Coach and Player Quotes from 2009 Pac-10 Football Media Day

July 30, 2009

Arizona head coach Mike Stoops

Opening Statement:
'We are excited to be here. It is that time of year again. I don't think college football has ever been stronger. I don't think the Pac-10 has ever been stronger than it is right now. We at Arizona feel like we are finally getting to a better place. This has been a unique challenge. Our perseverance and our toughness has made us a much stronger program. This season will be very exciting to me. There will be some unique challenges built into our schedule, but I feel this is our best overall team that we've had. When you look at our team, I think what really jumps out at you is the quality of players we have. I think this team that we have is very skilled, very fast and capable of doing great things.'

On what it will take to win the close games:
'I think if we can play competitively that will be the natural progression [to win the close games] for any team that is starting to show signs of recovery. Those are progressions that have to take place to close the gap on people. You have to win the tight games to put yourself in a better position. Being able to finish games is something that we talk about.'

On quarterback Matt Scott:
'I think the first thing that really jumps out at me is that Matt is a guy that can make plays. He is great on his feet and he improvises very well. What people don't really realize is what a great prototypical thrower he really is. How quick he gets the ball out of his hand and how strong and accurate he is as a thrower. I think there is somewhat of a misconception of him as a player.'

Arizona safety Cam Nelson

On running backs in the Pac-10:
'There are great running backs in the Pac-10. Jahvid Best, great running back. Jacquizz Rodgers, great running back. Then you have quarterback like Jake Locker who can also run. Toby Gerhart is another great back that is a bruiser. It makes the game plan a little bit harder with those guys.'

On being picked eighth in the 2009 Pac-10 Media Poll:
'We won a bowl game last year. We will use it as motivation and go out and compete. We will use it as motivation to come out on top of the Pac-10 and be an even better team when the season is over. It is all about how we finish not how we start.

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