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Highlights from Stoops’ news conference: Talking Oklahoma State, its fans and injury updates

Oklahoma State fans will be ready to greet their old Oklahoma rival, Mike Stoops, to Boone Pickens Stadium. Photo by Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Some quick highlights from Arizona Wildcats coach Mike Stoops’ weekly news conference. There was no major breaking news, but he had some interesting quotes about this week’s big Thursday night game at Oklahoma State:

On the Cowboys: “This is a legitimate team in all areas. They’re a very good football team from top to bottom. No apparent weakness on this team. They’re very athletic up front, great speed out on the perimeter, great quarterback, great running back. They’re very complete in all areas. Defensively, they’re very sound in what they do. They put a lot of pressure on you across the board.”

On OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden: “This quarterback is big-time player and a big-time thrower. So, your precision (in the secondary) needs to be better than it was a week ago. Their skill guys can really run. It’s going to be important that our guys compete out there on the perimeter. We’re going to have to have some solo coverage out there, and you just have to make plays.”

On playing at Boone Pickens Stadium, which he experienced as an assistant at Kansas State and Oklahoma (the stadium has gone through much expansion in the past several years): “Their fans are unmerciful and they’re close to you. That’s the one thing I do know.”

On UA’s offensive line in the opener vs. NAU: “I thought our pass protection was very good most of the night. We weren’t great run blocking. We have to improve our ability to run the football. Overall, I thought they improved as the game went on and really did some nice things picking up blitzes. They came at us with a lot of different stuff, and our guys handled most of it.”

Jaime Salazar, who missed far right on a 46-yard field goal attempt and then missed a PAT in the opener, will remain the starting kicker. Or, as Stoops put it, “We’ll keep the same order.” That means Alex Zendejas will have to be ready to come in again, as he did for a PAT after Salazar’s struggles vs. NAU.

–Second-string RB Daniel Jenkins, who missed last week’s game because of an ankle injury, is questionable for this week, Stoops said.

–Junior Shane Zink is listed as the starter at right guard after filling in last week for Trace Biskin, who was out because of a knee injury. Biskin’s status for this week is up in the air.

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