Tulsa to visit Oklahoma Saturday

Posted at 9:03 PM, Sep 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-15 22:03:20-04
COACH PHILIP MONTGOMERY: I'm excited for our football team. You know, big road win, complete team effort, offensively, defensively, special teams. We had some guys that really stepped up and played significant roles in all of those things. You know, we're still a team that's growing, trying to get better each and every day,
each and every game that we have. We're still learning about ourselves and learning about our football team. Got a lot of things that we still gotta correct, but overall, excited the direction that we're pushing. We got a great opponent this week in Oklahoma, Coach Stoops and his staff have done a tremendous job there for a number of years. They've got great athletes, great schemes. It'll be tough going down there obviously playing in their
environment, and so our guys will have to have a great week of work and excited about the opportunity to go town there and see how we match up.
Q. This obviously isn't your first trip to Norman. How would you kind of describe the experiences of playing there?
COACH MONTGOMERY: You know, they got a great crowd. You know, they do a great job. They're loud; they're involved. You know, the stadium sits pretty tight. You don't have a whole lot of room on the sidelines, so everything is kind of back down on top of you. You know, been there a bunch of times now, and it's always been the same. It's a great place to play a college football game. You know, when you talk about going to
different venues, this is one you like to go to because it is going to be exciting and it'll be loud and it'll be a great opportunity for our guys to go and have an opportunity to prove themselves.
Q. You mentioned being excited with the start so far. The fact that it's not just one side of the ball carrying things, the defense has pitched in, special teams scored points for you guys in Albuquerque. Run game and pass game, how gratifying has that been that everybody's pitched in?
COACH MONTGOMERY: Well, you know, I think it's something that we've talked about all the way through, from the start of spring ball throughout fall camp, how everybody's gotta do their job and we're relying on each other. And you know, I think it's really showed up in our first two ball games. We've won them differently and guys have played different schemes and had to do different things and certain guys had to step up. So our team I think is believing in each other. They're believing in what we do and how we do it. And that part of it is always the biggest hurdle anytime you're starting with a new staff and new program.
Q. You talked about the belief and that's what I wanted to ask you about. It's only been two games but what you've seen does it give you the confidence that they've bought in to the message that you've brought to the
COACH MONTGOMERY: Yeah, I think they really have. I mean something as small as when you start talking about our conditioning and the way we practice and the way we do things. Those things have been factors in the last two ball games. And so they understand it. They see it. They've seen the results from it. Even Saturday
when, you know, New Mexico takes the first drive right down the field our defense is coming off, they're not panicked. We go to the sideline. They're defensive guys do a great job of making some adjustments. They go out there and execute them. We had to do some of those same things offensively. So our guys are handling situations the way I want them to.
Q. Two games in, put up 600 yards in
both games. Is offense kind of where you
hoped it would be at this point?
September 15, 2015
visit our archives at
09.15.15 - P. Montgomery.docx 2
there. You know, I'm not big on all the stat part of
it. I mean it's good for our guys and it's good for
our program. You know, we didn't do a very good
job in the red zone the other night. Those are
things we gotta continue to work on. I thought
Dane played really well at times and then we
missed a couple of things at times. We didn't
throw the deep ball quite as well as I wanted to last
week. If we hit those it's a totally different game a
lot earlier. In the run game part of it, I thought our
backs did a good job being patient, and the really
gelled and came together. Anytime we have to
start a new right tackle, I thought Willie played a
heck of a game for his first start at a new spot. We
moved him in the spring. He was a defensive
tackle and now all of a sudden he's starting game
2 at right tackle. So those guys have stepped up
and I'm pleased with where we're at. We just got a
lot of work to do.
Q. After two games when you sit there
and look at it, are you -- I don't want to say
surprised, but I would suppose you're pretty
pleased with the way you've played
everywhere, defensively, your offense. I mean
through two games, are you maybe ahead of
where you thought you might be or, you know,
where you think you hoped you would be?
think it's where we hoped we would be. As far as
being surprised by it, you know, there was a whole
lot of surprises before game one because you've
never been on the field with them. You've never
been in battle with them, never been to war with
them. The way they've responded is the way that
we would hope they had, and I think those guys,
they're gaining confidence as we're going through.
And I think that's one of the biggest keys. I think
the belief part of it's there. I think we're continuing
to gain confidence, and we gotta continue to take
steps. I mean we're still fighting for respect. We're
still looking for ways that we can continually get
better, and you know, the only way that we're
going to do that and they know the only way we're
going to do that is go back out on the practice field
and continue to keep working on the little things.
Q. Can you walk me through your
mindset once you leave the film room and you
see what OU's got, do you think if we do this
and this, we have a chance or do you feel like if
we -- we have to play a perfect game? Where
are you at once you watch them on film?
never looked at it that way. They're our next
opponent. They're obviously an outstanding
opponent. I think they're ranked, what, 16 in the
country. They're 16 in the country and I think in a
lot of people's minds they probably could be
higher. They're a good football team. It's going to
be a great opportunity and a great test for us. But
you don't approach any game with the thoughts of,
you know, hey, they're a lot better than us or
they're this, they're that. We still got to line up
between the lines. We're going to play the football
game and when that clock expires, we'll figure out
what happened. And so we're in there breaking it
down trying to give our guys the best opportunity to
make plays on both sides of the football and in
special teams. I'm sure they're doing the same
thing. Saturday we'll line up and go to work.
