Stoops on NAU and UNM

Mike Stoops was obviously pleased with the win over NAU and that a number of young players got to see action in the game.

Opening comments:
"I think we played a very physical game and we tackled better and had excellent position on the football throughout the course of the game. We made it tough for them to move the ball. I was disappointed we gave up a couple of scores."

Defensively we are encouraged. I think they played a discipline and physical game. Playing a game like that you had to."

On the play of Willie Tuitama:
"I thought Willie's precision and accuracy was that he had shown the first two weeks is encouraging. His ability to throw some unique balls is greatest strength right now. He has really put the ball were it has really needed to be. His decision making continues to get better and his awareness a. He is just scratching the surface of what he needs to do. He is seeing things a lot better."

On the play of the offensive line:
"I think they protected very well. I don't think we will have that much time to throw with the opponents we are getting ready to face. I hope we don't get into a comfort with the quarterback. He is going to have to make quicker and faster decisions, especially this week."

On the play of the running backs:
"I think the running backs both did a nice job throughout the course of the game. I think Nick played well for his first game of significant playing time."

On other young players:
Colin Baxter for his first game played really, really well."

(Rob) Gronkowski for his second game showed he is just scratching the surface of what type of player those guys can be."

We had some god production out of some young players that had not played much football at all. That continues to be a really good sign that we are gaining some depth."

We wanted to give Colin chance. Daniel (Borg) has played both guard and tackle. He will continue to be our sixth guy at a variety of different places. He is a very smart and intelligent player. He can play a variety of different places. That gives us a little comfort zone knowing we have a player of that magnitude that has started for us before continuing to push for playing time."

On the roles of the three running backs:
"I assume we will continue to look at all three of them."

"It will be by committee between all three of them. All three have showed signs of doing some things better than others. There is a need for all three of them."

More Baxter:
" He has practiced well and we wanted to give him an opportunity to see what he can do. He is really tough, competitive kid who prepares very, very well. He has gotten better. He is an excellent football player."

On the defense:
"I don't know if we can hit any harder than we did the other night. We just couldn't get the ball loose. That was a little concerning, but we played as physical as we can play and we harassed them pretty much all night. We had one interception go through our hands...You would think them handling the ball that much we would have gotten a fumble or a turnover. That is something we have to continue to work on. We will get some."

On Corey Hall:
"Corey improves every time he steps on the field. We moved Devin (Ross) in there to play some nickel. Devin gives us a unique speed guy. He can fly and he can cover. We are continuing to try to get faster and better. Competition is good."

We want to give him (Ross) a chance to play.

On New Mexico:
"They are your more prototypical pro personnel type of a team."

"When you watch the UTEP game. They had the ball for 99 snaps and they scored 6 points. You are not going to see that very often. They moved the ball and were their own worst enemy in the red zone. I would think they feel like they let a game get away from the, I think they probably feel they should be 2-0."

"I think they are a good running team. The quarterback last week was really the difference. He really started to heat up."

"You are going to see a lot of play action, boot passes trying to get on the perimeter."

"This will be a much more down hill game. They will play action and boot you in early downs. Those teams have given us problems in the past. We want to make sure we don't turn any receivers loose and give them big plays."

"He (Rocky Long) has seen it before, BYU, Texas Tech. We have pretty good feedback on what we are going to see through past games. They change quite a bit from week to week. They hit you in a variety if different ways. It is a very unique defense to say the least. I don't know if I can always figure out what they are doing, but they are coming. They are going o take their chances. They are not going to play conservative. They play aggressive. There is no lack of aggressiveness in the way they play. We have to make sure we have a solid game plan and get those guys loose. It is a bit of feast or famine type of deal with them. sometimes they give up a lot of big plays, and they create some big plays with their defense as well. It is a big challenge for their offense."

On using Michael Thomas as a runner:
"You see Desean Jackson go 70 yards on the same play. That is just part of offense any more, to compensate for some defenses in what they do. We are always going to try to get the ball in out play makers hands in different ways. We will continue to do that. It will be a big part of our game plan each and every week."

On Antoine Cason running back punts:
"(cason) "That is the beauty of him. That is the underlying thing behind everything. Their best receiver caught 10 balls for 47 yards. That is 4.7. That is crazy. They are just not going to challenge him. If they want to throw five yard stop route we just have to tackle them. We are not taught to stop five yard routes often unless it is a third and four situation. He tries to stay involved in his game. He wanted more responsibility because he doesn't get challenged as much as some people because of the match-ups. People are going to take shots. You have to make sure he doesn't get careless or sloppy in his technique. He has played exceptionally well in both games and played physical. That is the thing I am encouraged about. He continues to play more physical and showed great speed in his return. He continues to showcase his talents.'

More thoughts on the offense:
"This offense has not even scratched the surface of what it is capable of doing."

Stoops was asked if this weekend's performance by the Pac-10 was enough to open the eyes of those who follow college football:
"Hopefully some people will recognize for the strength from top to bottom and I think it is gaining momentum. You are going to have to score points, obviously. Your defense will give you a chance and give us an opportunity to compete. We are going to have to get better offensively and continue to score points. You are not going to hold many of these teams down. You are not going to see many 10-7 games. There is very unique talent, quarterback play has improved throughout the league. It is very complete."


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