Stoops on North Carolina

Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops talks about this Saturday's season opener against North Carolina

The following are excerpts from Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops' Monday teleconference with the North Carolina media. Quotes provided by Inside Carolina.

On playing North Carolina

"I'm excited to be opening the season with a very good and very talented North Carolina team. Everyone you visit with that has played them says that. Watching them on tape, that certainly is the case. Our team likes the fact that we have a big challenge to get the season started, and we're excited to be playing at home to get the 2001 season started."

On if North Carolina comes into Saturday's game with any advantages

"I guess one obvious one is that they know what we do offensively, defensively, and on special teams from watching all our tape. They have a new staff, and we haven't had the advantage of watching them on tape to see what their schemes will be, outside of the fact that we know where their coordinators all come from and we have a decent idea of what they like to do."

On preparing for a game against a team with a brand new head coach?

"You watch Carolina's film to watch their talent, speed, and the way their players play, but we do pay close attention to where their coordinators have been and what their backgrounds have been in running their offense, defense, and special teams."

On UNC's all-american defensive end Julius Peppers

"Certainly he is an exceptional pass-rusher and defensive player. Without question we will pay very close attention to where he is all the time, and I'm sure our offensive line coach and offensive coordinator — Coach Mangino—will certainly be aware of that. Whether we adjust our blocking or not will be something that we determine as we go through the week."

On if he has taken a different approach to preparing his team since they won the national championship

"It's relatively the same—our process and how we go about things. I don't think there's any question that, if anything, we've worked harder this summer. We've been more demanding on the field in what our expectations are. Our summer work was more difficult, and our players really embraced that and accepted the challenge. Outside of that, our processes and how we go about practice is pretty much the same."

On OU's quarterback situation "The quarterback situation is very good. What I like and what's been great about it is we've named Nate Hybl as the starter, but it hasn't been through default. It hasn't been through poor play of Jason White. Statistics in all the scrimmages and team situation and pass scale situation have been very impressive."

"I don't think there's any question that having them compete for for it through the spring and all through the summer has made them both much better. They both have dealt with pressure that goes along with the challenge of competing for that position. They both are good in the huddle, well-liked, and good leaders on the team.

"It just got down to [the fact] that Nate was a little more successful—overall a little bit more consistent and had fewer bad plays. Watching these guys, neither have had a bad scrimmage or a bad day at practice."

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