Stoops talks about UCLA

As a Wildcat fan Saturday night and Sunday morning sure felt good. Nothing like a win to make things just a bit better. Now, imagine how Mike Stoops feels. He met with the media Monday to discuss the win and this weekend's match-up against the Bruins.

On the win over Oregon State:

Mike Stoops: "To not play our best and still win is a good sign, and really gratifying. To get seven turnovers and not win would have been tough to deal with."

On the play of Willie Tuitama:

Stoops: "We wanted him to go out there and be comfortable and not worry about too much mentally changing plays and let his ability to go out and play.

"He obviously brings another dimension to our team. He can throw the ball down the field and be accurate. He has really done a nice job."

On the lack of a running game:

Mike Stoops: "Our inability to play physical t the line of scrimmage. Our run game, we ran the ball decently, probably the best we did against Oregon and we didn't run the ball effective on Saturday."

On Mike Thomas:

Mike Stoops: "Mike Thomas looks like he is shattering the freshman record of some great receivers that have played here. He is distancing himself from all those records. If he can finish strong and do what he can do. he and Willie have a lot of similar characteristics. they are both gamers. They love to practice and they the competition and they have great confidence in their ability.

"Mike has never lost confidence in his ability. He has made some fundamental mistakes in drops, but those are young correctable mistakes. Mike has tremendous hands and tremendous speed and really understands the game and that is what makes him special."

On UCLA's comebacks:

Mike Stoops: "They have come back on virtually every team they have played. That shows great toughness and character and poise on their part. coach Dorrell has done a great job of building that program up, and it has not been easy. he has really done it and is a great model. He has really built up his younger players through the air. The development of Mercedes Lewis, drew Olson and Maurice drew, they show great maturity on the football field that is because they have been around a long time and know what their capabilities are. they execute very well down the stretch when they have to.

"Their margin of error down the stretch against Stamford was zero, and they didn't make a mistake the lat eight minutes of the game."

On the UCLA offense:

Mike Stoops: They do a great job of keeping you off balance with different screens. He will not throw you the ball and force things in there. they have a tremendous target in the tight end, but they will make it very difficult. the run game is very good.

"Maurice Drew is a tremendous football player. His ability to make plays at the end of the Stanford game, again they hit him from different screens plays. You have to be aware of him at all times."

More on Tuitama:

Mike Stoops: It reenergized 9ur whole program and reenergized our fans. Willie has very unique ability. He has an air about him, a lot of confidence. that is something e lacked offensively, especially. We had to work hard to get our points. Willie gives you big play capabilities at any time with his arm and his legs.

"We have not even scratched the surface of where we want to go with him."

On how good it felt to get the win:

Mike Stoops: "My food tasted a whole lot different. It has been difficult. It is a difficult time. Certainly, I know w have made improvement. A lot of people go by wins and losses, but the one stabilizing force behind everything we have done is our kid have prepared and played well in a lot of situations. We are getting better."

On the team's youth:

Mike Stoops: "It gives us a lot of hope and some direction. We are still piecing this thing together. we are not where we need to be but we are getting better as a program. that is something we are week in and week out."

On trying to work with the offense:

Mike Stoops: "I still work out a lot with our defense. It is hard for me. Obviously I see things from a defensive perspective. If probably I am good at anything it is getting our defense to where it needs to be.

"I don't have a lot of strengths but that is one of them. It is hard to do because I never coached offense. I just see it from a defensive perspective and I just ask suggestion. I still make sure we do certain things in certain situations, but we are still developing our defensive and we have a lot of young players there defensively."

On replay going against Arizona again:

Mike Stoops: "Don't' start. You are going to get me fined. We can't win. I don't know what I can say, I just get emails back from the Pac-10.

"I think they get confused sometimes themselves. I am probably still in favor of it, but I don't like the way they overturn certain things.

On the UCLA defense:

Mike Stoops: "They have given up some yards, but they are very athletic. Their backers are very athletic. they have been hurt up front. They play hard. their front lines are good across the board.

"t=They have given up some yards, they bend but don't break and they fight their way through it."

On the play of Michael Johnson:

Mike Stoops: "He scored the highest we have ever had a defensive back score. It was a ridiculous amount of quality points."

On Nick Folk:

Mike Stoops: "Nick has a great leg. I like what he did. I think that was the play of the game. Turner's would have been the second play that really bailed us out to preserve the win. I don't think there were any two bigger. Nick has performed really confident. He can go both ways. he could be a punter or a kicker. He has developed nicely. That is not easy to do."

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