|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
December 24, 2019
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the Oklahoma offensive unit. We'll start with co-offensive coordinator Cale Gundy. Also quarterback Jalen Hurts, center Creed Humphrey and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
Coach, an opening statement, talk about getting into Atlanta and bowl preparation so far, how things have been going for the team.
CALE GUNDY: It's been good. We flew in yesterday morning. Started our practice in Norman last week and flew in yesterday morning. Excited to be here. It's a great city. It's going to be a great venue to play in. We're excited to play LSU.
Obviously, they're a great opponent. Feel like we're going to do well on Saturday and go from there.
THE MODERATOR: For the players, Jalen, starting with you, talk about the event last night, getting into the Bowl Week activities.
Tremendous comeback, maybe the best comeback we've ever had in the history of the football feud. What was the event last night like for you guys?
JALEN HURTS: It was cool to get out, have some fellowship with the teammates, experience this with these guys. I think it was all cool.
THE MODERATOR: Creed, what about you?
CREED HUMPHREY: It was a good time for sure. Just having some good times with the other team and everything. It was fun. Just ready for Saturday.
THE MODERATOR: CeeDee, what about touring the Hall of Fame? What did you think about getting to see the Hall of Fame?
CEEDEE LAMB: I got a glimpse of it during the Home Depot awards show so it wasn't much of a surprise to me, but I really enjoyed it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys. We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Coach Gundy, obviously, preparing for a defense like LSU is a very difficult task. What, specifically, do you see that stands out to you as you prepare for Dave Aranda's scheme and, of course, the front seven and the secondary combination they bring to the table?
CALE GUNDY: Well, they're balanced in the front and in the back. They've got a lot of speed. Physical up front. They've got a lot of athletes. They can bring in many, multiple line backers.
They've really played well the last few weeks, especially the last few games, the Georgia and Arkansas, and then seemed to really get settled in what they want to do schematically.
So it will be a good game, good challenge for us on Saturday. We'll be ready for it.
Q. Jalen, how much stock do you personally put in your recent -- or past success against LSU while you were at Alabama?
JALEN HURTS: I said this when I first came to Oklahoma. I said no pass, no touchdown, no win while I was at the University of Alabama. Help us win games here.
Q. Good morning, gentlemen. Jalen, you've had some moments in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, good and bad. What is that place to you? In what ways does -- where does that place sit in terms of your college football memories, and what is your hope for making a new one on Saturday night?
JALEN HURTS: I think it's all good experiences. Opportunities for me to learn. Some great moments in that stadium. And it's just great to be back in there, have an opportunity to play with this team, these guys up here, and going out there and making it another special night.
Q. Jalen, obviously, the two quarterbacks in this game will get a lot of attention. Did you have a chance to interact with Joe at all in New York City, get to know him at any point?
And your motivation, some people might say he's the runner-up. He wants to prove something in this game, or are you just always motivated?
JALEN HURTS: Yeah. I guess you just made that decision for me, as far as my motivation. My motivation is about to do something special with these guys and take advantage of this great opportunity that we have together.
Q. Creed, obviously, this offensive line has become a very solid unit, but it's faced its fair share of adversity, R.J. Proctor coming in late in the season, Adrian battling some things, and obviously guys like Tyrese and Marquise starting for the first time this year. How proud are you to reach the college football playoff with this unit and how have they become similar to the unit you were part of a year ago?
CREED HUMPHREY: It's exciting to see the guys grow throughout the season. I'm proud of what they accomplished this year for sure. It's great to be part of that line.
You know, as far as reaching the college football playoff, that's one of our goals every season. That just was one of our goals. It wasn't too much of a surprise for us.
So we're excited about it for sure. But I'm just really proud of the guys that have stepped up.
Q. CeeDee, how dynamic is this LSU secondary compared to some of the other ones that you've faced this season?
CEEDEE LAMB: They're very physical. They call themselves DBU for a reason, so I can't wait to see on Saturday.
Q. Jalen, I'm curious, I know, obviously, you're preparing for LSU's defense, but have you watched much of Joe this season and what have you thought of the way Joe Burrow has played?
