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Oklahoma Postgame Quotes
December 06, 2008
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THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations, Coach and players, on your big victory.  Your thoughts about tonight's game.

COACH STOOPS:  Just really proud of our team to play, again, like they have against a good Missouri football team.  And to play through four quarters like we did.  Just can't say enough.

I thought offensively, again, spectacular.  The balance, Sam Bradford, again, no one throws it better than him.  Just incredible accuracy, incredible on third downs when you have to have it.  And, you know, I thought our running game was great.

You know, everyone played great.  The offensive line was spectacular.  And then, you know, some guys up here had huge games, Juaquin Iglesias, huge game catching the ball.  And Chris Brown, Mossis Madu, even went out to DeMarco Murray, one of our better players.  You know, we still played that way and that efficiently.

Defensively I thought we were outstanding in the first half.  Again coming up with stops, first down stops, coming up with turnovers.  Then we just gave up two drives in the second half.  The rest of it was awfully good.

A few guys, Brian Jackson had a huge game.  And Travis Lewis, as he always does.  I thought our pressure was good.  And, again, just a solid win.  

Q.  Is this your Heisman statement tonight?

SAM BRADFORD:  Not at all. I mean, we just came out here to win the Big 12 championship, and position ourselves to play the national championship, and I felt like we did that tonight.  

Q.  It wasn't until the second quarter that you started getting touches on the ball, was that by design or was it just reaction to what they were giving here?

JUAQUIN IGLESIAS:  Yeah, we were just reacting to what was given to us.  There were a lot of weapons on the offense.  And we all think we can't get mad if the ball doesn't come to us.  It comes to us when it comes to us, and we just try to make plays.  

Q.  You put Sam and the ones back out there with four minutes to go up five touchdowns.  Do you feel like the system doesn't really give you a choice but to do something like that?

COACH STOOPS:  Well, probably not.  I think it's fair to say that enough's been said about us in the last week or two through different entities or from whoever is doing it.  And in the end, you know, Sam Bradford has sat out a total of two games if you want to count up possession time over the entire year.  Two games.  Down the stretch there he sat out the third quarter of probably three of our last five games.

So if you can't get into a championship game and play to the end when all that's been talked about this week about us, then I'm sorry, but we're going to play to the end.  And we still had some of our twos in there.  

Q.  Would you have preferred to be able to throw twos?

COACH STOOPS:  We're in what we're in.  I can't change it tonight.  So the situation we're in a championship game, we're going to play to the end.  And our guys did a nice job of that.

But we had a mixture of twos in there.  

Q.  I know you heard the talk this week, did you feel like you made a statement, you wanted to make a statement about whether or not you deserved to be here in a national championship game?

COACH STOOPS:  I'll let you guys decide that.  Again, I don't know what you're looking for.  Again, everybody has their opinions.  Some peoples are different than others.  That's a pretty convincing win in a championship game when you have to have it against another ranked team.  I think that's our fifth ranked team that we've been able to beat this year.  So that doesn't make a statement, then you don't want it to.  If you want it to, it can.  If you don't, then you'll find a reason why it wasn't good enough.  

Q.  Six hundred twenty-seven yards total, 62 points.  This is like running a video game offense.  Could you talk a little bit about the ease of the offense, and how you guys were able to get into it, and the success you had against the Missouri defense?

SAM BRADFORD:  Like Juaquin said earlier, we have so many different weapons on offense, I think it's really hard for a defense to double cover one guy.  Because if they do that, then they leave the one-on-one matchups with other guys.

I think tonight we just did a good job of getting in with them, and take advantage of what the Missouri defense gave us.  

Q.  You guys last Saturday night had to sit through a tough Sunday waiting to see how the BCS would fall out.  Were you as anxious this time waiting on the BCS or do you think it's automatic?  Do you think you're in?

TRAVIS LEWIS:  I think the chips will fall where they may.  Hopefully the people that watch this game tonight, we made an impression on them.  You know, we'll see tomorrow.  

Q.  This offense has really become historically impressive offense.  Touchdowns in the season record, going back into the history of college football, only three teams ever have scored more than 700 in a season.  You guys have scored more points per game than any other team in the modern era.  Could you just talk about the reaction to those numbers and what this offense has been able to do?

