Stoops on BYU

It is game week! Fall camp is over, now it is time to prepare for an opponent. Wildcat head coach took time out on Monday to meet with the media.

Opening Statement:
Mike Stoops: "It is going to be a great football game. I would anticipate the same similarities as last year. We mirror each other more so this year than last year. Our characteristics are similar. Philosophically they mirror each other. They play hard, they are a tough, mature football team."

"They have had some great success, especially looking at their record last year. I don't' think they get the respect they rightfully deserve. All you hear about is Boise and TCU, and teams like that, but this team competed for 13 weeks as well as anybody. They lost 2 games by a total of 6 points. I'm sure they felt they had a good chance to win on the road."

"It is a confident football team and program. We know what the game was like last year. We let some things slip away, but we feel we can play better than a year ago. We are going to have to. Going on the road you have to play great defense, have to have a great kicking game and you can't turn the ball over and we are going to have to protect our quarterback."

"Any time you go on the road those things are paramount when you play a great football team. Those are things we have stressed. We are coming off three straight road wins, that helps. Our kids seem to really concentrate and focus well on the road. I am glad we are playing a team like this right off the bat. They get your full attention."

"We need to fine tune our game plan and really know what we are doing and really try to anticipate how they are going to attack us. They have to run the ball. We allowed them 40 yards rushing, but philosophically we were very efficient against those runs. They are going to look for ways. You have to anticipate what type of moves they are going to make this year as opposed to last year. They do what they do."

When you watch 11 or 12 games, which we have, you see a lot of different ways. They are trying to run the ball in a lot of different ways. They are going to try to temper our guy6s up front and try to slow us down."

"(Beck) was a little off and settled in later. I watched 11, 12, I can't believe how well he played last year. It is easy to see why he was the third quarterback taken in the draft."

"It is a gauge to see how you handle what kind of team we are going to have and what improvement we have made. You can tell by the way you play. Hopefully we will know more about our team Saturday evening. We feel like we have improved in virtually every aspect our team. That is a good thing."

On whether they can surprise BYU with an offense that is similar to what the Cougars run:
Stoops: "There are a lot of different ways we can go with this offense. When you watch BYU you see a lot of different things they are attempting to do. There is a lot more to that offense. what we are going to emphasizes and how we are going to attack them I don't' know if anybody knows."

"They watched the whole season of tech, and these guys understands this system very well too. The routes mirror each other."

"It will help them as well. They understand the route recognition. They see it day in and day out. They run these routes over and over and over. It is interesting how they are going to attack you. In certain coverages this is how they are going to attack you, and this is the weakness. It is just preparation and kids reacting on the field to what they see."

On Cam Nelson:
Stoops: "Cam plays extremely confident on the field. He is a very mature on the field. He has had an excellent camp. He brings a lot of speed and athleticism to our defense. That is why he is in there. He will strike you. He plays fearless."

On starting Nelson at nickel back before moving him to strong safety:
"We wanted to make sure he got comfortable at that position. We want to make sure he is on the field every down."

On BYU's new QB Max Hall:
Stoops: "It will be interesting to see what his strengths are, I'm sure he has a lot of them. We don't' know what they are at this point. It gets kind of scary, I can't; sleep nights when I look at the kind of plays John Beck made last year. Oh my goodness, there are some incredible plays. This kid has had the pleasure of watching him for two years."

" He will go out and he is a battler in what they say. He likes to gamble and throw the ball in there. We will have to be prepared for another outstanding quarterback."

On BYU losing TE Johnny Harline to graduation:
Stoops: He was pretty unique. They attempted to get the ball to him in a lot of critical situations. You can tell they schemed a lot around him to get him the ball."

On the BYU defense:
Stoops: "Their linebackers are their strength and they run exceptionally well at the linebacking corp. Up front they are big, strong, physical tough guys. They make it difficult to create some running space because they are very physical up front."