JALEN HURTS: I have a lot of respect for him. He's done a great job in what they do. He's been very efficient, executed very well. So I salute him.
Q. Coach and CeeDee, how would you guys compare what Jalen's done this season to the previous -- y'all got me choked up -- to the previous couple quarterbacks who have done quite well?
CALE GUNDY: Jalen's led this team, this offense. He's been a great leader for us. He's been a part of a lot of success this year for our football team. Another conference championship. There's still more that's left out there to accomplish. We've been fortunate here, under Coach Riley, to have great quarterbacks every season, and Jalen has taken on his own to do what he needed to do to lead this team as the quarterback, and he's done a great job.
CEEDEE LAMB: Going off what Coach Gundy said, he's done a great job here, especially coming in in January, in the spring, with a lot on his plate. Obviously, it wasn't enough for him, so he came in, did his thing, and here we are in the playoffs.
Q. Creed, you guys are the only team in the playoff with a loss. But also in a sense, you guys have been tested in ways that maybe the other teams haven't been. The adversity you all have faced this year, how can it help you in a playoff situation now that the games get bigger and bigger?
CREED HUMPHREY: Throughout the season, we've had some adversity for sure. I think just -- really just prepares us to be in any type of game that we find ourselves in.
So I think it's a good thing we've faced adversity so far, so nothing is going to surprise us. That's good.
Q. For CeeDee, Charleston Rambo, in the college football playoff a year ago is when he took the stage for Alabama. And then for Jadon Haselwood, coming back to the state of Georgia, returning home, I'm sure both of those guys are excited to take the stage and in an increased role offensively.
What's the sense you get from those two guys as they head into this football game, and what are you doing to lead them into the matchup with LSU?
CEEDEE LAMB: There's only so much I can say. At the end of the day, those boys will have to go out and play. Like you said, Rambo, a year ago, he put himself out there. Can't wait to see what he's going to do this year. As for Jadon, he's been growing up throughout the season as a freshman. At this point, he's not considered a freshman anymore. So he's going to have to play his best ball.
Q. Jalen, after you all beat Houston in the season opener, I asked you on the field how you would define this journey. You used the word unprecedented.
Now, all these games later, how would you define this story right now to someone who didn't know it?
JALEN HURTS: I'd use the same word, unprecedented. Very consistent with it, because that's what it is. It's been very easy for people to make this about me or try to make it about me, but none of this is done by one person, a lone soldier.
These guys next to me, all the coaches, all the players, they contribute to everything and all of our success. So we're going to ride together, and we're going to work, and we're going to prepare for what's up next.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, I'll ask you, LSU's defensive backfield is coming off a game where they held Georgia to 225 yards, had a couple of picks. How do you evaluate that unit and what challenges do they present your passing game?
CALE GUNDY: Like I mentioned earlier, they've got a lot of speed, they're very athletic. They do a great job in man coverage. A lot of that has to do with the success that they have up front, getting to the quarterback. Their blitz package, they do a great job with that.
It will be a challenge for us. We're looking forward to it.
Q. Jalen, how would you compare your journey to Joe Burrow's journey? Two transfers looking to find a team. Compare those two.
JALEN HURTS: To each their own, and everybody has a bit of uniqueness in their own journey. It's hard to compare certain things, but I'm happy he's doing well and that we are.
Q. Guys, I interviewed Lincoln yesterday, and he said to me that you guys have an edge about you coming into this game.
Jalen, I'll ask you, what is that edge? What's it stem from?
JALEN HURTS: It stems from the -- I guess, the goals and the standard we set for ourselves early on. We set our things that we wanted to accomplish. There's no need to sit here to talk about what we want to do. We've got to go do it.
I think we've worked really hard all year. We've overcome a lot, learned a lot about ourselves as a team, grown together as one. So we've got a great opportunity to do something great and learn and use all of those experiences to our advantage.
So we've got the opportunity to do it. So can't wait for it.
Q. Jalen, what do you remember about that 2016 game at LSU? It was 10-0. You had a long touchdown run. Take me to the memories on that one.