COACH STOOPS:  It is pretty amazing.  Again, I credit Kevin Wilson our offensive coordinator, and all our offensive coaches and these players.

Our coaches have done a great job of using all of them.  Spreading them out.  Making people defend all of them.  And if you try to take one of them away, there's two or three, four others that can equally hurt you.

I think it begins with Sam, his poise, his accuracy throwing the ball, and then the offensive line being able to be great protecting and running the ball.  And, again, you look at all the different parts, it's hard to deal with.  And then you throw on top of it, the tempo, you know, it's worked.  I couldn't have asked for more.  

Q.  After Missouri scored their last touchdown, you kind of brought your defense together in huddle and just kind of put into them, what did you say to them, and what motivation did you put into them?

COACH STOOPS:  I just wasn't pleased.  I thought there was a couple three, four plays in that drive, in particular third downs that we could have been better.  And I was just disappointed that we had played so well through the game.  Why now in the fourth quarter?  We're up big, it doesn't take much to lose a little focus.  I was displeased with the focus.  I said let's finish it out.  

Q.  The fact that DeMarco goes out on the opening kickoff, you have two running backs rush for 100 yards each.  What's it say with the mental attitude of this team to be able to overcome an injury like that, and the fact that you had a lot of injuries on defense, and just kind of the grit this team showed?

COACH STOOPS:  We have had a lot of injuries.  But we fought through them just like today.  Without DeMarco, I thought Chris Brown -- I'm the biggest Chris Brown fan there is.  The guys that cover us all the time know that.  That guy is a great player.  Another 1,000 yard rusher.  And Mossis Madu just continues to get better and better.

I've said this is probably the best way to say it, in some other years I look up and we're running the play and I'm like how come so and so isn't in.  And I don't feel that way with all three of those guys.  I feel as good with one as the other.  And that tells you the quality of those guys.  

Q.  You told the television sideline reporter right after the game that you felt like people had been saying that you did not belong in this game.  What exactly was said, and how did it make you feel, and how did that serve you today?

SAM BRADFORD:  I just think there was a lot of talk this week about how we didn't deserve to be in this game.  I don't know, we didn't get a lot of credit for what we had done this year.  So I think there was a lot of motivation for us to come out and play well tonight and prove to everyone in the country that we belonged in this game.  

Q.  You told me earlier in the week that you were going to focus on stopping the running game, and you guys held them to 66 yards rushing.  What can you say about the front four and your role in stopping the run in this game?

TRAVIS LEWIS:  It all starts with the front four.  I think they did a great job tonight.  I don't think Chase was comfortable all night because of them.  I give all the credit to them.  And the secondary played great coming downhill.  And you know, fitting the run game, and just a total defensive team effort.  

Q.  Your offense was prolific today, but defensively you held in check a really good offense in your own right in Missouri's offense.  Could you talk about some of the things that you did defensively, and some of the adjustments you made, it seemed like to confuse a really good offense?

COACH STOOPS:  I thought -- as Travis said, I thought we defended their run game really well, which I have a lot of respect for.  And if you look at when they're really operating well, their run game is a bigger threat than I think is ever talked about.  We were really good there.

I thought our pressure was good.  It kept them moving -- it kept them moving, dodging, not able to sit there comfortably.  Then I thought of coverage.  There were a number of times when coverage held up really good until they were able to get there and get them on the run.

So I thought a combination of them.  I thought our guys were disciplined in coverage, we always get pretty good pressure, we got it, and we were really solid on the run game.  

Q.  As Coach just talked about the coverage that y'all had holding one of the best receivers in the nation to just 46 yards, what kind of things did y'all do to hold him down?  And then afterwards, you've won half of the Big 12 championships there have ever been now.  What kind of pride do you take from that?

BRIAN JACKSON:  First off, you've got to give credit to the front seven.  I mean, they don't get anything, we don't get anything without them handling their business.

We worked all week basically on just focusing on making plays and keeping everybody in routes.  But Maclin's a great receiver, and everybody has their day.  You know, we just feel like we came out and performed better today.

