November 18, 2012

Post-UO: Shaw Transcript

Stanford coach David Shaw met with a large group of media members following last night's 17-14 dramatic victory over Oregon. Here is the complete transcript of Shaw's press conference.

Opening statement

Our word of the week was resolve. It was about us playing our best football and withstanding a rush that we knew we were going to get from a great football team in Oregon. We knew we were going to have a chance to make some plays. We knew some things were going to go against us. But we had to stay with the same mentality and that word resolve went from our defense to Stepfan Taylor, who turned the ball over, to our quarterback who threw an interception, to our defense who gave up a big play to the quarterback, to our kicker who missed a kick. But our kids keep fighting. They keep fighting all the way until the end. We knew if we got into the fourth quarter we would give ourselves a chance to win and that's what our kids did.

On what the win means to the Cardinal program…

Really what it means is that we have a chance to go the Pac-12 championship. For us, I don't know if it sounds bad or what but we try not to worry too much about who we play. It's how we play. You can look back at our two games that we've lost and say what could have been or you look at where we are right now and say how much better can we be. And that's what we do. We're forwardly thinking. We're looking forward to next week and trying to play our best football from here on out.

On the difference in Stanford's defensive performance against Oregon this year…

Oh gosh. First and foremost defense. Coach Mason did a phenomenal job preparing our guys. We got stops. We gave them turnovers, we got short fields and the defense came up and battled. You didn't see any of those long runs go for touchdowns, and that's one thing that hasn't been talked about that we've addressed the last two years in our recruiting. We are faster on the back end. We've got speed. To see Devon Carrington, that was probably the play of the day, to run Mariota down. It's a great play. You saw our guys in the secondary get their hands on some passes and deflect some passes. You saw some runs look like they were about to be 20-yard gains that ended up being 12-yard gains. And that's huge against this Oregon team. They're so fast, they're so athletic. And our guys were able to stand up to the challenge.

On what he was thinking when Mariota broke his long run…

I said get him. Just said get him. And our guys took great angles and got him down. What you want on defense is you want to make them play another play. You want to make them line up and play another play. You don't want to give up a long touchdown.

On giving Taylor multiple touches after his fumble was a deliberate move…

No question about it. After he fumbled I gave him a little time because I know the kind of competitor that he is and I came up to him and I said I need your best quarter. I need your best quarter right now. I said we're going to ride you. We're going to give you the rock. He didn't say anything, he just nodded.

On whether he sensed that the Oregon offense forced the Cardinal defense back on its heels at all…

Not at all. Which is once again a great testament to our kids. And we've been the same in particular on defense all year long. Our guys, we (inaudible) and they bounce back. There's no quit. We're able to play a lot of guys. Even against a great offense like this we still rotated a lot of players in. We played a lot of linebackers, a lot of defensive backs, a lot of defensive linemen. We've got the depth to hopefully play against teams like this from here on out.

On quarterback Kevin Hogan's performance and staying calm under pressure…

I've never ever seen him be rattled. Even when he was a true freshman and redshirting. He made a mistake and we jumped on him. And he just nods his head and he comes back. His mistakes don't bother him and he's got something in common with me, which could be a positive, I don't know, going forward we'll see. At the end of the game everybody is celebrating and I'm still mad about our turnovers. And I look at Kevin and the first thing he says to me is sorry about that last fumble. And that's what competitors are. Yes, we want to win the game but we also want to play great. We want to do great. We want to do everything right. And that's the way he is.

On where the win ranks…

Oh I have no idea, but it's up there. But as I told our guys, we don't get a trophy for this game. There's no tangible evidence for this game. All we do is we put ourselves in a good position and now we have to go play a really good UCLA team next week.

On if it's nice for nobody to ask him about the "Oregon problem"…

Oh it will come up again next year. The problem hasn't gone away. I mean honestly we had a chance really to even open up a bigger lead than we did but these guys come storming back so they'll be good for a while. As long as that quarterback is here, and honestly I wish that they changed that rule and let guys go pro early, because he's special. I think he's a special football player.

On if he said anything to Jordan Williamson either before OT or after the missed field goal…

A great question. And I don't feel bad telling you this. He missed a kick and as I like to do, I like to let the guys come off and let off a little steam. He was standing by himself. I went up to him, I put my arms around him, I looked him right in the eye and I said it's time to grow up. I don't want to talk anymore about how talented you are. Make the kicks. And I think for the first time I saw him look me right in the eye and say I gotcha, coach. And hopefully this is a step in the right direction for him. He's so talented. Daily he makes 60-yard kicks without swinging very hard. He's a great kickoff kicker and now if he can be consistent I think he's as good as anybody in the country but it's all about the consistency. Hopefully this is a step in that direction.

On if Stanford did anything differently defensively than it had in years past…

I'm not telling you. Not in front of this crowd here. (Laughter) But our guys played better. We mixed it up a little bit. We mixed up pressure, we mixed up coverage. Once again I think we're just so much better athletically than we have been. We were able to make those tackles in space that have been hard to come by. We mixed it up front. Our defensive line never gets enough credit, but those guys played extremely well. [db]Henry Anderson and all those guys, Ben Gardner, they mix it up, they move their offensive line, we stunted, we twisted, we tried to make reads difficult for them we tried to make them run laterally so we could run them down and we did a good job of that today.

On Stanford's ability to stop Oregon's lateral zone plays…

We stretched them out. Usually when you stretch these guys out they get around the edge, but our guys were able to catch up to them.





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