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Bedlam football coaches Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy: Round-robin schedule will produce one true Big 12 champion

Both coaches in the Bedlam football rivalry sounded off on Monday about Saturday's game being an essential Big 12 Championship game. Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops said because of the Big 12's new round-robin scheduling it'll be easier to crown a true champion.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: November 28, 2011

What stands out about OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden?

Stoops: “The talented arm, poise, an experienced guy with a lot of talented receivers. He does an excellent job of going through his read progressions and executing the offense.”

Thoughts on Justin Blackmon?

Stoops: “Oh, geez. The size, strength, great hands, his ability to make plays even when he's covered.”

Does your team have an advantage having played for a championship more than your opponent?

Stoops: “It's hard to determine how that goes. I really don't know how to say it. Our guys have been in this position and are excited about it and know what they have to do this week to have a chance to win a championship, so hopefully we're able to do it. I would say that there's definitely confidence there since we were just in this situation a year ago.”

How have the substitute players done filling in for injured players?

Stoops: “For the most part, pretty well. The running backs have done a nice job covering for Dominique Whaley. Of course, we don't have his big physical presence. There's no replacing that. The other receivers have all in different ways have done a pretty good job. Dejuan Miller had a really nice game the other day. We were without Jaz Reynolds as well, but he should be able to play this week. Young Kameel Jackson has stepped up a little bit at receiver, too. So they're doing the best they can. Tight ends caught a few more balls last week and they were more of a factor. You just have to have other players make plays.”

Quarterback Landry Jones' biggest adjustments not having Broyles?

Stoops: "Just the familiarity. We notice there's a time or two where he's on his second or third read over the middle and normally Ryan is in that spot. He (Jones) settles down there. They were so on the same page where the other day the receiver keeps drifting and Landry throws it in back of him. Those are the little subtle things that we see that maybe the person watching that isn't as familiar doesn't see."


How beneficial was an open date to your team last weekend?

Gundy: “It was really good. Because of the tragedy we had here with the plane crash, it gave everybody a chance to kind of clear their mind. We were able to get away for a few days for Thanksgiving and some of the players needed some rest. They were a little bit beat up and I think it worked out really well for our team.”

How has Oklahoma's offense changed since the season-ending injuries to wide receiver Ryan Broyles and running back Dominique Whaley?

Gundy: "I think the biggest change with them over the last three or four weeks is maybe their Wildcat formation with their big quarterback (Blake Bell) in there and playing power football. They've expanded on that with some kind of a different run or some sort of play pass. Other than that, basically their offense in my opinion stayed the same. They've had other receivers who have made plays and the running back (Roy Finch) they're using right now has been productive for them. For the most part, it's been fairly consistent."


Who will win Bedlam?

Brown: "I just hope I get home in time to watch it. I may have to Tivo it because we'll be coming back from Waco. I think it'll be a great game between two teams that deserve all the accolades at the end of the year. You have to look at the two quarterbacks because they're both Heisman trophy candidates. … Wind conditions and quarterbacks – I would say would be the keys to that game on Saturday."

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. Follow him on Twitter @RohdeOK.