Stoops on Stanford

The Cats got a moral victory against the Trojans on Saturday, but now they look for a real win against Stanford this weekend. During his weekly press gathering the Wildcat coach discussed USC, the Cardinal and how the team is doing.

On the special teams:

Mike Stoops: "I thought our special teams were outstanding. It gave us a chance. that is the one thing that we don't get credit for. We have 180 yards of total offense that we don't get credit for. Those were the underlying yards that gave us the opportunity. We had great field position through our return game. Danny's kicked the ball well. Nick kicked the ball out on every return.

"Our coverage teams have been really solid and our kickers have been great and step has Step has been fantastic running the balls back. that has been the strength and the most consistent part of our team.

"Those are ways for us to make plays. We are not a big play team. We make big plays on special teams. By pinning them and making them go the long field, at least we made them go 80 yards. We didn't give them 40 yards fields. That kept us in the game."

On Danny Baugher:

Stoops: "Danny has kicked the ball very consistently. We always knew he had a strong leg. It is doing it time and time again. he is doing it right now."

On Stanford:

Stoops: "Stanford is a team you can see is growing with confidence. It is a great win at Washington State. They are going to come in with a lot of confidence. they are starting to play better. Quarterback really played well. he makes some plays for them. He scrambles and they run the ball with him. He makes good throws and he makes good decisions. You can see they are getting better because their quarterback play has gotten better.

They simplify things and give themselves a chance to move the football. they understand their limitations. They play efficiently and that is what they have been able to do. They are growing offensively each week."

On the difficulties of a first-year in a program:

Stoops: "It is a struggle getting your system in. and getting the personnel the way you want it. they are doing the best hey can win the personnel they have."

On the Stanford loss to UC Davis, a I-AA team:

Stoops: "Their lack of execution. Teams trying to find their way. Your margin of error is very minimal. they ha made some mistakes that cost them. that can happen, especially to a young inexperienced team.

"I'm sure they were upset and embarrassed by it, but that can very easily happen."

On whether things get ‘easier' the next six games:

Stoops: "Going to Stanford we take one at a time and we will have a great opportunity to win if we can continue to improve and play better. Our kids understand the situation. It is a big game for Stanford and it is a big game for us. it is the next game on the schedule and that is how we look at it. We don't look at it that the next six are better then these guys. It is really about us hammering away and keep trying to improve as a team. it is a lot of little things prohibited us from winning a big game.

"When you realize that when you do the little things right across the board then the ins will come. it is a pretty simplistic formula. It is hard to operate that way, but we are gaining and a lot of improvement is going on."

On if he has noticed a change in as the season has progressed:

Stoops: They understand the task and really have stayed positive really play hard. As coaches that is all you can ask. You wish they would execute some things better and wish we could do some things better to. Our kids have really been solid. it is a great group to work with. We are limited in some areas but they know what the assignments are and they know what our expectations are of them. they go out and try to get it done. WE have played some pretty decent football.

"I am pleased with our overall performance. We wish we would have some games, we had our chances but were not quite good enough. Things have just not gone our way. It is a good sign."

On how good of a team USC is:

Stoops: "I don't think there is any question that offensively, there will never be a team better than that. They will go down in history as possibly the greatest. They have no weaknesses. they have depth. Their quarterback has great command. They look effortless the way they do things.

"Defensively they will get a great test against a very talented Notre dame team this week, but offensively when you put them together they are going to be hard pressed for somebody to beat them."

On the injuries to the linebacking corps:

Stoops: "It has been frustrating. That is how it is. We just have to keep getting guys ready to play. Our substitutions have really stepped up and done nice job."

On the officials not going to the instant replay on the bobbled touchdown:

Stoops: "That is something that has to be reviewed. I don't know why we can't challenge a call like that. That is senseless."

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