Mike Stoops: "We are anxious and exited to get to game week. It seems like it has been an eternity.
"NAU poses a good challenge. They are a very quality I-AA football team."
On NAU's Jason Murrietta
Stoops: "(He's) is as good a quarterback as you will see. he has a quality arm, great strength. He can make all the throws that you want. Having only the starters back will be a challenge but if there is one guy you want back to carry the team it is generally the quarterback.
"To me there are multiple of things you have to prepare for. We have watched a lot of tape. They give you a lot of different formations and looks. You have to be very disciplined in our defense."
On the NAU defense:
Stoops: "It is designed to create confusion. it is a 3-3 stack. (with blitzes----lots of zone blitzing.) That can create some protection problems for you. That will be a key. We need to be able to contain the line stunts need be able to run the ball and still protect the quarterback when we have to throw the ball.
"We have to stay ahead of the chains. We are not good enough to get behind in long yardage situations. It's a great opener. It's an in-state rivalry game. They will come in and play with great emotion.
"They won't come in and be in awe of us or playing here. We know we have to be well prepared."
On finally getting the season started:
Stoops: "I think it will be exciting for our kids to go out and show what they have learned over the last nine months. I think we have good stuff. I like what we hare doing on both sides of the ball. It's about execution.
"As a coach you prepare the same way. Nervousness? No. I will be the same. I don't think there is any more pressure on me than any time I was an assistant. I went into every game well prepared and very excited."
Will you call Bob (Stoops) for any advice?
Stoops: "I probably will, to get some of his thoughts."
On all of the hype for the season:
Stoops: "At Oklahoma you have to understand that if we don't play a certain way we are not going to win. Here, maybe people tell us we don't have a chance. I beg to differ. I think we have a chance to win every week.
"You have to learn not be on a roller coaster. I think that is important with this team. We have to be prepared to play. Some games maybe more emotional than other, we have to be prepared and execute. We are not good enough to play at an inconsistent level every week."
On having inexperienced corners:
Stoops: He(Murrietta) has got an arm strength, he can make every throw. That is a great challenge for our secondary. We are going to have to be on our toes. We can't give up the big plays."
On starting at home:
Stoops: "All the excitement built over the last nine months is exciting to our players. I think they are anxious to show they are a different team then they have been in the past. We will see. We will have to fight through some adversity. We will see if we are able to get through it."
On leaving Oklahoma:
Stoops: It feels like I've been gone nine years not nine months, A lot has happened, for the better. This is where I am supposed to be. I know Oklahoma is going to have another great team and has a great coach in Bo Pelini. That makes me feel good as ell. It's a great situation for everybody."
On the lack of serious injuries:
Stoops: Its a direct correlation to our conditioning throughout the summer and the winter. It is paying great dividends already. You can se the correlation already."
On what he will tell the players before his first game as a head coach:
Stoops: "We are in this for the long haul and not just for Saturday night. We need to concentrate on things we need to do to win.
"We are not going to make any speeches for ht head coach. that is not what we are about. We are about the season and following it all the way through."
More on the inexperienced corners:
Stoops: "All three have practiced well. I have been impressed with Antoine Cason maturity and ability to play the game and let it come to him. He has been phenomenal for a true freshmen. You will see him out there a lot. You have to play your techniques, understand your responsibilities and if you get caught up on the other things that is when you get pysched out."