Coach's corner: Stoops on Cal

Things don't get any easier for Arizona. After two straight games on the road that Cats now host one of the best teams in the nation. The Cal Bears and their high-octane offense come to town. Mike Stoops took the time to discuss the Golden Bears, the new quarterback and the tough times this season.

Opening comments:

"It feels like Groundhog Day in here. I come in here every week and talk about the same things."

"t is a frustrating time. Again, the situation we have, it is what it is. We are trying to improve as we speak. I think we have made a lot of improvement. When it shows I don't know. It takes time to put things together and build a program. We are doing everything we can to try to put our players in good position to make plays and to win. Players ultimately have to go out and make plays. That is probably were we are falling short."

"I thought they were physically much stronger than we were on both sides of the line of scrimmage. That played a factor."

"Kris did not have a very good day. We had some opportunities throwing and the receivers were there, and now we don't get the ball to them. We go back and forth. Someday hopefully we an put it together, Until then we will continue to struggle."

"It gets down to execution and we are getting out executed week in and week out for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they are better than you are, and sometimes we are young and seeing things for the firs time and trusting the people around you. There area lot of things that go with the confidence and the knowledge of what you are doing."

"The first year is definitely the hardest and something we are experiencing right now. It does not make it easy but we are still going to push forward as a program and prepare hard."

On hanging tough with Oregon:

"That is a big difference from a year ago at home getting beat by whatever it was. They are small steps but there are steps being made. You can't lose sight of that. Someday we will be able to make those plays. There are a lot of people getting embarrassed every week, but I still feel we have been prepared. You look where the scores are."

"I was part of Oklahoma beating A&M 77 to nothing and we took a knee not to score another touchdown and look where they are a year later. You have to stay focused on the things you can control and that is your players' attitude, their work ethic and their commitment in the program. and building a foundation."

We are going to stick with the same guys we have been working with. We are not going to discard any players. We are not going to start taking kids out of redshirt and playing all freshmen. We are going to play with our best available players and go the best way we can."

On how tough it has been lately:

"You have to look at yourself in the mirror. Players have to take responsibility and accountability just like coaches and that is what we are trying to emphasize with our players. You can blame who you want but you are still not winning. As soon as everybody accepts the responsibility I think you have a chance to turn around a program."

"We have not had anything good happen to us, we can't get a call and we can't get a break. That is how it is. I don't look at it that way."

On the Quarterback situation:

"As of right now we are going to give Richard an opportunity to start on Saturday, at least give him a half to see what he can do. I am not going to pull him. It may take awhile but we have to give him an opportunity. He came in late and did some awfully good things and showed good poise and threw the ball accurately."

"Richard is a unique person in a lot of ways. He is very intelligent, he has a high GPA, and he is a California kid. I like his confidence. There is something about the way he carries himself. The situation is not going to intimidate him. That I the thing you like about him. The situation is never to big."

On Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers:

He is fabulous, his accuracy and precision. Every week you run into one of these guys. I don't know how you pick an all-pac-10 quarterback with the five guys in this league, six. They are terrific players."

On Cal:

"We are going to have to be on our toes and understand what they like in certain situations. They are similar to Oregon in a lot of ways. They change up formation week to week. We have to understand concepts and what we are seeing in certain situations and their protections and those types of things. We have to be sharp and I think it will help playing them back to back."

"They run the ball exceptionally well. I think Oregon wants to throw it more than Cal. Cal could throw it every day if they wanted but they want to emphasize more balance and run the ball more than Oregon does. They use it to set up the pass well. They are very talented across the board."

"They are a very fundamentally sound football team. They are physical up front and run extremely well. They have no apparent weakness in either side of the ball."

On what the Wildcats have to do to be successful:

It gets down to us being able to execute in critical third down situations and getting off the field, keeping drives alive, Offensively we have to control the clock a little bit in possession time. You don't want to give them any more opportunities than they require because they are such an explosive football team and their quarterback is so accurate."

On the recent off-field difficulties:

"Players have a responsibility to their football team, and each other and respect for your coaches and your teammates. It is selfish and not very smart. Again, those things come with winning, and you try to be as positive as influence on kids and understand that this is how you win, it is all these things together that keep us from winning. Some day we will quit beating ourselves up and grow up and figure out we can do some things right an win."

"They have a certain responsibility o our program and to our athletic department to uphold the standards, but kids are young and they make mistakes. That is part of it. We have all made the, you try to learn from your mistakes." I will always give somebody a second opportunity but after that I think you have to look at the situation."

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