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Sat, Dec. 28 - 6:30 pm CST
Sat, Dec. 28 - 6:30 pm CST
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Team Announcement: Oklahoma Head Coach Brent Venables

Oklahoma HC Brent Venables

Opening statement:

“On behalf of our program, our players, our coaches, Sooner nation couldn’t be more thrilled to have an opportunity to come back to the Valero Alamo Bowl. Y’all do everything first class. It’s a great venue, going to be an awesome night on the 28th. The world is gonna be in for a treat, two really, really good football teams [that] are playing their best football as the season is winding down.

I’d just like to congratulate Coach Fisch and his staff, and his football team for what an amazing turnaround just two short years ago, they won just one game, and the turnaround has been quite remarkable. Doing it the right way and they’ve recruited very well, and they’ve developed incredibly well. Like Coach said, they had a quarterback change in redshirt freshman quarterback Noah Fifita and the rest of their skill players. Offense is going to get a lot of the headlines, but I agree with Coach Fisch how well they’re playing on defense and just as a football team, winning their last six games, and just a fantastic job building the program the right way.

It’s a thrill for fans, for players, for the opportunity to be able to compete in the Valero Alamo bowl. Going to be a great opportunity for our fans, our players’ families. And you know for me, this is two short years ago is where I got a chance to watch our players as I became the head coach, watch Coach Stoops go out one last time against the University of Oregon. And so, it’d be a treat for me as well, to be able to be able to go back to San Antonio again. I’d also just like to say thank you to the committee, again for creating such a highly thought of matchup. It’s two top 15 teams going at it, as you said, other than the playoff matchups is to be the most highest ranked matchup of all season. And also, we couldn’t again be more thrilled and just again proud of our players and all of their work.”

 On his team’s year-over-year improvement from 6 wins to 10:

“We played Florida State in our bowl game last year. We lost 42 scholarship players. We have 63 new players this year, both freshmen and 17 transfers. It’s been a lot of fun building it, watching this team come together chemistry, the cohesion, the work, the leadership, the maturation of the team. It’s been a lot of fun to be a part of our coaches and players have worked tirelessly to give ourselves a chance.

We lost two games came up short by eight points and bounce back. So our team, you know, being through some valleys along the way and really love how we responded every step of the way and building the foundation that we need to transform and move into the SEC. In our last year in the Big 12, again, couldn’t be more proud of the growth, the maturation that’s taken place this year led by a bunch of guys that have been highly invested in this program. Several seniors, including Dillon Gabriel, Drake Stoops, Jalil Farooq on the offensive side, and then Danny Stutsman and Isaiah Coe, Jordan Kelley, Woodi Washington, Billy Bowman, amongst others on our defense.”

On Dillion Gabriel and Drake Stoops: 

“Drake led the Big 12 in receptions. I think he had 40, almost 40 catches here in the last few games of the season. They’re both playing their best football right now. Dillon has broken several college football records this season. I think he’s for the fourth all-time in total yards and touchdowns. And just again those two, their chemistry and the respect of work that they have for one another and how they lead our team. They’re great leaders, they bring out the best in everybody and they can reduce who they are and they’ve done exactly that. Helped transform our locker room.”

On naming Seth Littrell Offensive Coordinator and Joe John Finley Co-Offensive Coordinator:

“For me, first and foremost my filter for making that decision, it always goes back with what’s best for our players, and then what’s best for our staff. And as I visited with several coaches across the country and looked at our team and what we’ve recruited and again. the staff that we have right now on offense. Prior to making that decision, everything continued to bring me back to Seth and Joe John as Co-Coordinators. So really thrilled, being a part of Seth and Joe John, and their collegiate careers here at the University of Oklahoma, back in the late 90s and early part of 2000s with both of them so relationships that go back to when they’re 17, 18,19 years old, and recruiting them and being a part of their collegiate careers, and then seeing them now is on some fathers and tremendous leaders and excellent in what they do as football coaches, some of the best in college football. So that’s really been cool for me to be a small part of watching that and putting that together, and I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds to continue the offensive success that we’ve had, and continue to evolve and develop our offensive side of the ball into one of the most explosive units in all college football.”

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