December 2, 2017
Oklahoma - 41
TCU - 17
THE MODERATOR: The MVP of today's game was Baker Mayfield. Congratulations, Baker.
BAKER MAYFIELD: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We are ready to go. We're going to start with Coach and let him make an opening statement. Coach, congratulations and your thoughts about the game?
LINCOLN RILEY: Thank you. Just tremendous effort. I just be couldn't be anymore proud of this team, you know, kind of from where this all started, you know, back in spring ball and then, you know, with all the things that changed this summer, a lot of teams could have used that as an excuse or a crutch and they never did. It was all about what did you want us to do, Coach? And they've been coachable the whole way through and I think that's a big part of the reason why we have been able to improve the way we have as a team.
We found ways to win games early in the season when we weren't at our best and we kept our heads down and kept fighting and kept getting better and better, not listening to the noise on the outside and we've played pretty good ball here at the end. Also, really proud of our group not listening to the entire narrative across the country that we shouldn't be playing this championship game and all that mess. That had nothing to do with it. We knew there was going to be a championship game several months ago and that was going to be part of our journey if we wanted to get to this place. We were excited honestly just for the chance to play another game together. We only got a few left and to get that one we're appreciative and thankful we had the game.
To beat a really, really good TCU team again was tough. Their coaching staff and players are tremendous. It's a really, really good football team. So hats off to them and hats off to the rest of the league. I thought it was a great year for the Big 12 conference. The depth, the quality of teams, the competition, week in and week out was as good as any conference in the country. Proud of this conference. Very, very proud to be representing them here as a champion and we're certainly going to enjoy this one.
Q. Lincoln, if you could talk about your great third quarter. You put the game away. You get a stop, forced them to punt and your offense takes over.
LINCOLN RILEY: It started with the stop, you know, that was big. Defensively the biggest thing we talked about at halftime was we had to tackle better. We gave them a few big plays based on missing some tackles where we were there. We tackled much better in the second half. We got a stop and played a lot of great complimentary football in that quarter and had to separate ourselves. Defense led the charge and offense was able to get plays to Mykel and Marquise and got a lead and were able to run it out. Complimentary football spearheaded by our defense.
Q. Mr. Baker Mayfield, talk about your feelings right now after declaring that you were going to come back and play your senior season. Can you do that?
BAKER MAYFIELD: The reason I came back was to play for a national title. The most exciting thing about today was we controlled our own destiny. We just had to take care of business and all that is out in front of us. Came back, had great coaches, great head coach and then, you know, I got great players around me. We have all the pieces and it's just right now we're playing well together and that's the most exciting thing. I came back to make sure that we had strong leadership and we would take care of our own business and right now we're just doing that.
Q. Lincoln, you mentioned how your team has improved over the here. Is it possible that Baker has improved over the year, and if so, how?
LINCOLN RILEY: It's definitely possible and no problem saying it with him sitting right here. He's done a lot of great things in his career, but he hasn't been perfect and he hasn't been coached perfect throughout his career. There's always room to improve. You never get to perfection in this game. We all chase it, but you never get there and it's a constant battle.
Give him credit, you know, for all the success that he's had. He stayed hungry and continued to be coachable, continued to want to improve as has this entire team and that's the reason why we're sitting up here today.
Q. For Lincoln and Baker, I'm sure you guys talked about championship November. Lincoln, what have you learned about playing championship football. You mentioned before when you first became an offensive coordinator you wanted to score as many points as possible; and Baker, this is three years for you. What have you learned about being a quarterback and playing championship football that's different from when you were younger?
LINCOLN RILEY: I would say I've learned a lot there. You've got to win in different ways to win in this month. The games are the most important, normally you're playing the best teams like we did today. You get weather factors. There is so much that goes into it, so you gotta be able to win different ways. And it really shows the true strength of your team along with the fact that at times you've got guys out or guys are banged up at this time of year.
So you've got to fight through it, be able to persevere throughout the season, like I said, to continue to improve, and if you do that you will put yourselves in a position to win these big games and you can't be scared to go win them. You can't worry about what's on the line. You don't want to play not to lose. You want to play to win. This team, this program, has that mentality and I felt that from the day I walked in here.
BAKER MAYFIELD: For me, it's been, you know, as later in the year the stages get bigger, implications get bigger. But the most important thing is about doing your job and that's where I've settled in doing my job, like it is handing the ball off 100 times like West Virginia last year in a blizzard or just barely throwing in the game. Just managing the clock, doing my job, putting us in the best position to win. That's what November is all about. Like you said, any way to win, sometimes you've got to do it in different ways and you need everybody on the team to do it in November and December.
Q. Baker and Obo, there was a big celebration on the field, confetti and all that. Could you guys tell us what it felt like compared to previous Big 12 championships? You've won three in a row now. How did this differ because you were allowed to have a celebration, and Lincoln if you could address that, as well? Looks like you were distracted.
LINCOLN RILEY: That's what they said you did at our press conferences, John.
BAKER MAYFIELD: Having the big screen and the crowd still there makes it a lot of fun, but I wouldn't say that's what made it. I think what made this one was the fact that it's our third one in a row and we all -- the seniors here and Orlando as a junior, we came back with the mindset this was our first goal and we've worked so hard to get here. It's been a year long process and it feels great when it happens. The best one is always the next one.
OGBONNIA OKORONKWO: Yeah, to piggyback off of Baker, both of them are definitely special. It was special winning at home last year and it was special watching the confetti, being under the big screen but it's always the next one. You could say next year when we win it it will be even better, the next one is always going to be the best one.
