Football Notebook: What we learned from Monday’s press conference
The Five Things We Learned from Monday's Presser:
1. Turnovers hurt the Sooners the most in the loss, coaches said.
The lack of offensive production and the 213 rushing yards allowed by the OU defense didn't help the situation, but coach Bob Stoops felt like the turnovers affected the outcome of the game more than anything else. The Sooners had three turnovers — most costly being the fumble by senior quarterback Landry Jones that allowed Kansas State to walk into the endzone and the fumble by sophomore quarterback Blake Bell in the redzone that negated a 59-yard drive — that turned into 17 points that was enough for the Wildcats to beat OU on its home field.
"Main point and story of the game were the two major turnovers," Stoops said. "You have to play perfect to have a chance to overcome it."
2. If up to OU, the team would play this weekend.
One of the worst things for this Sooners' team to do was lose another game at home. The second worst thing to happen to the team was realizing they will have to marinate in the loss for an additional week. Stoops said the team would get its regular time off similar to the previous bye week this season, but OU would work on correcting the mistakes the team learned from Saturday's game tape. But getting that extra week before squaring off against Texas Tech just means more time to for the Sooners to think about the loss.
"I wish we played on Saturday to move along," junior fullback Trey Millard said. "The bye weeks slows that process down."
3. Senior quarterback Landry Jones knows he's not performing at his best.
Regardless of whether the starting quarterback has heard any of the rants for his removal, Jones knows he's in the hot seat after Saturday's performance. Throwing behind receivers and missing wide open tight ends are not the things a player has to learn to correct this late in a college career. But Jones knows he messed up; he also knows the Sooners have quality talent on both sides of the ball and losses like the 24-19 skid to Kansas State are not indicative of what what this team can do.
"It drives me nuts we're underachieving," Jones said.
4. (Sooners) love Roy Finch.
If the above statement is actually true, then OU has a funny way of showing it. But for all of the people that thought otherwise, Stoops confirmed that Finch was not 'in any doghouse' and "you do the best you can with the formations you have" when asked about Finch's limited touches Saturday. Either Stoops told the media what it wanted to hear with hopes the group will quit asking about Finch's absences or this may be a positive premonition of future appearances by the junior running back turned slot receiver. But be wary of crystal ball predictions that Stoops uses. Stoops also said during the Big 12 Media days over the summer that the coaches wanted Millard to get at least 10 touches per game (depending on how the game was going), and so far the fullback has five rushes and four catches through the first three games.
5. The Landry Jones era in Norman will continue until the fifth-year senior graduates.
Stoops was asked if he would go with another signal caller in the upcoming matchups after Jones was responsible for two of the Sooners' three turnovers against the Wildcats, to which the coach replied convincingly with a 'no'. Although Sooner nation most likely has seen Jones' limit as a quarterback, now is probably not the best time to add even more wrinkles to the OU playbook when the new gaggle of wide receivers are still working to run their routes and block correctly. Jones is very capable of hurling the pigskin — he has nine 400-yard passing games and 21 300-yard games in his career — which further suggests the question of how can a quarterback develop more problems as he gets older? And if the Sooners are going to stand behind Jones regardless of what happens in the upcoming game, will the team just continue to live with its team captain's blunders?
"Don't think it will continue to happen," Stoops said.