On the Wildcat offensive line:
Stoops: "That is probably a group that we can't afford to get hurt or injured. We need to keep those five on the field. We feel we have a really solid group."

On the young wide receivers:
Stoops: "You have to look at their improvement as a group It is very unique what was a weaknesses for us l a year ago in this offense your receivers have to be a vocal point. They have to really excel and Darrell Wyatt does a great job with those guys."

On Delashaun Dean's progress:
"Stoops: We have to keep working him with. He makes a lot of young mistakes. He is a very talented receiver and has tremendous hands."

On Chris Jennings: "He is more confident in what he is doing. Chris is the most effective when he doesn't try to be somebody not Chris. His strengths are he is a physical runner, has great hands coming out of the backfield and is a very solid runner. Chris when he tries to do too much gets out of his element and things start to go a little astray. He needs to be Chris Jennings and play to his strengths. He is going to be a very effective player in this system. He is very versatile. He is one of the most versatile players I have ever seen. He runs as well as he does and catches the ball as well as he does."

On BYU winning 10 straight games:
Stoops: "It is not a perfect scenario, but I have not thought much of it. Once this week starts you just take them one at a time. The biggest thing is injuries. That is when you like having time off. In between if you get a guy nicked up and you can get them back. I t is a long stretch for us."

"I think we have a good idea how good we are or how bad we are. It is one game and we are going to play as hard as we can and see where we are at. I'm sure there are going to be a lot of mistakes to see where we are at, especially offensively. You cone back and try to correct them."

On whether he will have a say in play calling: Stoops: Not much. They are going to do their deal and they have their system and I think they are set. It is just the mechanics of the game, if you have an extra down or whether we are going to punt. That is all I tell them. I won't say much, hopefully."

They are going to do what they do. I am very confident in that."

On the Cats' recent success on the road:
"We have played well the majority of the season on the road. I think we concentrate a little better and there are less distractions on the road. I don't believe there is a better feeling then beating a quality team on the road and getting on the plane after he game and feeling like you have done something pretty special. It is a unique feeling. they understand the investment has to be that much greater It seems like we play better on the road through the majority of the three years we have been here;. We have played some tough opponents. Take out LSU I don't know if we have ever played a positive game, even during the tough losses at USC. Our kids really battled and hung in there.:"

We won a close game at Oregon state on the road. We have had some good road wins."

"WSU was a big win when they were ranked."

On the loss of Nick Folk:
Stoops: "Nick gives you a kicker you know can go from virtually 60 yards in to give you a chance to win Jason has clicked extremely very well in camp. He does not have the range that nick has. His accuracy has been good. To have an experienced kicker gives you an advantage in close games, obviously. We feel from 50 in that Jason gives us a good chance to win every time we step on the field. Whether we stretch that out we probably not, but from 50 and in we are very good with an exceptional success rate."

Crier is a guy who has punted the ball exceptionally well.It is freak strong what he can do to a ball. He is one of the best young punters I have seen in a long time. His consistency is the thing you have to worry about. It gets mechanical. If we can continue to work on his mechanics he can be a national kicker."

"His mechanics came in raw. Coach Robinson has done a great job working on his mechanics. He has a long way to go, but if he continues to improve he will be a special punter."

On the importance of Spencer Larsen to the defense:
"He brings maturity and leadership and experience. those are awfully important aspects to playing the type of football we are going to need. And he is a very good football player on top of that. He is very special."

On Willie Tuitama:
(" I think he is very comfortable. I think he likes it, the simplicity of it, the ability to call plays is a lot simpler. that is a big thing for quarterbacks. we have had a lot of problems communication wise. Hopefully we won't have those problems and we can get him in and out and get him to the line."

On the defensive line:
"We need more production from all four of them. it gets hard. they are never going to be stat leaders but we still need more pressure and they are all capable of doing more than a year ago. all of them have a chance to be impact players this year."

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