoops: Probably since back in ’99, I guess. I’m disappointed across the board.

Q: In a sense, have you guys lost some mystique as a national power?
Stoops: That doesn’t mean anything. That doesn’t — I mean, you guys — that’s all paper stuff. When we go play, no one sits there and rolls over for you. No one ever has. We’ve earned it. We’ve been winning these games all these other years because people just thought we were Oklahoma? No. We won because we made plays. We coached better, we made plays and that’s how you win. That’s how we’ve always won. I don’t buy into that and I’ve said that other years, too. I just don’t believe in that.

Q: What about the play of your offensive line?
Stoops: Whether it’s discipline, toughness, attitude — all of that. We just weren’t very good. Guys running through on us, getting penetration or not being able to hold up the pocket and give the quarterbacks time — it just wasn’t near good enough.

Q: How concerned are you about the offensive line?
Stoops: I’m concerned. Not only the offensive line, but everybody. All of it together, the offensive line, the running game, the passing game, they complement one another and neither one was very good today. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Q: Did Paul (Thompson) and Rhett (Bomar) just not transfer all that work today you’ve seen them put in?
Stoops: That surprised me too. I thought they both would have reacted and played better than they did. There were some opportunities there and we had some nice shots and they were overthrown. You’ve got to be able to put the ball where it needs to be.

Q: Could you comment on Adrian Peterson’s performance? Was it a situation where TCU was on him because of some of your offensive line problems?
Stoops: I think it’s some of that. He was running hard, like always. He didn’t have a lot of space most of the time. The situation, you just look at it and you go back. Should we have run him more? Probably. Those are all things we’ll go back and look at. He’s not the only one out there.

Q: Do you like flip-flopping the quarterbacks like you did today?
Stoops: I don’t know that anybody likes doing that. We’re trying to find who’s going to be the most consistent and give us the best opportunity to make the throws we need and to move the team. Neither guy really took much control or played very consistently to get a good feeling.

Q: Talk about how the momentum shifted with the (Thompson) interception and the (Bomar) quarterback fumble after you scored 10 points in the third quarter?
Stoops: Yeah, this game isn’t real, real complicated. If you turn the ball over, you’re going to get beat. And we did. Those guys each need to be more responsible with the ball. Those turnovers were a big part of the game and you can’t do it.

Q: Is there a lot of stuff going on just because guys are so young?
Stoops: I don’t think so. I thought when you look out there, most of the guys that played the biggest part of the game are guys who have been around here. I’m not going to sit here and throw out any excuses that there were a lot of young guys making mistakes. I don’t think so.

Q: Did TCU do anything you didn’t plan for or expect?
Stoops: It was just what we saw on tape from a year ago.

Q: Were the quarterbacks going to Travis Wilson because they trusted he’d be there or were they just making the proper check downs?
Stoops: Those were designed routes to Travis on those few occasions. We had a few other opportunities for him and we just weren’t able to have the accuracy to get it done.

Q: Were you hoping to use the tight end more or did they take that away from you offensively?
Stoops: No, we were. At times we tried and they covered him or we didn’t go to him. But it’s our intention to use our tight ends more definitely.

Q: How did D.J. Wolfe play in his first game at cornerback?
Stoops: I felt like he did a nice job. Thinking through it you see when they’ve given up plays but I didn’t feel like he did. I felt like he was pretty solid all day.

Q: At the beginning of the fourth quarter there may not have been the energy level on the sidelines. How do you bring that out of a club when they don’t show it?
Stoops: It’s hard to say. I think a lot of this, whether it goes back to the summer, or to some guys feeling it’s just their right to win or their right to do well and you don’t have the true investment that the other guys have had in the past. That’s part of it. The energy, the actual fight that’s in you during it and I don’t know that some of these guys have had to do it before. They need to figure out how to. It’s my job too. Again, I’m not sitting here trying to put it all on the kids. I’ve got to figure out a way to get it across to them and reach them. Hopefully we can.

Q: Is the loss of Birdine a factor there too?
Stoops: Well, it shouldn’t be. No one guy governs the team or the team’s energy — or he shouldn’t anyway, not if you’re good.

Q: This program is all about championships. Can you think about championships right now or do you just have to focus on Tulsa?
Stoops: We’re just eyeballing Tulsa. That’s all we can do right now. But coming into this game all our focus was talking about TCU.