Sept. 19, 2011
Head Coach Gary Pinkel
“We are going to get a couple of guys back. Kip Edwards tweaked his knee a little bit in the Arizona State game. We thought he was going to be ok, but he just didn’t practice well enough to play [against Western Illinois]. We are expecting to get him back this week. Gahn McGaffie is going to return, and we are excited about that. Jacquies Smith is going to return. Travis Ruth and Jerrell Jackson will probably get more reps and play considerably more than they did last week, but it was good to see them out there and getting better. Chris Freeman has a sprained knee. They don’t think it is anything more serious than that. That’s generally a three week injury. We got one offensive lineman back and lost another, so we are adjusting accordingly.”
“Oklahoma is an outstanding football team. I don’t think they have any weaknesses. They are very impressive on both sides of the football, and are playing very well. When you look at Landry Jones, you see the development over the last few years. He’s a really great player, and he has great players around him. When you talk about Oklahoma, I think it starts up front on their offensive and defensive lines. I think they are outstanding in both of those areas. It’s a great place to play a college football game, we are excited about going and we’re at work preparing as I speak.”
On Oklahoma’s 78-2 record in Norman under Bob Stoops...
“Number one, I think they are a real good football team. Number two, it’s a great place to play college football. It’s a great atmosphere. And three, [Bob Stoops] is a good coach. He gets his players ready to play. I think it’s a combination of all those things. That’s also the challenge that anybody has going in and playing in Norman. That’s also the exciting part about competing.”
On getting the offensive line back to their original positions...
“We moved people all around on Saturday. I think [Jayson] Palmgren playing the center position for a few weeks is a whole different situation. I think we are moving guys back where we originally thought they would be. We’re just looking for consistency.
[Travis Ruth] was out five weeks. That’s a long time. You think of all that time in two-a-days when we extended practices, he missed a lot of practices. I think he got 27 or 28 plays [against Western Illinois], and that was our goal, to get him over 25. He felt really good when he woke up. That’s the most important thing after you play with that type of injury. He wasn’t sore at all, so that’s good. We’ll see how he goes this week, but right now we plan on starting him at center and Palmgren at left guard. Jack Meiners will still play. He is doing a lot of good things, and that’s been a real plus for us.”
On Jerrell Jackson...
“When you have Michael Egnew, T.J. Moe -- the more people you can spread the ball to, I think the better you are. I was always really frustrated with him as a young player because I always thought he had so much more ability than how fast he was developing. He’s got a lot of ability. He can make plays, we’ve seen that. It will be nice to get him back to full [health].”
On the philosophy of playing an uptempo pace...
“The team that is probably the best in the country at [playing uptempo] is the team we are playing. Oklahoma is as good as there is in the country as far as getting up and [going] fast paced. They probably do that 30 percent of the time. They are really good at it. I think what you try and do is keep getting first downs so you can tire people out. They’re trying to get set, they’re trying to get the signal in, and if you’re fast and get up there and get going, they’re looking around and they’re not set. That’s the philosophy behind it. A lot of people are tying to do this for those reasons. As you practice it, you try and make sure you are on the ball and you get it snapped in a certain amount of time. The other thing you have to do is you have to get first downs. If you don’t get first downs it all stalls out.”
On Brad Madison...
“I think he is doing real well. He was a second team All-Conference player last year. He really was not a backup. He started several games for Aldon [Smith] when he got hurt, and we rolled Jacquies, Aldon and Brad through. They got an equal number of reps, so we really considered [Madison] a returning starter. One of the great things about him is his great motor. He has one speed, and it’s flat go. It’s a great visual aid for all our players, too. They see what we’re talking about with “selling out every single play” and “giving everything you got”. That’s what he does. He is a tenacious competitor. Those kind of guys can make things happen. He is one of the great recruiting stories of all time. We recruited an offensive lineman and he became an all-conference defensive end. I wish we made that mistake often.”
On preparing to play in a loud environment...
“Honestly, the Arizona State atmosphere was pretty good. That place was rocking. Norman is a great stadium to play in, too. [James Franklin] has been in the arena. He understands what it is going to be like. You saw him [against ASU] screaming, checking plays at the line of scrimmage in front of all those people. That was really good for him to do that. That being said, it’s a great environment he’s going to be in.
All the preparation we do with noise that we bring into practice is something we’ve always done. But you also have to get in the arena a little bit. I feel real good that we played in the [Arizona State] game. I think it’s going to help us a little bit.”
Senior SS Kenji Jackson
On the return of Jacquies Smith...
“Jacquies is one of our leaders, one of our captains. Just his presence does a whole lot for us as a defense. Our defensive line really looks up to him. The other thing is he’s a really good player. We’ve got a great opponent this weekend in Oklahoma, so we’re excited to get him back and get the ball rolling this week in practice.”
On his comfort level playing with Kip Edwards and a strong defensive line...
“Kip is a great player, a fast guy, and he is one of our best cover corners. When you have a good corner out there, it makes your job easier as a safety. Especially when you [pair] that with a good defensive line. You don’t have to worry about stuff getting really deep, or you don’t have to worry about running backs breaking through the line.”
On the adjustments the secondary has made since Arizona State...
“We worked on cleaning that little stuff up. Our coaching staff has done a great job teaching us the Cover 2 and how to run it. I feel like [the coaches] are going to do a great job giving us a good game plan on the best way to beat Oklahoma.”
On Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles...
“I feel like he has been there forever, like since I’ve been in high school or something. But he’s a good receiver, I believe an All-American last year. He poses some deep threats, and he is a real shifty guy. We are going to have our hands full with him. He’s a great receiver and he has some guys to back him up. They’ve got a good receiving core, and a good quarterback to throw them the ball.”
Junior WR T.J. Moe
On already playing in a loud atmosphere at Arizona State...
“I don’t think you worry about past games. This is the first Big 12 game. They are going to be ready to play. They just came off of a big victory against Florida State, and they’re going to be ready to roll. I don’t think we care a whole lot about the crowd. We’re just playing football.”
On playing the number one team in the country...
“I think bottom line, you have to execute against who you are playing against. They’re a good football team. They don’t have a whole lot of weaknesses. They are about as good as it’s going to get. They’re the number one team in the country for the second year in a row. There is a reason for that.”
On the matchup with Oklahoma’s secondary...
“They are good every year. It doesn’t matter who they lose -- their backups could probably be All-Americans. They have a lot of good athletes, a lot of good players. They are just 'move them over, move them up,' same as we do here.”
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