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September 6, 2014

Bill Blankenship


BILL BLANKENSHIP:  You have to give credit where credit is due.  Those guys in white are an awfully good football team.  Very well coached, very machinelike in the way they approached it.  What we had hoped to do we didn't do very well.  You have to start the game with execution, and we didn't very well.  Certainly they took advantage of those mistakes, which good football teams do.

Q.  What do you hope you guys take away from this and learn?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Well, I think we played better in the second half after things were decided, but what we talked about is that probably for our offense will be the best look that we're going to get other than practice.  We need to go quit looking at the scoreboard and just try to compete.  We've got to build on the positives and we've got to identify the mistakes and correct them.  If that's personnel issues or something else, we've got to be willing to make those calls.

Q.  What made Sterling Shepard so hard to contain?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  I think you're going to see all year that he's tough.  They do a good job on the other side away from Sterling, and it forces you to have to do some things‑‑ they're very good schematically.  I mean, they'll play you where you've either got a one‑on‑one with Sterling and then you empty out the box and do some things and then you've got the running game.  If you're going to stop the running game then you've got to play a lot more one‑on‑one with him.  The fact they're very balanced in what they can do makes him an especially tough match‑up.

Q.  What can you tell us about Demarco?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Had an apparent concussion early in the game.

Q.  After he went out, I'm guessing it wasn't the start you guys wanted, but what‑‑
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  It caused us to have to move our corner, move Will Barrow to safety.  Then we had plan B in the works, and then we got some other things messed up in terms of personnel issues and we had to shuffle some guys around.  It really is football, it's just what we had to do.  I hate it for Demarco because I think he was really ready to have the kind of game that I thought he could have, and it didn't start well for him.

Q.  I know the entire game is obviously a disappointment, but could you boil it down to a couple things that maybe disappointed you the most about today?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Oh, I think just the first quarter.  I mean, really just the poor start.  We gave up that long run to start the game, then they tempoed us, which we practiced.  We know they're going to tempo us, but they executed very well, get a guy running free.  So we get that very early, and then offensively we have trouble moving it on the first one or at least without penalty on the first drive.  So I mean, those are the things‑‑ you cannot have that kind of start.  In the first quarter on offense, we missed a few signals with our receivers, we had some communication issues, and those are things that, again, you just can't overcome that.  That's what we had hoped to eliminate.

Q.  You mentioned some of the big plays they had in the running game.  Seems this year and even going back to last week you had problems not just giving up a 10‑ or 12‑yard run up the middle, but is it a linebacker issue?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  We'll look at the film.  I think when that happens there's probably several issues.  I couldn't tell you‑‑ I do believe that Oklahoma is very good schematically.  I think they had us pegged pretty well.  The first play, the speed sweep, was just not containing.  I mean, we've got to set the edge as an outside linebacker or corner, and once they circled the defense, then you're in trouble on that.  But they had some other opportunities that they hit up the middle, basically trap blocked, did some blocking with their lead back that was a little different than the way we were fitting it, and got some guys open.
Just again, good job by them schematically.

Q.  How is Derek Patterson?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Derek had an apparent concussion.  I haven't received the reports, but he was taken out of the game, as well.

Q.  (No microphone.)
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Tavarreon played well early.  He had an issue that kept him out of the game in the second half.

Q.  I know Blake Bell played against you guys last year at quarterback, but what did you think of Trevor tonight and what problems he presents?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Well, Trevor runs the ball.  That's the thing, their option game is a tough match‑up.  Trevor I thought handled himself well, didn't give us very many opportunities.  Gave us maybe one opportunity on a pick that we didn't get, but for the most part it looked like to me, and again, I don't coach him, but it looked like to me he made good decisions.

Q.  How long do you look at this film after a game like this?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Yeah, great question.  The reality is you'd like to say, hey, let's go put that away and move on, but we can't.  We've really got to improve.  If we don't improve from game two to game three‑‑ we've got to find those corrections, we have to make those changes that we have to make.  There may be some personnel things that we have to look at.  You never know when you go into this, but the whole idea is I'm sure we will spend as a coaching staff tonight‑‑ I'm sure since we played so early, but we'll get with our players tomorrow, we'll put it to bed, so to speak.  We're going to make corrections, sit in there for the meeting, and when that's done we've got to turn full attention to FAU.

Q.  How did Derrick Luetjen play today?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  Well, I saw him with a big sack.  That was good.  I have a hard time being able to look at those guys and tell you how they played individually, but I really liked the leadership that Derrick brings to our defense.  He's been playing very strong inside.  Looked like to me he showed up a few times.

Q.  OU obviously has hopes of being in the Final Four this year.  Where do you see them now compared to early last season when you played them?
BILL BLANKENSHIP:  I told Coach Stoops before the game, I think this is a more athletic team.  I think they're deeper.  I think even with their places like running back and receiver, some areas the guys haven't played as long experience‑wise, I think this is a very deep team.  I think they're athletic enough to make a serious run.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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