WACO, Texas -- Bob Stoops met with the media following the Sooners heartbreaking 45-38 loss at the hands of Robert Griffin III last night in Waco. Stoops talked about how Baylor pulled one of the biggest shockers of the college football regular season and exactly what went wrong for the Sooners.
Bob Stoops opening statement...
My congratulations to Baylor. They played an excellent football game and in the end, I really felt our team came in prepared. We had a really good week of work. We came in ready to play and in the end they coached better than we did, they played better than we did. We fought back. I never questioned our player's want-to and fight. In the end they made a few more big plays than we did and that's the difference in the game.
Q: You understand the benefit of being an up-tempo offense. Do you feel their up-tempo wore on your defense as the game went on?
Bob Stoops: Oh, at times. At times it helped them, so I don't credit when we have success as far as the tempo goes. You guys know I always say it's the execution that matters more. I think it was more that, than tempo.
Q: Bob, talk about what was going on in your secondary and why they were giving up so many big plays?
Stoops: What was going on? They were beating us. In the end, when they spread you out the way they do, and have the ability to run the football, they stretch you. A lot of guys have to make some one-on-one battles and they out-executed us more than we out-executed them.
Q: Bob, did you plan on going for two because you felt like you couldn't stop them if they got the ball?
Stoops: It's fair to say. In the end I felt confident that they hadn't stopped us in that formation down inside the five the whole game either. We were going.
Q: Bob, can you talk about what you saw out there without Ryan? Did you feel they were kind of searching on offense?
Stoops: Well, I felt early on, more than searching, I would say the penalties and turnovers really had us off-balance in the first half. I wouldn't put it on just Ryan's presence or the receivers, but I thought those guys came in there and really, overall, did a good job.
Q: You went down the field, it seemed, more than usual. Was that a bi-product of not having Ryan in there to get the short passes and turn them into long yards?
Stoops: I don't think that's why. We felt there were opportunities there.
Q: Bob, it looked like Baylor was content to run the clock out and you called a timeout and then they decided to get aggressive. What was your thought process?
Stoops: Well, you've got the wind. We had stopped them and we had stopped them. I think we were 3-of-13 in stopping them on third downs and I really thought, in the end, he would run it one more time and make us burn another timeout and then we had an opportunity on third-down. Which they were still backed up, punting into the wind and we had an opportunity to get a return and have one time out and maybe have a chance for a field goal.
Q: You guys came out of halftime like you always do and played really well. Do you think part of the defense in the second half was not having Ronnell Lewis and not having some key guys at that point?
Stoops: If I say that then that's an excuse, sure. It doesn't help you when those guys are out. You're not as complete and as strong as you've been, but we've still got to be able to make plays.
Q: What can you tell us about Ronnell's status?
Stoops: He has an MCL sprain so I would think that's probably two or three weeks and I'm just guessing at that. It's, I think what they said, is a grade two which will heal on its own but it will take a while.
Q:Bob, could you talk about your ground attack?
Stoops: It was not consistent enough early and it helped us there in the second half some and it just needs to be more consistent.
Q: You have some football left still, and with two losses - are you surprised at this ball club which had such high expectations? That they've lost two games with two to go?
Stoops: No. It's difficult to go through a year. You look around the country and there aren't many teams that are undefeated. Every week you can be beat and Baylor played an excellent game and did that tonight.
Q: Bob, talk about trying to get pressure on Griffin and you forced him out of the pocket a lot?
Stoops: Really disappointed late in that we did have them most of the game until the end. We rushed past him, we got too deep and we gave 'em some opportunities to scramble out and make the plays he did. I thought until the last drive we did do a really good job and the last drive is what counts and we didn't do it.
Q: Do you think if you'd had that chance to get the two-point conversion that might have changed things?
Stoops: Oh you'd hope it does, but who knows. Whether they'd came down - they did it anyway. Whether we had the two points or not. Who's to say that would have changed anything. I don't know.
Q: When did that thought come into your head? Was it before the drive that you knew if you tied it up you were going for two?
Stoops: No, during the drive I was processing what we should do and I just had so much confidence in how we were running the plays with Blake Bell in there that we would get it. There was no hesitation. I was set to go.
Q: Do you think the momentum changed on that flukey tipped ball that went for a touchdown?
Stoop: Ohh. They had momentum at different times with the big plays they had. That was sure one that ignited them and one their not expecting to get and then there it is.
Q: Coach, can you talk about the wild Bell formation you've been using?
Stoops: Well, it's just something that you get an extra blocker in there and guys have been doing a good job executing those plays.
Q: So what happened on the last kickoff?
Stoops: Well, you saw our guys not catch the ball.
Q: Bob, things had been working out good for you nationally. Oregon lost and you win this game you're moving back up. Do you see this as opportunity lost?
Stoops: Sure. We were aware of that. Absolutely there's none that we weren't ready for this game. That is not the case. We were very much. We worked hard, we prepared and we just didn't play well enough to give ourselves a chance to win.
Q: Were the safeties biting on the play-action a lot?
Stoops: No. They didn't do a good enough job covering. They weren't involved in the run. It was more their route running and us not being able to cover them. They worked us.
Q: How good is Robert Griffin Bob? In your opinion?
Stoops: He's an excellent player. I've known that for a long time.