Gary Patterson Presser: OU Week

Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

From GoFrogs.com:

On Oklahoma ...


"Oklahoma is a really good football team. You're talking about a team that was in the discussion for the national championship early in the season and are still in the mix for a BCS game. Their two losses have come to teams that have been No. 1 in the nation. Notre Dame is there now and Kansas State earlier. They have scored 40-to-50 points in their last three games. They are one of the more athletic football teams we have played. Everyone wants to talk about when TCU played them in 2005, but what they need to do is compare this team to the Oklahoma team we played in 2008 that played for the national championship. They are very athletic and a good football team. They are playing extremely well right now. They have four wideouts who are unbelievable. Their offensive line, running backs and (quarterback) Landry Jones have done a great job the past couple of weeks."

On Oklahoma's defense and special teams ...


"They come with a big four-man front and their linebackers can play. They have the best assortment of defensive backs that I have seen in a long time. They will play six or seven at a time on the field. They can all cover, are big, can run all over the place and can hit you. The kicker has done an unbelievable job. He is probably one of the best in the league. We have a lot of work to do."

On his team's schedule down the stretch ...


"We knew what it was going to be like at the end of the season. Texas was riding a four-game winning streak last week, and Oklahoma is now. We have improved, but we have a long way to go. I am proud of this group of kids with the way they have fought, the way they have played, done things and found ways to win. We found ways to lose in the Iowa State game earlier this season. Now we have a chance to be 8-4, get to a bowl game and do the things you need to do as a jump start for next season. I think our kids will be excited about it when we get there."

On working with such a young team ...


"This group is a day-to-day thing. I was about ready to throw half of them off the field last week at practice. We took a chance last week with the Thursday game. Most people on a Thursday game would probably practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then take Friday and Saturday off and come back on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. I felt like we needed more preparation for Texas. It was kind of broke up some. We didn't go Tuesday at all because we were still pretty banged up. We had a Tuesday practice last Thursday because we wanted to be physical. We wanted to have some 'good-on-good' after watching how we played against Kansas State, especially on the offensive line. We had our Wednesday practice on Saturday and then we took the pads off. We went Sunday and then, this is very uncommon for coaches, took off Monday, went Tuesday and had another practice on Wednesday morning. Our scout guys went home for Thanksgiving, and we had our video test and went down to Austin on Wednesday night. It was a little bit different, but I felt we needed another practice so we could get focused in."

On whether TCU could win again by passing only 10 times ...

"Probably not. Not the way they (Oklahoma) are playing on offense. If we can run the football and we can get it done, we will take it, but we probably can't do that again."

On Oklahoma's style of play ...


"They are physical like they always have been. They have good players, plain and simple. They have played for a lot of championships so they understand how it works, and so do we. You have to have a swagger too, and they have a swagger."

On keys to the improvement of TCU's defense ...


"Purpose. They have been playing hard all year, but just purpose. Getting guys to do what they need to do and when they need to do it. The best thing that can help us is a little bit of recruiting and getting into an off-season program. Up front, we have developed. Devonte Fields' emergence and Stansly Maponga's return from injury has helped, because he is another guy who can really pass rush. How well Sam Carter and Derrick Kindred have played has also been a factor. A year ago, we didn't play too well at corner. (Jason) Verrett has played really well and been a guy who has bought in to what we are trying to do. I think (Stedman) Bailey of West Virginia had only two catches. Get a guy on one side of the ball who you know can play well. You can then do the things you need to do with the rest of the defense. It is also important how Elisha (Olabode) and (Chris) Hackett have grown. We have a long way to go to play at the level that I think we can. That is a good thing, because we are one of the better statistical defenses in the league."

On the competition on defense ...


"We have to go out and recruit at linebacker to make ourselves better. I think David Jenkins, who is redshirting, and a couple of the freshmen we have coming in will make us better in the secondary. At linebacker, we just don't have the depth we have had in the past. Our defensive line is starting to grow up. There is a difference between a redshirt freshman and a sophomore, junior or senior."

On how his team has changed over recent games ...


"You have to get used to playing in front of the big crowds. There is a difference to how you communicate and how you play at that level. People have to understand all the nuances of playing in a game like the other night. There are pluses and minuses to it. One of the pluses for me is when you play in front of 15-to-18,000 you have to do more to get the team to play at a high level before the game. That part of being a head coach is easier. The harder part is the athletes you play against each week. There had to be a learning curve, but I think we have had it. I cut practices back because I thought we were a tired football team. I think we are as healthy a team as we have been in the last five weeks. We didn't really get banged up the other night. Having Matthew Tucker back to full speed was a big deal."

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