Stoops on OSU

Mike Stoops met with the media on Monday. Although he had a lot of positives to talk about, he was quick to point out that they have to continue to play well this week against Oregon State.

On the play of Nicolas Grigsby:
Mike Stoops: "He made some big time cuts and he made some plays. The kid plays with a lot of confidence and a lot of attitude and that is good." "I thought the offensive line did an excellent job run blocking. The lien probably played their best overall game."

On the defense:
Stoops: "We still are struggling in some areas to get off the field and to make some plays, for whatever reason. We are just not executing as well as we would like. We have to make sure we challenge and make enough ourselves. We need more guys to step up and make plays in critical situations.

"I thought our run defense was excellent. Their one run play of 20 yards we had the play in the backfield if we do what we are supposed to do. It is a lot of things, nothing hat is really glaring.

"Our pass defense has to obviously improve. We are still a little bit off. We have not played up to our capabilities. We need to quit making excuses and just step up and play. I still think we have not played our best football, buy any stretch of our imagination. That is encouraging to me. I know we are capable of playing better than we have defensively."

On Oregon State:
Stoops: "Oregon State is probably saying a lot of the same things (we are). There are a lot of missed opportunities by them. They have been up in almost every game, and in the fourth quarter everything has fallen apart or turnovers have really hurt them in critical situations, not finishing drives.

"They probably feel similar to our defense, that they are not too far away. The quarterback has shown a strong arm and the ability to throw the ball down the field. They have been a little snake bit, him. He is a little off at time, or something is just not right at critical situations. (Running back Yveson) Bernard has been a player for them for many years and has carried that team in a lot of different ways. He carries that team."

On who will replace injured Dominic Patrick:
Stoops: "That is a good question. We are looking at it and exploring all of our options. We need better safety play, too. I don't think our safeties and our secondary as a whole has to step up and play better."

On the success of the running game:
Stoops: We went in there with the ability to run the football. It was going well sow we just stayed with it. We ran 45 times. You are not going to see that this week." we have been going good on good trying to get better and trying to make sure our defense has not gone soft. When you go through scout players every day you have a tendency to do that. We have tried to go good on good more to have a more physical presence. Hopefully that has paid off for us."

"When you drop eight guys you have to be able to run the football. If they are going to drop eight guys we are going to run it down your throat. We better be able to do that. You can't let people do that. It gets too hard to throw the football. You can't be stubborn. You have to do what the defense is giving you."

More on the defense:
Stoops: "We have to get good as a defense. you would think we would be better against the pass because our team passes first and runs second, that really has not been the case.

"We have faced a lot of good quarterbacks up until this point but still that is no excuse for the way we are playing as a group.

"We have to play better as a group. We need to quit looking at ourselves and quit looking around and we have to play better. there are certain positions that obviously need to step up and play better. if we do we will play better. It is hard to make every play, but we have to make more plays. We are on the short end of the plays."

On whether they knew that Grigsby could play early:
Stoops: "We had a pretty good feeling. We wanted him here early this summer. We knew we needed some help at running back, and he was a great option. The kid can play. He has a tremendous burst and the ability to stop on a dime. He has great hands. you don't see many backs who can catch like that and can run like that that early. it gives you a very diverse player."

On the Cats' use of the blitz against WSU:
Stoops: "We pressured more. We wanted to try to be more aggressive in our play calling."

On using the blitz against Oregon State:
Stoops: "We are always going in with some form of blitz package. We tweak it week to week based on the protection you see, the quarterback. Some things we do repetitively."

On who will play at free safety:
Stoops: "I don't know yet. we are going to look at different options. We want to get Devin Ross on the field. we have been trying to get him. He is a guy who makes plays. He seems to be that type of a guy. That is what we are trying to do on defense, get our playmakers. We need more playmakers on defense. That will give us an option. We thought about moving Antoine (Cason) to safety and putting Devin to corner, I don't know. We will look at all those types of options. We will get the best players on the field."

On whether Cason can play safety:
Stoops: "Antoine has played so much football here he understands our defense very, very well. Whether how we go, we will look at it."

On the play of the offensive line:
Stoops: "They are all playing good. it has been an impressive group. I don't' know how many times we have thrown it, but to give up seven sacks is very impressive. I like the way they are playing."(o-line) "They are doing things better as a group. that is the thing that jumps out. I have been impressed with their overall play, their competitive spirit."

On how he's feeling after developing kidney stones:
Stoops: "So far so good. I am not too fired up about going to the doctor. I am kind of waiting it out. I don't think there is anything definitive with it' I felt my pain coming back last night. I keep drinking a bunch of water and it keeps going away. I guess that s a good thing.'

On when he might go to the doctor:
Stoops: "Maybe toward the end of the week. It is hard toward the beginning of the week. there s so much to do. I am sure I will survive. Nothing can be as bad as last Friday. It was that bad. I was in a lot of pain. I was scared about not making it Saturday is the only thing I could think of."

"I have not missed a game probably my whole life."


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