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January 2, 2011

Fiesta Bowl Postgame: Bob Stoops

Bob Stoops opening statement…

Very proud of our football team for the way they played. They deserve the credit. They were out there making plays. They played hard. They played well really all night. Randy, I'm sure, is proud of his football team. They have done a great job. He has got an excellent football team and a great program as he is going to continue to build. Again, really proud of the way our players handled themselves the whole week, the way they got ready for the game and the way they came out and played tonight and making the plays they did. There was a lot of big plays made, and they did a great job.

Can you talk about the amazing night for your offense, 500 yards total offense. Landry over 400 yards. Demarco almost 100. Just talk about the amazing night, especially with Ryan Broyles, Kenny Stills both going over 100, too.
Players really did well. Again, the credit should go to the offensive staff, Coach Heupel, Coach Norvell, all those guys. Kevin came back and did a nice job during the game just talking with Josh. Again, Coach Patton, Coach Gundy, all those guys did a nice job preparing the players. And these guys made big plays. Landry had a huge night. Ryan always does. Jeez, that catch he made, he just every -- does something amazing every game. DeMarco is always the tough, physical, hard-working guy that sets so many things up because people have to defend him. And Kenney had a big night. Cameron Kenney I thought had one of the biggest nights. I thought, again, through the last half of the season he has made some huge plays for us, and he did again tonight.

A lot of games are won on a decisive play or momentum swing. This one looked like it might have been won in December in the preparation and in the seriousness with which you guys took this game. And the chip maybe that you had on your shoulder about Fiesta Bowls and BCS Bowls. Can you talk about that and how that played out?
It's fair to say that probably had a strong impact on the players. The players could probably answer that a little bit more. But in the end I don't feel we have ever not worked hard in these games. We've maybe not had the best fortune in some of the other ones, came in with not all of our players. You have some starters missing, those kind of things. You can end up you are not at your best. You are playing another championship team. You are going to have a hard time winning. I'm not going to sit here and act like we weren't ready in some other games, but we were more healthy in this one and these guys worked hard and they had an attitude to play in the game.

How important was it that you guys got off to a fast start offensively? First two times you got the ball, you scored touchdowns and put them on their heels. How important was that for you tonight?
It obviously helps you. But in the end, if you don't, you still have to play for another 3 1/2 hours. I worry about ever stressing it too much because if it doesn't happen, you don't want everyone thinking, oh, gosh, we didn't get off to a great start. When you do, it is definitely a big boost and momentum -- it helps you with momentum and helps you.

The question I had, though, Bob, for you and Landry, even though you look like you were in control of the game, you had to play on into late third. And it was the third-down plays that Landry and the offense came up with that seemed to be the decisive thing.
Definitely. When you have a pick-six for a touchdown, that's not really -- I saw the way that unfolded. It is not Landry's fault in that we were running a mesh route. Players -- he is anticipating the guy got knocked down on his way to the route. He is anticipating him being there. He is not there. And then those things happen. You have a pick-six and a kick-off return for a touchdown. And to me, even at the end of the half, the poor kick coverage set up the field goal. So you are sitting there looking at 17 points and the defense has been playing fabulous. But that will happen. You give up those kind of plays. So they were -- they were hanging around. It is not the most comfortable feeling when you are playing so well, but the score doesn't indicate it.

Just wanted to know what is it about these Bowl games? It is two 400-yard performances in a row in Bowl games for Landry. What is it that brings out the best in him in these? What's that say about his future?
Landry, I have been saying it all year, has a huge future. He has had a great -- he had a huge year this year. I mean, this guy is special. He's a long way from a finished product, and he is also a special and great quarterback, and everyone is realizing it. I'm sure Landry would credit Coach Heupel and his coaching and all his other coaches, too. And he works hard. He has got the attitude. He is humble. He pushes himself. You have that kind of guy that has talent with it, and he is going to be special.

Bob, you mentioned when you look up you see your team is playing well and they are only up 10, 17 points. Game is over, 28-point game. What is it like for you at the end of the game to look up and see a score that reflects one team's dominance?
It feels a heck of a lot better than it did when it was 20-10. At the end you are just pleased. I'm excited for the players, for them just to play in a complete game and to finish it the way they did is -- you know, you are just proud for them.

Bob, you talked about the different factors in previous BCS games. For all the consistency in this program, the success escapes a little bit at the BCS level. But to get this win tonight, is there any extra satisfaction for just finishing off the season like that?
Well, sure there is. There is always satisfaction in winning and being successful. So, yeah, it doesn't feel bad (laughter).

Video by Eddie Radosevich

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