Stoops: "There is a sense of accountability"

Mike Stoops was clearly not happy with Saturday's result. At his weekly press conference he was disapointed, but seeminly still upbeat about the long-term prognosis for the program.

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Mike Stoops' initial comments:

Mike Stoops: "I am really disappointed we are not further along. It gets back to certain things, whether it is belief or confidence. It is hard to put your finger on everything that goes on. Me as a coach I am responsible for those things."

"We are not being strong enough mentally and physically, just to do the things necessary to win in a competitive league. There are times we do some good things, but not consistent enough as a program."

"Why are we not stronger inn what we do? A lot of it goes back to practice habits to do things consistently over and over. That is where we really fall short. You say, why can't we? I don't' know. We have to make plays. We have to get them into position to make plays."

We overthrow a guy wide open by a yard or two,that is a 99-yard play. I don't know. Why we can't execute it I don't' know. Why we drop three interceptions? I don't' know."

"We are not quite getting it done in some areas. 14 possessions--play pretty decent in nine or 10. our margin for error is very minimal, either it be offensive, defense or special teams. Right now it looks like things are caving in on you. There are a lot of positive things you have to take away from the game."

"There is a sense of accountability across the board, either me, the coaching staff and the layers. Ultimately you have to make plays in games." Washington believes in something."

"3rd downs, 1-for-12, you are not going to win many games. That wears on the defense. It wears on me. It wears you out. We have to do better."

We allowed 62 yards in sacks, you are not going to win many games losing 62 yards in sacks. Whether it is the quarterback, the lineman missing an assignment, the back missing his block, whether it is the quarterback reading the blitz coming and getting us in the right protection. It is a little bit of everything. It is obviously very frustrating to everybody involved. These are things we have to get cleaned up."

"Tuitama was 24-41 for 308 yards and it could have been a lot more. We got some guys open, we ran some good plays, we caught them in a blitz and had plays on we wanted and we didn't' execute things. It seems like we are so distant, but again we are not that far away. As a head coach I know fans and the media don't see all the things we see. Sure we are deficient in our run game right now. That is probably the area I am the most concerned with and probably the most disappointed with. That is something we have to keep developing."

"There are some older guys who are not holding their weight too."

"There is disappointment, but it is something we have to find a way to overcome, which is my greatest task as head coach. That is something I think about a lot. It is my responsibility ultimately. I am not going to sit here and be the smarter. That is ultimately my responsibility. I am still one person, but I have the most say in what we do and how we play. That is something hopefully we can get better at."

On the players only meeting:

Stoops:"I have no sense. I did not talk to anybody. I hope our attitude, and your preparation is what wins you games. At times we don't have a strong enough attitude on the field. Playing close is not good enough." If we don't' play on edge and show up and play at our best, our margin for error is slim. For whatever reason we have not been very consistent over our three years here."

"We just need to make plays. I don't know what they say that I don't say. they have been through some hard times, but we are the only ones who can change it. There aren't coaches who can go out there and make plays, what do we have to go through, how many coaches, how many systems, you have an offensive coach, you have defensive coach. players make plays. We have to run, We have to block, we have to tackle. we have to do things fundamentally better. I hope they find themselves and understand we need strong leadership on the field. That comes from them. it cannot always come from the coaches. We can blame everybody, and I'm my worst critic, believe me. I pull my hair out and I'm sure you can tell my frustration, but ultimate we have to get them to play better and make plays."

Coach Stoops was asked if this was the worst loss of his tenure at Arizona:

Stoops: "I am not used to losing, never have and never will be. If you accept losing and playing close, if that doesn't' bother you, then you are a loser in my eyes. You can play your best, and I know when we play our best, and when we play hard. That is all I can ask our players to do, give it your best every time you step on the field. When you don't you're your best and go in there without a strong attitude and willingness to compete, then I have a problem."

On getting to the ‘turning point':

Stoops: "We just lack consistency It is like we play one or two games to prove to ourselves we can do it, and that is good enough. That is not good enough. I think a lot about how to change that. it takes everybody involved. To be content with playing great in certain games, and in other games just show up. I don't understand that. That is probably the hardest thing on a coach to track that consistency. It is hard for us to compete week in and week out. It takes a lot. It takes a lot out of us. The USC game3took a lot out of us. We are not an extremely deep team. we lack depth. That is where depth comes in and helps you. that is something we have not developed in this program yet. You look at it and there is not a great deal of competition You can only push people so far. competition breeds success. That is something we are not at, whether it is injuries, whether it is just developing depth with young people. We are relying on four seniors. Everything plays a role in our demise at times."

On the frustrations with the offensive line:

Stoops: "It is hard to win if you can't run the football. It has put a lot of stress on our whole offense and our team. There are ways we have to find angles, there are certain things we have to do and change up our running to create some creativity and disguise our runs. There are things we have to do a better job at, and we have to block better. It is pretty simple. We are better than that."

On not using the youth on the offensive line as an excuse:

Stoops: "It is a bottom line business, whether people are patient enough to understand that it is hard. w thought we would be better. We felt like we would be better. Defensively we are still a very strong team, and only going to get stronger if we can keep guys healthy. Offensively I think we are a work in progress. The promising sign is Willie threw for 308. The discouraging part is we rushed for negative yards and gave up six sacks. We lack consistently offensively and it puts a lot of stress when you don't' convert third downs on your whole team."

"In the long run there are positive signs. the negatives our we can't;' get anything going offensively and with that said that puts a lot of pressure on a lot of people. We have to keep plugging away."

On whether or not me calls offensive plays:

Stoops: "I will suggest maybe a boot or run it here, but the actual play, no. What I try to do in my evaluation of the defenses every week, is when they do this, are we doing this, this and this to attack. Are you seeing the same things I am seeing when you break down the film and what is your adjustments to this blitz. That is all I try to help. I have never called an offensive play up until this point, whether that changes I don't know. We will see."

On the need for more imaginative play calling:

Stoops: "It gets down to confidence and what you can do. That is something we are lacking. That comes through practicing. We let guys go in practice. That old saying you do as you practice, there is a lot to that. That is why we need to practice better and more consistently. If you are getting beat in practice you are getting beat in games, that is how it is. There is an attitude and toughness you have to get. We are still not there yet. We can't accept it. I am not going to accept it, nor should they."

"There has to be a sense of accountability, there is enough to go around for everybody."


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