JALEN HURTS: What do you want me to tell you?
Q. (No microphone)
JALEN HURTS: Winning the game.
Q. (No microphone)
JALEN HURTS: Yeah, win the game.
Q. Jalen, can you speak to your defense and how good they are? Sometimes the Big 12 gets labeled for shootouts and whatnot. It looks like your defense in big games has held people down.
JALEN HURTS: Yeah, I think our defense is playing really well. Coach Grinch has done a great job just going against them in practice every day. Gets very competitive. Just executing the scheme, being disciplined in what they do.
I mean, it's been fun to watch.
Q. Coach, Coach Aranda came in here and doubled down on Mike Gundy's theory that you guys are playing a triple option style offense in the spread. He's excited to be the variation of plays and trickeration that you guys put on in the field.
Is it fun or interesting for you to see a lot of different coaches and teams, essentially, portraying you as a triple option team? What's your viewpoint on that as more teams take on that mentality?
CALE GUNDY: I can't hear him. I didn't hear you good enough. Sorry.
Q. Can you hear me now? Coach Aranda was in here doubling down on Mike's theory that you guys are playing a triple option type of offense in the spread. What is your viewpoint on coaches and teams continuing to emphasize the fact that in their minds, you guys are a triple option attack in the spread offense?
CALE GUNDY: I think it's just another way to look at these offenses and you see a lot of players on the field that are great athletes and just trying to use from sideline to sideline, and just ways you can get the ball in different players' hands.
I would venture to say almost more than half the teams across the country are doing the exact same thing. It's just the style of football that we're playing today. With the great young athletes that are coming out of the high school ranks in football and the better skill players, it makes it an exciting time in college football to be on the offensive side.
Q. Coach Gundy, you've been around the program for 30-plus years. As a player, as a coach, what does the program mean to you? It obviously means a lot. Put into words what the program means to you as a coach, as a person. What has it done for your life and all that kind of stuff?
CALE GUNDY: Well, first, I've been there 26, so I don't want to go down to 30. I'm not there yet, but I've been very fortunate and blessed. I've had the opportunity to be around a lot of great players, a lot of all-Americans, national award winners, conference winners. A lot of great assistant coaches, coordinators, coordinators who have gone on to be head coaches.
This is one of the special college football programs in America. There's no doubt about it. And being now in year 21 as an assistant, I go back to the word consistency. This is something this program has been about. I think that what this -- what the University of Oklahoma's continued to do year in and year out, chasing for titles, producing a lot of great players on the football field, it's been really great to be a part of.
Q. For Coach, Lincoln was asked earlier in this process one word to describe the mentality of the team. I believe he said the word was hunger. Then, later on, he also was asked essentially describe the state of the fan base for Oklahoma, and he kind of went on in that same note, saying that they're hungry for more. They're hungry for a national title.
Do you feel like hunger -- do you feel that hunger in this program? Do you feel like these players exhibit kind of a want and a true passion for the pursuit of a national title this year.
CALE GUNDY: Who did you say said that?
Q. Coach Riley.
CALE GUNDY: This is the University of Oklahoma. I mean, Oklahoma is about winning and pursuing championships. So, I mean, every year that's what everybody wants. Everybody wants to win championships. Players, coaches, students, fans, alumni.
Again, Oklahoma's about pursuing and chasing championships. And yes, I think there's no doubt that there's hunger. But there's hunger every year, every time we step out on that field.
Q. Jalen, we've seen the video of you celebrating in the stands earlier in the season with the fans. How do you feel you've been accepted at Oklahoma? What did you try to do or what have you tried to exhibit to make people accept you as a player who is just here for one year?
JALEN HURTS: I think that it's all unique when you look at it that way. And talk about having true fans and true support from two of the best universities in college football history, it's special.
I think that's another way it's unprecedented, and I appreciate it all. More importantly, my teammates have welcomed me, embraced me, put me on this pedestal and allowed me to do these things for them and contribute to the team.
So I'm appreciative of everything.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports