ARLINGTON, Texas --Kevin Wilson's offense didn't panic as they fell behind 17-0 to Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game. The Sooners reeled off 17 points of their own once they found their rhythm and Landry Jones threw for 342 yards against a stingy Huskers secondary. Wilson talked about the performance after it was over.
Can you talk about the night because you persevered tonight because they, of course, have a really good defense and at times, you know, it was three-and-out and you had to keep chuckin' away?
Well everything they do is competitive. They do a great job of covering and getting in your face and making you work routes and it takes time and the protection breaks down and they do a nice job getting their hands on the receivers. Somehow they don't get called for something or another but they make you work at receiver. We were 1-of-16 so we went from the best third down (against OSU) and we evened our numbers out real quick. We got back to average real quick.
It was good. Landry played well except for the one pick and we needed to run the ball a little bit better. Kenny Stills made a couple of big plays, Ryan made a couple of big plays and we didn't turn it over and we didn't finish like we needed to. It was a competitive game. It was 17-0 and we're the team that can't score in the fourth quarter, we're the team can't come from behind and win on the road, we're the team that can't come back, so I don't know, we won. What's our storyline this week?
Finding something that worked tonight, just to keep coming up with something, did you run the playbook?
We tried. The flea-flicker didn't make it. We tried a reverse. We had some stuff up but we just need to get some run game going a little bit better and things were close. They are really good on defense. They are stout up front, they play with a lot of speed on the back end and they challenge everything. The game was one because our kids played really hard all night. The way they played man coverage, you've got to keep coming at them and you've got to make a play every play. Sooner or later a guy will get open. We threw for 340. It was a good game, I think 23-of-41 and they come in with a great pass defense.
If I had done a better job in some score zone, fringe area calls or execution, we left some points out. It was great to come from behind. I wish we could have finished the last drive and not put the defense out there. The defense was special. It was a good team win.
Kevin you talked about a little bit, but could you talk about specifically what you thought broke things open on offense because it was 17-0 and then you came in with the backs formation and it started breaking out?
I really thought it got going with a couple of hard runs by Demarco. We threw a boot in the flat and he just kind of ran hard and then we had the one big play to Kenny (Stills). I think Demarco getting into a little rhythm got us a couple touchdown drives.
We were trying to run a set and an over route and they didn't take the bait. It was just a great route by Kenny just as far as making a competitive play and Landry gave him a chance. They blitzed us a couple of times and we came up short in the scoring zone and we didn't run as good as we needed to down there and that would have helped us.
It was pretty good. There were a couple of breakdowns when they blitzed us, although I do think we did convert one of them against their blitz and it was a big play for us. I think Landry, one time he had a big scramble and we missed a twist, but he bought some time, got to Cameron KenneyClick It looked like the offensive line protected really well today..Here to view this Link. and got us to fourth-and-manageable, but that was the drive that got us the game.
Can you talk about the third one on the (naked) boot with Landry?
Yeah, it was just a key play. We had a couple of those up on situations that come up. We were going to sell the run out and just put him backside. They have a guy back there on it but he's not a run threat. He got sucked up inside and that was a critical play for us.
Two games in a row now for Landry throwing for all these yards against the most difficult opponents and environments imaginable. Can you talk about his performances?
And a challenging defense. Those guys, the way they challenge on defense, those were competitive plays by our receivers and he was buying some time, stepping around, a couple of batted balls got us once for a pick. He's come a long way. He's a great young player with a great future. He's played well.
The physicality on the perimeter and how your receivers had to battle for every step and to get off the line of scrimmage and the blocking as well, you have to be happy how that turned out for you at the end of the game?
That was going to be one of the keys because of their match-man coverage, every play is going to be competitive. There are no simple throws, easy throws. The simple throws, you're working to get open. I thought Coach Norvell did a great job of trying to rotate several receivers there a couple of times. We went to backs and some other formations to give the receivers a break. It was almost like basketball substitution. We were trying to keep our guys fresh because they had to compete. I do think there's a couple of things that helped us and those young guys and Ryan and Cameron battled on the perimeter. It was a big difference because that was a great defensive secondary.
Everybody is going to ask, so I'm going to ask. Can you tell us about anything with Indiana? Have you interviewed? Do you plan to interview with them?
No, shoot no. Well, we'll see, I don't know. This time of year, getting through the last game - this is a big game. This is like Celtics/Lakers last time. This is like the Cowboys and Redskins. We needed this game for our school, for just the program, for the state - there's a lot of tradition. We put a lot of eggs in the basket. This time of year there's always a chance for something, but when you get going into postseason the most important thing is winning this game.
But players have finals this week, you've probably got a little time don't you if you want to talk?
Well we've got some recruiting stuff but we'll just see. I don't really do a bunch of networking so we'll see if anything happens. We'll just see where it goes. I was in the office at 6:30 Friday trying to get the script ready for practice. I had my JJ's pizza Thursday night and I saw a couple of buddies I hang with and I watched the game and it was game week. This was a big game and I think there was a lot of pressure on them leaving.
One of the first games I remember in my life was the game of the century when I was a little kid. I put a lot of stock in this and needing to win and the defense bailed us out because we did okay. It was hard out there.
Now that the season's over, if there's ever an opportunity I'm just lucky I got to work with great kids and great coaches. If anything happens it does, but I've got to a point where I'm pretty excited and happy to do what I do and it's a great gig.