OU’s Ruffin McNeill: Blue part of brain controls non-reaction
ARLINGTON, TEXAS — In the first Oklahoma-Texas meeting this season, Ruffin McNeill was the Sooners’ defensive tackles coach, taking in the game next to then-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
Saturday in the Big 12 Championship Game, McNeill coordinated the defense that came up big at several turns in the Sooners’ 39-27 win.
Q: What did you think of the call that led to Tre Brown’s safety sack of Sam Ehlinger?
A: We called that particular blitz at least eight times tonight. It’s a blitz where different formations or parts of the field determine who comes and who may not come. … I thought it was great execution starting up front. Everybody knows he’s fast but he has surge, twitch. That’s his nickname. He has great twitch. That was a big play for the team.
How many times did you call that blitz?
This whole year? Man. Give me a GA to get that stat. Bro, come on now. Good, they’ve only seen it once. I know what I call. I keep tick marks of what we call during the games.
Why didn’t you have much visible reaction to it?
Your brain has four parts. Red is emotional. Blue is sequential or factual. I’m more blue during a game. At practice, I’m really red. When game time comes, you keep your cool. I expect the guys to make plays.
Did you feel like this team needed style points to bolster your playoff chances?
I think that winning is style points. I don’t really know how (the College Football Playoff committee) judge style points. My dad told me this — it’s not how, but how many. Whoever’s voting, I can’t control that. There and controllables and uncontrollables. I only deal in controllables. Too much time is spent on uncontrollables.
Is this the kind of performance this defense has been building toward?
Think about how many controversial situations this group has met and faced and didn’t quite, where a lot of people may have.
Very proud of them about that. I like their mentality. They’ve worked hard every day that we’ve been together. Their focus never wavered.