LINCOLN RILEY: Yeah, you know, they've all been different. The first one was on the road, you know, a lot of us were just kind of getting our start, Obo at that point was just starting to play some, Baker's first year starting, Orlando's first year starting, Steven had played as a freshman and just taken on that role. That was awesome, doing it in Stillwater, and like Obo said, last year celebrating at home was great and this year at the neutral site was great, too. Hell, I don't care how we do it, as long as we win it. I will take all three of 'em. (Laughter.)
Q. Coach, you played TCU just a couple of weeks ago. What did they do different? What did you see different from them and how were you able to dominate in the second half?
LINCOLN RILEY: I don't know that either side did a ton differently. There were some small intricate things throughout the game that you could tell, some adjustments we made and some adjustments they made.
Both teams are pretty good, so you're not going to scrap everything. You do just because you're playing is somebody for the second time. I don't think either side does that really on either side of the ball. In the third quarter we had momentum from the defense and then we hit the two big plays, the one to Mykel and the one to Marquise were big plays and Baker threw great balls and that was big. We were able to separate ourselves and get a big boost. You gotta hit some of those shots against guys like them. As good as they are and aggressive as they are when you get your chances you better make 'em, and for the most part tonight we did that on all three sides of the ball.
Q. Players, starting with Steven and working your way down, you guys were rocking along pretty well two years ago when you went into the playoff and feeling confident firm right. Do you feel more confident about your situation going into this year and if so why?
STEVEN PARKER: For sure, we had a good year as far as getting better each week, starting with practice. We always said take champ reps and they're going to equal basically winning a championship, and I feel like we've done our part. So I feel like if we keep on working the way that we've been working everything is going to play out just how we want it to.
ORLANDO BROWN: For me, that was my first year starting and naturally as I matured and been in this program for so long I'm only more confident now going into the playoffs. If we do get the opportunity, you know, I'm definitely going to be excited to go out there and lay it all on the line.
OGBONNIA OKORONKWO: I didn't have much of a role (Chuckles.) But, yeah, the team was confident then --
LINCOLN RILEY: You made up for it.
OGBONNIA OKORONKWO: Right. Now I feel like we're really confident as a team. We're really close and it's a family in that locker room. We're all excited.
BAKER MAYFIELD: I think for us, it's knowing how we're going to carry ourselves into it no matter what happens and no matter where we're at. The thing that we've learned this year and throughout the past years is sticking together is the most important. Only thing that matters is how we are in the locker room, how we handle ourselves, how we practice, how we play, how we handle ourselves off the field and how we work out. Everything factors into that, and I think for us it's continuing to know what's gotten us to this point and why we have had success and carrying that same mind-set and not changing anything for a potential playoff game, anything like that, it's just continuing the same recipe for success and that's what's gotten us here.
Q. Coach, as you look back on this season and Coach Stoops we saw him out there after the celebration, how much did you lean on him as the season went along getting ready for this rematch for the second time in four weeks?
LINCOLN RILEY: I've definitely leaned on him. I would be crazy not to. I've told you guys you know what he means to me and how, you know, this happening, in large part is due to him, his unselfishness.
Like a lot of guys would be sitting there, like him today saying, man, that could have been me, or maybe bitter about it and he may be the happiest person out there on the field celebrating with us. That's just him. He's a special guy. I've leaned on him for advice and loved having him around and thankful we had the opportunity to have him around our program.
It's just -- you know, things are just a little bit different at Oklahoma. How many other places does the head coach that just retired is still around and still so involved and the it's just so smooth. It's just different. It's a different place. We're built different. There you go, and I think that's a big reason why you see the consistent success.
Q. Lincoln, Caleb's scoop and score there, first -- TCU's first play you guys have not have those momentous defensive plays early in games this year. What did that do for you as far as getting the ball rolling?
LINCOLN RILEY: We have had a lot of big defensive plays this year, a lot of them early in games. Not necessarily defensive touchdowns, but we have made a lot of big plays and that was a huge one, no doubt. We got the ball on the ground and great presence of mind by Caleb to scoop it and it was a huge shot in the arm for our team. Defense played extremely well the second half of the season and they were great again today.
Q. Orlando, can you talk about your match-up? You had a talented guy on you, Mat Boesen. Can you talk about how that went? And Baker, it seemed like you had an inordinate number of deep throws today. What led to you guys thinking of going that direction?
ORLANDO BROWN: You know, like you said, he is a great player. He came here with a game plan, same game plan I figured he would come here with. I was able to honestly have one of my best games of my career. I feel like I held up pretty well. I knew what he was trying to do. I knew how he was going to approach me with it being the second time we played. There were a few plays here and there where I do feel like he physically beat me, but overall, man, it was a competitive match-up.
BAKER MAYFIELD: I wouldn't say it was just the whole game plan was to go deep the whole time it just happened that we had some guys get open. There was definitely multiple throws I would like to have back and could make better.
We just -- Marquise Brown is so fast it creates mismatches and he's one of the reasons there were many deep balls today. But other than that there were multiple throws I would like to have back.
Q. Baker, now that the regular season is over, are you going to allow yourself to think about the Heisman and also, too, when did you get the shirt updated?
LINCOLN RILEY: Why are you looking at me?
BAKER MAYFIELD: No, the thing is I'm going to enjoy looking at this next week, traveling, going on the road, and the good thing is I will be going with teammates as well and you gotta enjoy it. It has been a long season, but like I said, we will enjoy this week and after that it's back to work. Obviously I'm not going to down play that, that would be something very special, just getting to go is special enough. The reason I came back was for a national title. I had this updated before Bedlam.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports