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September 23, 2017

Lincoln Riley

Waco, Texas

Oklahoma - 49, Baylor - 41

LINCOLN RILEY: Quite a ballgame tonight. We knew coming in this was going to be a good atmosphere. First conference game. Coach Rhule is doing a tremendous job. Give them a lot of credit tonight. Thought their kids played really, really well. We're very excited about the win. That was probably the biggest message to our guys in the locker room. Winning is hard. You can't -- you can't take it for granted, and we're damn sure not too good to appreciate it.

So we've got to do a lot of things better. We've got to coach better. We've got to play better on all three sides of the ball. We had some critical mistakes tonight that let that game get close. So we've got to do a lot better. But we will. It's game four. We've got a lot of room for improvement. And going into this bye week, hopefully we can get a couple guys back healthy. Make strides on all three sides of the ball, and be ready to play when we get back home against Iowa State.

Q. You were heavy with the run game in the fourth quarter, especially with Trey coming out, what was the key to getting that thing going and specifically Trey?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, Trey ran well. I didn't do a good job, especially, we hit a lot of big plays in the first quarter. I didn't do a very good job in the second quarter. I got a little impatient. Didn't put our guys in a great position defensively, and it took me too long to catch up. So I've got to do better. We ran it well in the second half. We moved them up front, running through a lot of tackles. We really stopped ourselves in the second half. We fumbled on the Marquise Brown first-down catch, and every other drive was stopped by penalties. Had a chance, obviously, to ice it. If we don't get that last hold, the game's basically over.

So we moved it well, but still way too many penalties and got to do a better job.

Q. You get behind and your team responded with enough points to win the game. Talk about that point right there and what your team showed you?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, you've got to have perseverance. You can't expect that every one is going to be a blowout. You're going to have tight games like that. This is a good conference, a good league, and a good opponent. I've told people all week. Lot of guys back. They're getting better and better. This is going to be a tough game.

So you've got to hang in there. You've got to keep swinging. Our guys did that and made enough plays to win.

Q. Was it your plan coming in to use Sermon at all in the fourth quarter?
LINCOLN RILEY: No, just got the flow of the game.

Q. Magazine in your gut told you to go with him?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, we felt like it was time to turn him loose.

Q. You had 21 points on seven plays to start the game. Is that something that can kind of lead you into a sense of you're playing better than you maybe really are?
LINCOLN RILEY: Oh, it could. If it does, we're not the team that we want to be.

Q. When you guys gave up 463 passing yards, what was Baylor doing differently than some of the other teams this season?
LINCOLN RILEY: They threw and caught the ball well. We were just, our pass defense was just inconsistent the whole night. Sometimes it was the rush not getting there. Couple busted coverages by the backers. Couple plays in the secondary were really, I thought at times, were trying too hard to make a play and coming out of their assignment.

Give the Baylor guys credit. The guy made unreal throws. They made some incredible catches. So we've got to play better there.

Q. Baker took two really, not illegal, but just big hits. Did that impact you at any point in play calling?

Q. Lincoln, how far are you all away from being a great team?
LINCOLN RILEY: I don't know how you define it. We've still got a ways to go. We're still inconsistent. Our trust level right now as far as doing our job, we've got good intentions, but we veer off on our own too much right now. So we've got to do a better job of that.

I think we're all still learning about our team too. Playing a lot of new guys, lot of different guys and coaching-wise trying to do a great job of putting them in the best position to make plays. So we're a work in progress. We said after Ohio State everybody's going to want to anoint us. We've got a long ways to go. But we've shown the ability around here to improve a lot as seasons go on, and we're confident we're going to do that again.

Q. (Inaudible)?

Q. Because it was almost a disaster?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, it was a disaster. I'll go ahead and say it was. Yeah, we blocked it up perfect. We blocked it well on the perimeter. When you go 99, 11 guys out there did a pretty good job.

Q. As a play caller, do you have to stop at times and say I just have to take what they give me?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You can get too aggressive. I've certainly been guilty of it many times in my career. So, you know, just there is a feel. We're going to be aggressive, but it is a feel. You don't hit all those big plays without not being aggressive too. So we've got to find balance and I have to do a better job of that.

Q. Is being a coach and a play caller, sometimes it cross-references a play caller, and you want to be aggressive.
LINCOLN RILEY: No, because as a play caller, I think about all three sides of the ball. I always have. Certainly that was something I learned here from Bob the last two years, that I can't just call it trying to score points and trying to move the ball all the time. So I take that into account. That doesn't feel different now because I've done that the last two years.

Q. You have 3rd and 8, Baylor called the timeout before the next snap, and you go 34 yards, what did you see? That seemed like an unlikely call?
LINCOLN RILEY: We just don't care a lot about what is unlikely or status quo. If we call it, it's because we thought it was the best call we could make.

Q. Baker, the secondary obviously had some issues on pass coverage in general. But could the front seven guys, did they play pretty thick out there?
LINCOLN RILEY: Talking about our defensive front?

Q. Your defensive front.
LINCOLN RILEY: No, yeah, we did a great job on the run game. We got them in the situation we wanted to get them to in the pass game, and we just didn't execute. So there's a balance there between defending a run and still being able to rush the passer and effect that guy. We got to them a few times. Obviously had the huge one at the end, but that's something we've got to do better at.

It's not just the DBs or linebackers. Playing great team defense takes all of them.

Q. You talked about how the play calling got away from you in the second. How did it get back?
LINCOLN RILEY: Oh, just having a chance to clear my mind and think about it, talk to our coaches, make adjustments. We've all done this together here for a long time. So we had some adjustments made. We felt like we had a decent beat going into halftime. We felt, even though we didn't score the first two drives, I think we had a hold on the first drive and then we fumbled on the second drive. But we knew those were self-inflicted. We felt like we were in a good spot at that time.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, in football, everybody has their assignments. It's 11-man football. If one guy veers off and tries to do his own thing, it could wreck the whole deal. When we go back and watch this tape, I can think of a lot of examples. I'm not going to call individual players out, but there are several examples, whether it be coverage, both sides of the ball where we want to make a play so bad that we want to get out of our lane to do it.

It's good we want to make plays and step up, but we've got to do it in the context of coaching them and what we're doing schemewise.

Q. So many people talk about losing Samaje and Joe coming into this year, but you won a lot of games the last couple years with those guys. How satisfying is that to know that you can put new backs out there and run the ball like that?
LINCOLN RILEY: I wouldn't say satisfying. We felt confident in the guys that we've recruited and the guys that we've developed here. We're very confident in the front that we have. So I'm excited about their growth, and I think we're getting better there. I think they're getting more in sync with what we're doing up front.

Q. (Inaudible)?
LINCOLN RILEY: I don't think so. I think we have in a lot of areas, but we've still got to get a lot better. Absolutely. Each week is its own new challenge. Just because you do this against this team one game, doesn't mean it's going to be like that the next week. There are new challenges every single week. So I think we're improving, but we still clearly have a lot to do better.

Q. With all these young guys, how much more do you trust (Inaudible)?
LINCOLN RILEY: We're getting there. We're getting there. And I think we've got more right now than maybe we've had in the past just across the board. So we're starting. Our guys are stepping up that make plays in critical games here. We've had two big road victories, so I think we're growing there and we've got some nice depth going into this stretch of Big 12 play.

Q. Is Jordan okay?
LINCOLN RILEY: We'll have to see. We're not sure yet.

Q. Are you concerned with your secondary?
LINCOLN RILEY: No, I'm not concerned. We've got to play better. We've got to play better around them. Again, it's 11-man football. So I think a lot of the things are easily correctible. But we've got to go back to work in the off week.

Q. There was a point in the game Baker got an un-Sportsmanlike, the camera came to you on the sideline and you looked to be calm. You're not ripping his head off or anything, and he goes out and throws a touchdown pass the very next play. What goes through your mind when you're the coach that he can do something to infuriate you, but he does something good in the game?
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, it's not our first rodeo together. I wasn't happy with him, and I made that pretty clear. Again, for me, it's not about what it looks like on TV or if everybody loves it in the stands when a coach is ripping a guy and just ripping him. My whole deal is just what's going to help us on the next play.

I'll get him later. Trust me. But it's what's going to help us on the next play. Is me tearing him up right there going to help him? My ego's not too big for that.

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