Shula says OU-Bama matchup is special

Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula talked about this weekend's matchup with Oklahoma at his weekly press conference. (AP Photo)

Below are excerpts from Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula's weekly press conference Tuesday in Tuscaloosa.

Opening Statement
"I think to say the least our team is very excited about this opportunity. Oklahoma coming in the No. 1 ranked team. I think it's the first time ever a No. 1 team has been in here at Bryant-Denny. It's our debut here. For me, personally, I think it's going to be special – my head coaching debut at Bryant-Denny. I've talked all summer long seeing those upper decks that which weren't there when I played here. Again, there's excitement around campus and I just think that we're going to have to a great week of preparation. Our players know that, they're going to be focused and we've got to make sure that we stay on top of all the little details, and we have to eliminate some of the mistakes, for sure, that we made for sure that we made early in the game last week. We've got to be on top of our game for four quarters and get off to a good start."

On if he still remembers the big games he played in as a player against Penn State and Southern Cal
"I think any time you get two universities like this, two football programs, the tradition with both of them. It's great for college football and it's neat to see how over the years the schools have gone on with their national championships and the seasons they've had, and now you get the two of them together. Especially with schools you don't play a whole lot. That's what's going to make this neat."

On the players having confidence after almost winning in Norman last season
"What an exciting game to watch that game was. These guys came from behind, they had a chance there at the end, came up a little short, and it was exciting all the way through. You have to have confidence. We've got to take a look at that tape and learn from the things that we did well and also look at the things we didn't do so well and continue to get familiar. Of course each year it's a brand new team, but we'll definitely take a look at that and, if there's things that we like out of that one or from the North Texas game last weekend that we make sure we cover."

On what OU does with their schemes that makes them so good on defense
"Well, they do a lot. First of all it's hard not to talk about their personnel. They've got great personnel; they've got great team speed defensively, and they're big - bigger than the group we faced last week. That's a tough combination to go up against offensively. Scheme-wise, they like to blitz when they get a chance in different situations and they're just overall well coached. They play with a lot of confidence. They play with high expectations. Again, that goes back to why I think this game's going to be special. The No. 1 team and both teams come in with high expectations. We're just looking forward to it."

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