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September 30, 2019

Les Miles

Lawrence, Kansas

LES MILES: Electric defense, a return man that can put points on the board. We were fortunate to score. We worked hard. I liked how our kids fought. If they continue to do that, they'll improve. We'll have an opportunity for significant victories as this day, as this season continues.

OU with their transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts is a tremendous player. Good quality and toughness and just an arm that he can just uncork it. Very accurate, very strong.

Now, any questions?

Q. I just wondered if you could kind of give us some more clarity about the situation with Khalil? When did you find out that he wasn't going to be with the team?
LES MILES: I had the opportunity to visit with him Friday night at length. It's really his business, and it's something that I'm not going to comment on. It will -- you'll eventually get it.

Q. Did he travel down for the game? You talked with him Friday night?
LES MILES: At the game. You bet.

Q. Earlier today, you said you expected it to last in the foreseeable future. Does that mean permanent? Do you expect his departure to be permanent?
LES MILES: Again, the ongoing conversations with Khalil are still going. So I'm not going to comment on that.

Q. Do you feel like getting the news on that day might have affected your team in a negative way?
LES MILES: I have no idea. I hope not. I have no idea.

Q. And last one. Not saying this is what it is, but what are your thoughts on this change to the redshirt rule that allows players to leave after four games or take a redshirt after four games?
LES MILES: We're -- any team that's in this building looks at attrition in the same way. That's not something you want. You want your guys that -- you want them to stay with you. You want to give them the opportunity to have great success and have all the dreams they want fulfilled right here.

Q. Is Khalil just not with the team at all? Is he around the facility at all?
LES MILES: I have not seen him.

Q. I just wondered, if there was a law in California about players being able to, I guess, be compensated for their likeness and endorsements and things like that, do you have any general comment on if that's good for football and college football?
LES MILES: College football, it certainly will change the landscape of college football. Those places that have, New York City, for instance, as a marketplace or southern California as a marketplace will certainly have great advantages for opportunities for their players. It doesn't look -- it's not really my call.

Q. Do you extend that to recruiting advantage too, to land some of those players for those opportunities?
LES MILES: I think we'll compete very comfortably with quality of education kind of campus we have and the people that are here. I think we'll compete very well. I think the -- it will be interesting to see. In other words, basically, a head coach might solicit support so that we could compete in a fair and accurate and comfortable manner.

Q. Could you just break down Velton Gardner a little bit and whether you expect to lean on him going forward.
LES MILES: Yeah, a guy from Dallas, a big runner, has great change of direction, big smile on his face after he came off the field. He's a guy that will have a long and very capable career.

Q. Coach, when you're looking at Oklahoma's offense, year after year they're coming with a new quarterback and whichever quarterback is going to be up for the Heisman voting, what is it about this offense that's able to quickly come back and be dominant?
LES MILES: They have a group of receivers that are big and strong and capable and a nice offensive line that can protect them. And Jalen Hurts is a known commodity. He's a great player, and certainly a capable passer. They have all the goods.

Q. Hey, Les, we didn't see Dom Williams either on Saturday. Is he in a similar situation to Khalil, looking redshirt, or can you give us an update on his status?
LES MILES: I really can't. Again, it's Dom's information, not mine. He'll be at practice today, and we're going to go on from there.

Q. Had a question about Mike Lee. It looked like he might have got banged up against TCU later in that game. Is he okay? Is he able to play?
LES MILES: Yeah, I think -- I'm going to take HIPAA on that one because I don't know exactly where he's at in terms of his health, but he did take significant contact. He's a tough young man. I'd expect him to return as soon as he can.

Q. Do you have any update if you expect Dru Prox to be back, and also what did you see in Gavin Potter playing in his place?
LES MILES: Gavin Potter had about nine unassisted tackles, and although some of his unassisted tackles took about four or five yards to get him to the ground, I enjoyed how he played and how his toughness reared. You could see that he's going to be a very, very capable linebacker as we go forward.

Q. Do you hope or expect Dru Prox to be back?
LES MILES: I don't know when we expect Dru Prox to be back. I think we'll know more as we get through the next couple of weeks.

Q. I wanted to ask you about next week you guys have the bye week. What does that look like for the coaches, for the players? How do you kind of approach that?
LES MILES: It's an opportunity for young guys that are nicked up to get healthy. We'll also review, self scout, in other words, what plays the opponents think we're going to run, and let's see if we can put together a quality game plan such that they'll not understand where they're going.

So we'll do an in depth self scout, and then we'll get some freshness and get this piece of the season and have the need to relax and get off your feet. I think that they'll do that. They'll be -- coaches will be recruiting. Yeah, the coaching staff will be out.

Q. I just wonder what the Khalil situation, when a guy like that -- face of the program, leading rusher, all of that -- if he does end up stepping away for good, what do you have to do to kind of right the ship with the rest of the guys? That's obviously a big blow. How do you handle that, I guess, emotionally and mentally?
LES MILES: Again, it's not something that I want to spend a lot of time on. I spent some time on this. This is not something that did not go with effort from the head coach. Everybody has a different path.

Q. I just meant as far as rallying the rest of your guys that are here?
LES MILES: I think the guys are going to want to improve and play well at the back end of this, the remainder of our games. Yeah, I don't know if that will be a real issue.

Q. Coach, I know, historically speaking, Oklahoma State hadn't beaten Oklahoma very often. Obviously, you had some success against the Sooners. When you went to Norman or when you're kind of around Oklahoma fans, were they kind of extra hard on you because of the success you had there? I know that every road trip, the fans probably don't like you much, and they weren't real warm, I'm assuming, towards you in Norman.
LES MILES: I think they enjoyed the rivalry. I think that they looked at bedlam and an opportunity to fill one stadium and celebrate the football in that state as something that they could really enjoy. Yeah, I don't know that -- I do know of one fan that absolutely did not enjoy me, and he made it very clear in the number of words that he chose to speak to me with, but other than that, I really enjoyed the people from Oklahoma. They've responded to me and my family very well.

Q. Coach, what do you think was the most notable quality -- when you're looking back on the TCU game? What was the most notable quality that was missing from the team that led to the result the way it went.
LES MILES: I think the effort and energy was there. I really do. And put the defense in a tough position, and I still think they performed. I think we're a team that's -- you know, needs some improvement and needs to work, and I think they'll do that. I don't have any -- I really don't have a lot of questions there. I think that they're -- I think that that quality that you speak to will certainly show itself as we go forward.

Q. I just wonder, with Lincoln Riley and this incredible success that OU's quarterbacks have had, Baker and then Kyler and now Jalen, have you seen anything like that? What do you think is happening down there at that position and, of course, with Lincoln Riley doing a lot of that?
LES MILES: Lincoln Riley's done a great job taking the reins from a great coach in Coach Bob Stoops. But they've had a great run with quarterbacks and receivers that can fly and have height and ball skills, not to mention the quality rushing attack that really kind of matches their ability to throw.

I think that they're -- I think they're right now on the cusp of college football. I think Alabama's probably in the defensive side and Oklahoma more on the offensive side.

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