Q. On the reputation of your offense is
up tempo, throw the ball, open the field but the
first two games you run it 110 times and thrown
it 63. Is that a product of the game situations
or how would you characterize that?
COACH MONTGOMERY: I think if you
went back and looked at it yearly, it's probably
around that same mark. The flip side of it is I
thought our offensive line and our conditioning took
over late in both of these games, and you know, if
running the football, if they're going to play
coverage where they give us a light box and we
got a chance to run it, we're going to run it. To me,
and I told it from day one. I don't care if we win 3
to nothing or 70 to 63. I don't care if we throw it
100 times and don't run it or vice versa. As long as
our guys are having opportunities to be successful
and we got a chance to win football games, the
stats and everything else doesn't matter. As long
as we get Ws.
Q. I think the run game has been a
pleasant surprise for most of us. Has it been
for you, the way you guys were able to push
the pile and move the chains?
just been excited about the way our offensive line
has taken that challenge each and every week.
Those guys have done a good job. We spent a lot
of time on it, we work on it tremendously hard. Our
backs I think have been real patient. They gotta
continue to keep doing that. But I've been really
pleased with where we are offensive line wise in
visit our archives at
09.15.15 - P. Montgomery.docx 3
the way they've attacked each and every game.
Q. The last couple times that you faced
OU, you guys had success on the offensive
side of the ball. Should the fans expect
similar -- I know you don't want to give away
your game plan, but do you expect similar sort
of athletes in this locker room or the same kind
of mindset as you go in on the offensive side
as well?
year and each team is a little different, whether
there or here. So you've gotta play your strengths.
You've gotta figure out how you can help guys get
open, find soft areas to sit in, continue to keep
working, and again, still having a one-two punch of
what you're trying to do. And so you know, their
team is different defensively as well. I mean
they've got some new faces out there, some guys
that have played extremely well obviously last
week. So it'll be a chess match there for a while
trying to figure out where we want to set guys and
put guys. But that's the fun part of it for us.
Q. Coach, obviously different
personnel, but when you were at Baylor you
had success against OU and also Defensive
Coordinator Bill Young has also had -- he's
familiar with Oklahoma as well. Talk about just
how you guys both having a little familiarity
can kind of help the team as they go to
COACH MONTGOMERY: I just don't think
you're going to be surprised by things. The
atmosphere, you've played in it. You've been to
Norman and you know what you're going to get out
of that part of it. Coach Stoops and his whole staff
he's got a bunch of new faces on it this year but
some of those same ones are still there that
probably have still the majority of control of what's
going on as far as the calls and working against
him. And so, you know, it is -- I don't know if
comforting is the right word. We do have
experience going against each other. I think that
same thing holds true for them. They've seen Bill,
they've seen me. They've seen Brian. So I don't
think there's going to be any shocking moments as
you walk into the football field on either side.
Q. Looking at Keevan as the primary
objective for Oklahoma defense, how do you
plan to utilize the rest of the receiving court?
COACH MONTGOMERY: Well, I think we
try to do that each and every week. We know guys
are going to have opportunities to make plays and
so our job is to make sure that we're spreading the
ball around and taking what they give us. You
know, the one thing that I've been really happy
about with our football team and I think you could
ask any of them, we've been very unselfish
throughout this year so far. I know we're only two
games into it. But you know, Keevan had a huge
game game one. He had a good game last week.
Probably didn't have the stats to show that part of
it. But then you got Josh that stepped up. Kee
had another good game. We ran the ball really
well, and you hear those guys, especially receivers
and hopefully you in this room understand, those
receivers, they want the football. And at some
point in the second half they walked up to me,
coach, we're killing them running, just keep
handing it to them and when you have guys that
are unselfish like that and are more concerned
about the w than they are, you know, them
touching the football and doing things, then we're
making the right headway.
Q. The guys in that locker room were
kind of shocked, shell shocked by last year's
Florida Atlantic game, and the question to them
was how do you, you know, build off of that or
get past that or whatever, you know, build on
the memories of that, learn from that. Same
question, then, about OU. The guys were able
to put the Florida Atlantic game, last year's
behind them and learn from it. What lessons
from the OU game?
COACH MONTGOMERY: I think we take
the same approach. We're a new football team.
They're a new football team and they're going to
put the same amount of time up on the clock and
we're going to step between the white lines and
we're going to go to work and we're going to do
what we do and we've gotta continue to keep
believing in what's got us to this point and continue
to keep growing and getting better in the areas that
we target throughout the week. And so we can't
get shellshocked. You can't get in there and get
wowed by the crowd or any of those things. We've
gotta go in there and focus on the little things and
do the things that we know what to do and how to
do and do those things really well.
