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September 11, 2007

Mike Stoops talks New Mexico, personnel

Besides talking about Saturday's 45-24 win over NAU, during his weekly press conference on Monday, Mike Stoops also touched on the New Mexico game and talked about his personnel as well.

Here are some quotes from Stoops:

On the difference between New Mexico against UTEP and NMSU:

"When you watch the UTEP game, they had the ball for 99 snaps and only scored six points. You're not going to see that very often. They moved the ball and were really their own worst enemy in the red zone. I would think they feel like they let a game get away from them. They probably feel like they should be 2-0 right now. They're an excellent run football team.

"I thought the quarterback, last week, was really the difference. He started to heat up in the New Mexico State game and really threw some great balls. You're going to see a lot of play action boot passes trying to get them on the perimeter, sprint passes, last week's game will give us some carryover in what they do but this will be a much more downhill game.

They'll run the football, play action and boot you. Those teams have given us problems in the past and we just have to make sure we can not turn any receivers loose and give them big plays."

On possibly being concerned that UNM head coach Rocky Long went against the spread offense on Saturday:

"Not really, he's seen it before (with) BYU and Texas Tech. We have pretty good feedback in what we're going to see through some past games. They change quite a bit week to week and can come at you in a variety of different ways. It's a very unique defense to say the least. I don't know if I can always figure out what they're doing but they're coming (laughs). They're not going to play conservative.

"They play aggressive. There's no lack of aggressiveness in the way they play. We just have to make sure we have a really solid gameplan and make sure we can get some guys loose. It's been a feast or famine deal with them. Sometimes they give up a lot of big plays but they create some big plays with their defense as well. It's a big challenge for our offense."

On Antoine Cason being an X-factor:

"That's the beauty of him and that's kind of the underlying theme behind everything. I think (NAU's) best receiver caught 10 balls for 47 yards. That's 4.7 (YPC), that's crazy. They're just not going to challenge him. If they want to throw a five-yard stop route, we just have to tackle him. The defense isn't taught to stop five-yard routes very often, unless it's a 3rd-and-4 type situation.

"He tries to stay involved in the game, wanting more responsibility because he doesn't get challenged as much as some people just because of the matchups. People are still going to take shots and he's got to make sure he doesn't care careless and sloppy in his technique. He's played exceptionally well both games, played physical and that's the thing I'm most encouraged about. He continues to play more physical and show great speed in his return. He continues to showcase his talent."

On offense in general:

"We have great speed. I was encouraged by our two group going in there and the receivers really did a nice job. We're developing depth at some key positions. This offense hasn't even scratched the surface of what it's capable of doing. I think they're going to get better every time they step on the field."

On who would win between the DB's and WR's in the 100 meter:

"Derick Barkum would probably win. Mike Thomas might come in second or third. Wilrey Fontenot and (Cason)… they'd put a pretty good 4x1 team together. They can all run pretty explosive times. Those four would be a pretty good match."

On D'Aundre Reed:

"He played three or four snaps I think Saturday."

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