On his attitude going from camp to practice to game day:
"It’s been a good, solid week of preparation. We really like the way things have gone. They had a good practice on Wednesday. They’re excited and ready to go. That first day of high-intensity work of game week, there’s a lot of information. But I feel good about it right now; I feel like our team is really focused. They’ve worked hard [and] we’re relatively healthy, outside of the two guys we lost early in camp. We’re excited and ready to go." "Everybody’s excited to play, but you have to be very poised and you’ve got to execute. You can’t leave it all in pregame warmups. With young, inexperienced players you worry about that a lot. We have a touch more experience now so I hope that pays off."
On stopping the run game, specifically Ito Smith:
"When you talk about missed tackles, there’s always some of that that anybody can see. But then there’s a big part of it that’s position on the football. When you’re not playing great team defense, really good athletes are going to expose you very quickly... We definitely need to be on point, that’s for sure. We’ve watched them, and our offense will make you accountable as well."
On the linebackers:
"Boogie [Watson] is going to be fine. There’s just a lot of information. Going from outside [linebacker] to inside [linebacker] is tough on him. We really like what we see - you’ve just got to be ready to play. We’ve got to have a solid two-deep ready to go in this game. Boogie will continue to work, but you’ll see Courtney [Love] and Kash [Daniels] for sure. Hopefully we’ll get some reps for both of them."
On one of last year's issues against Southern Miss:
"The time of possession was just out of control. And that’s two-fold. That’s no good by the defense not getting off; the offense was either scoring on one or two plays or throwing incomplete passes and then scoring. That doesn’t help at all... I mean, you’re never going to hear me complain if our offense scores on one or two plays, but you will hear me complain because I don’t think it’s good for the long-term if we’re constantly losing time of possession that drastically. Let’s hope we have a couple of big plays, score quickly and I definitely won’t complain, because I know we can go back to churning it out and being methodical and grinding and balling and running it, and that helps everybody."
On what he remembers from his first college game:
"[Lamar Thomas] is better than me. I’ve been hit in the head too many times. Lamar probably played. I was on the bench for my first college game."
Watch the rest of what Coach Stoops had to say below: