Dana Holgorsen talked up Oklahoma in his press conference today and for very good reason.
The Sooners have won seven national titles along with seven Big 12 championships, and are still within reach of the league’s BCS berth.
They'll be in town to play struggling West Virginia on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Holgorsen: “Oklahoma is going to be a tremendous challenge. They are a very storied program that is extremely well coached. Bob (Stoops) has been there for 14 years and won many championships. They have great players, and they develop them well, they recruit well, it is a very structured program. We are talking about a place that has won seven national championships and seven Big 12 Championships so they are used to winning.”
*On the Oklahoma defense:
Holgorsen: “They have always been known for their defense. His brother, Mike (Stoops), is back with them after being a head coach at Arizona for a while, but you can tell that it has made a difference. It has made a difference from a discipline, effort and scheme standpoint. They play with tremendous effort. They are very sound, and they are very physical. They are very talented. All those things exist with their defense.”
“They are very talented in the back end. There is going to be one-on-one matchups everywhere. Not from just a coverage standpoint, from an upfront standpoint. They are going to be one-on- one matchups everywhere, and they are going take pride in the fact that they are going to win those one-on-one matchups. They have got two great safeties that tackle well. They lead their team in tackles. They are very good on defense and very talented on offense.”
*On the Oklahoma offense:
Holgorsen: “Everything starts with their quarterback, Landry Jones, it seems like he has been there for six years. I remember him in high school, and he came out of New Mexico. He came to our camp, and he is very talented, big kid with a great arm and is a winner.
Then they put in the “Bell-dozer,” (Blake Bell). That is their backup who poses different problems. He is obviously a runner and will do wild-cat stuff with them.
This is probably one of the most talented groups of receivers we have faced all year and possibly in the country. Kenny Stills has been there for a while and is good. They hit two home runs on two transfers. The (Justin) Brown kid from Penn State, and the (Jalen) Saunders kid from Fresno are special. They have tremendous depth and some capable running backs. We will have just as much of a challenge on offense.
*On Oklahoma special teams:
Holgorsen: “The special teams is probably the top special teams unit in the Big 12, and it goes back to just having a lot of depth. They have a whole bunch of people who could start anywhere in the country, so when you have that kind of depth, that makes you good on special teams. They have two good return guys and take it very seriously. It is a challenge we are looking forward to.”
*Asked if cornerback Pat Miller was still part of the team, Holgorsen nodded yes and indicated he expects Miller to play Saturday.
Holgorsen: “I hope he gets out there and practices hard and gets better. We need him and a lot of other people to get better. So hopefully, they take to the coaching and get better.”
*And a message to the fans:
Holgorsen: “We encourage everyone to come support the team. The kids are playing hard, the guys are motivated, and we are ready to get back to work today. I understand the frustrations that have existed. Not only with the team, but coaches and players are well frustrated, but we are going to get back to work. Our approach last week was good, and I thought we had good work last week and we traveled well and I thought we wanted to play. We just made too many simple mistakes that prevented us from winning the game. We will get back to work and looking forward to a good week of working and then a great atmosphere Saturday night in Morgantown.”