COACH STOOPS:  I don't know what to say in regard to that.  I don't -- I'm just happy for our program.  Again, I thanked everybody in the locker room that is associated with our program, outside of players and coaches, there are so many people that support and help these guys.  You know, in so many different ways that we've got a strong, great administration.  And I appreciate that.  I understand all that goes into it, and all the different parts.

So we as an overall program sure are proud of what we've been able to do.  They're not easy to get.  They're not easy to get here.  They're not easy to win.  But fortunately we've been able to do it a few times, anyway.  

Q.  You mentioned Missouri's offense.  You guys have faced so many good offenses this year.  Because of that, how good do you feel about where this defense is and how well it's been tested and wherever you're going to play next?

COACH STOOPS:  There are still a lot of young guys.  We still are fighting through some injuries.  So we've been a little hot and cold.  There have been times, I'll say this, the whole year even when we've given up some points we've gotten a bunch of turnovers.  We've helped the offense in scoring by turnovers and field positions those kind of things.

You know, tonight's another night.  Like the Tech game where we were off.  We still have some kinks to work out, some guys to continue to get better.

But it's getting there.  And it's been a little more consistent.  

Q.  Along the same lines, people talk about your defense giving up numbers, but your defense seems to come up with as big a play in as big a time as we've ever seen.  Is this maybe your best big-play defense you've had?

COACH STOOPS:  Probably, as you put it, I think we lead the league in turnovers for us.  And we've had a lot of those turnovers returned back into plus territory where we're given -- like couple weeks ago against Tech, we had two down to the one- and two-yard line, and tonight we had one.  Brian's back in the plus territory.  And we have come up with a lot of big plays that way with forced turnovers.  

Q.  Yesterday you said each one of these is different.  How is this win tonight different than the past?  How is this team different from your past championship?

COACH STOOPS:  Gosh, I just kind of sometimes -- I never count on the fact that you've been awfully good in it before, doesn't mean you're going to be now.  I guess I say you have to earn it every time.  So this team has persevered through a lot.  We've fought through a lot of injuries.

Again, like I said, today we fought through another one.  Offensively and what Sam's been able to do throwing the football, it's hard to deal with.  I tell you, I get to a point where I don't feel like I want to punt.  If it's fourth down, let's go.  We're going to go for it because of his efficiency and look what he's done on third and fourth downs.  It's pretty amazing against good teams.

So that part has been, you know, in the strength of the line and running game with it.  And then defensively, like I said, we've worked through a lot of injuries so we take a lot of pride that we have been able to come up with big plays and still play well when we've had to.  

Q.  Talk about, if you would, as captain in the middle that did this to your left, he's got some big things ahead of him, perhaps a trip to New York City next week.  Talk to him about his development, his importance to this team, and his leadership as a captain.

JUAQUIN IGLESIAS:  Everything goes through Sam.  The way he's handled this offense, and the way we change it to no huddle, he's doing a great job.  You can't ask for more than what he's done for this team.  And you can't ask for him to be more of a better leader than he is.  He's just been doing a great job for us.  I think he's one of the best out there.

TRAVIS LEWIS:  One thing people don't notice is Sam is one of the most humble people we have in our locker room.  Just by being the person he is, he makes everybody a better person on this team.  Just his toughness.  You know, last week, Oklahoma State, you know, jumping over and getting to that one-yard line.  He told me during the week, you know, let's set it up, let's roll with it.

So he's a tough guy, great leader.  Great football player.  We as players don't realize how great he is.  You know, we're out there on the field.  But you look back and look at all the stats and his accomplishments, and you just it catches you in awe.  

Q.  I know you're humble, but you're a Putnam North Panther to this day, and perhaps on the biggest stage of them all next week, you've got to tell everybody about here about your reaction to what's happened to your career in four or five short years.

SAM BRADFORD:  Yeah, but all the success I've had in the past few years, it's just a compliment to all the other guys on the field.  You know, one guy can't win a football game.  It takes a hundred guys out there, and 11 guys each out busting their butt to try to get that first down or the extra yard or get in the end zone.  So I think it's a whole team deal.

For us to win three straight Big 12 championships, it just shows what type of team we have around here and the chemistry.  Everyone wants the same thing, and that's to win.

THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations and best of luck in the championship game.  

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