Q. What is the biggest, most important
thing coach young and coach nor wood have
been able to get out of this defense already?
visit our archives at
09.15.15 - P. Montgomery.docx 4
think No. 1, belief in what they're doing. No. 2, I
think the adjustments they've made and we've
made from a personnel standpoint, moving some
guys around, getting us, you know, a little bit more
speed on the field here, making sure we're
schematically putting guys in a position that they
can handle, that we're not asking them to do
something they can't athletically or physically do.
And then the mesh between the two of them from
a scheme standpoint, from a coverage and a front
look, I think they've really adjusted that well
between the two of them. And you know, I think
our defense believes in our defensive coaches.
You know, they come to the sidelines, we make
adjustments, they go out and they execute them. I
think you saw that evidence in last week's game.
You know, the first drive they take it right down the
field. The next drive they're three and out. And we
made a couple of adjustments, those guys go in
there, they execute those things and we go to
Q. I asked you last week what
questions you still had after the Florida Atlantic
win. Were those answered in New Mexico or
do you still have questions going forward?
areas that we gotta improve on and get better. We
gotta do a better job in the red zone offensively.
When you get down there, you gotta get points in,
and we did that. But you're letting people hang
around that you don't need to let hang around.
Things happen that way. So we've gotta do a
better job there defensively. Still didn't start the
second half the way they wanted to. They came
out and made some good adjustments at halftime.
Give New Mexico credit. But they took it down the
field, they got a touchdown, and they got points
and now we've gotta go back and answer.
I thought we did a good job last week of
playing off of each other, you know, as things
started twisting you had to answer some things. If
we got a stop then our defense got a stop. If they
got points or a touchdown here or there, then I
thought offensively our guys stepped up and went
and answered. So I think as a team we're playing
well right now.
Q. You inherited a schedule with OU.
You have a series with OSU coming up in a few
years. How do you feel about scheduling the
other in-state schools?
fine with it. Anytime you have an opportunity to go
against those guys, they're great programs. They
got extremely good coaching staffs. You know, but
I feel good about where we're at. I believe in our
staff; I believe in our school, and I believe in our
kids. And so when we step on the field, we're
going to battle, no matter who's on the other
Q. I'm not asking this to put you in
OU's locker room or anything but if you had
your choice of when to face a team, would you
rather face them coming off a big road win
against a ranked opponent, I mean human
nature, maybe a big head or something like
that's a tough question because again, I'm not in
their shoes. The flip side of it is I don't believe
Coach Stoops and his staff are going to let them
have a bad day, you know. I don't think they're
going to sit around and, you know, lick their
wounds or beat their chest or whatever. I think
they're going to go out and they're going to have a
great week of work and they're going to give them
a great plan and those guys are going to go out
and we're going to get the best they got and we're
going to try to give them ours.
Q. You mentioned in several press
conferences already playing with a chip on
your shoulder and that kind of a thing of yours.
A week like this, you even need to talk about it
with the guys? Do they already, do you think,
carry a chip on their shoulder playing OU?
again, they're our next opponent. They're a great
opponent, but they're our next one on the schedule
and our guys are going to be excited to play each
and every week. They're going to prepare that
way each and every week. You know, we're
fighting for respect in a lot of different areas. We're
fighting for respect across the country. We're
fighting for respect within our own conference and
we're fighting for respect in our own state. So
anytime we got a chance to go out and try to prove
ourselves we're going to take that opportunity and
get after it.
visit our archives at
09.15.15 - P. Montgomery.docx 5
Q. Is there any chanting or dancing in
New Mexico?
was. (Laughs). Yes, there was. Those guys
enjoyed it. And they should. I mean having a
happy plane ride home, you know, come on. It's
hard to turn those down. Those guys enjoyed the
locker room and enjoyed the flight home and now
it's time to go back to work.
Q. Earlier you mentioned enjoying the
chess match. I don't know if anybody -- well,
we have never seen looks on faces like we did
last year at Owen field. So what is the chess
match with Mike Stoops like? He's obviously
done a ton, accomplished a ton. What is that
chess match?
just pull up his bio and he'll -- I mean bowl games.
He's been a head coach. He's a defensive
coordinator. He's got a national championship.
He's got all those things, you know. And their
whole staff is a mixture of guys that are very
talented. And you know, the fun part of it is is
we're both going to develop a plan and we're going
to set that in motion and then throughout the game
things are going to change and you've gotta be
able to adjust and continue to keep looking for
opportunities to get your guys success, and so as
coaches, that's what we do. That's the fun part of
it. Y'all get to talk about it and scrutinize it and say
how dumb we are and do all of those things. But
that's the point that makes it fun for us. And then
when you see your guys go out and perform well,
there's no better feeling than to see happy faces in
the locker room and see them have success on the
Q. If it works, we'll say you're smart.
COACH MONTGOMERY: That's true, too.
I shouldn't have said it the other way.