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September 6, 2014

David Shaw


COACH SHAW:  So, bottom line, you don't take advantage of opportunities, you lose games to good football teams.  I said it earlier in the week and it rings true.  You give a team like that so many opportunities, they're going to take advantage.  They've got good personnel.  They're good on offense, they're good in the kicking game.
We had so many opportunities to win this football game.  I give them credit, they made the plays and we didn't.  They made the calls and we didn't.  To miss two field goals and get turned away inside the five yard line, to go from a field goal position backed up to a punt position.  Coaches and players, that's everybody, which is veiled to say that's me, that's me.
My passion is for football of course, but individually, inside of football, it's red zone and third down.  We were solid on third down and not good enough in the red zone.  When you're not good enough in the red zone, you lose games.  You got to make field goals, you got to take advantage of field position.  We just did not.  This is what happens.
The charge is to our guys, our coaches and players, to be better.  Not to scrap what we've done, not at all, but to be better than we were today.  We have a lot of good football teams coming down the road that we got to try to find a way to beat.

Q.  I think a lot of Stanford fans really appreciate what you're done, think you're a great coach.  I think a common refrain is that, He's a little conservative, something we hear a lot.  Do you buy into that narrative?  People can point and say there were nine trips inside the 30 and they came away with 10 points.
COACH SHAW:  First of all, I'm not responsible for what people say.  They can say what they want to say.  I think we've got a pretty good record the last few years.  I think you ask people who watch us, we're anything but conservative.
We lined up today in more personnel groupings and more formations than anybody you'll see in college football.  Mark it down, there's no question.  Three tight ends, four receivers, five receivers, empty, three tight ends, three tackles on the field.  We do a whole bunch of different things.  Three receivers and two backs on the field.  Three runningbacks in the backfield, two offensive linemen at tight end.
That's fine.  I'll take that.  The bottom line is we were bad in the red zone.  Has nothing to do with being conservative or not.  We got to score.  We got to score points.  Against a good football team, we held them to 13 points, which is great.
We got to score more than 10.  If we scored 16, we win.  If we can make two field goals, we can win.  If we convert on the fourth‑and‑one, either fourth down, we have a chance to win the football game.  We didn't give ourselves those opportunities.

Q.  Have you seen a replay of the chop block call?
COACH SHAW:  The bottom line, if it's close, then you call it.  If it's close, then you call it.  We have to be smarter than that.  We have to understand if a guy is engaged up top, you can't go low.  If a guy is engaged low, you can't go up top.  Any contact above the waist and below the waist at the same time is a penalty.  Once again, I never put anything on penalties, I put it on us to make the plays to win the game.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH SHAW:  Field position.  Field position.  We miss an early long field goal, which is fine early in the game.  I'll take that up with Jordan.  Came down to you're right around that 47‑, 48‑yard range against a team that is not really moving the ball a whole bunch on us, why take the chance.  Two out of three times it worked for us.  That's why I go for it on fourth down when the defense is playing great.  Go for it on fourth down inside the five yard line.
You want your defense to stand up and keep the field position.  I'm going to keep making those calls.  I feel great about our defense.
That one opportunity we had, we let them go out, march about 75 yards, kick the field goal.  You know, as much as anything, that's a factor in losing a football game.  We play field position and when you do it right, you win.

Q.  Without having seen the film, are you prepared to talk about whether the problems in the red zone were one continuing theme or something different every time?
COACH SHAW:  The problem in the red zone right now is me.  I got to get back to work and make sure we're doing things that our guys can do, put them in positions to be successful.
It's not about being a genius; it's not about orchestrating all kinds of other things.  It's about going down there and executing our plays.  We had opportunities.  We didn't take advantage of them.  When we had a guy open, we had a protection issue.  When we had the protection, we didn't get the guy open.
A couple opportunities now, you know, I'm looking forward to seeing them on film where we got guys wrestling each other when the ball goes up in the air.  We're in an era typically where you might get a flag there.  I have to make sure, look at our guys, make sure we're not initiating contact.  Bottom line, if the receiver's initiating contact, they're scrumming for the ball, there's no flag.  I understand that.  I need to go back and look at those.
Those are things we need to do better as receivers to either get the call or make the play.

Q.  You had 128 yards rushing but I think 60 of them came in one play.  There were plenty of times in the second half of this game when last year you would have run the ball, seems to me.  I'm wondering if the era of the smash mouth offense is on hiatus now?  Are you going to have to rely on Kevin Hogan's passing?  Is that the way this is going to work?
COACH SHAW:  It's about efficiency.  It's just about efficiency.  Good defensive front, regardless of 94's ankle, all that stuff, whatever, it is a good defensive front.  You're going to have to block these guys and keep your blocks.
There were times the ball was handed off, there was a hole, by the time the runner got there, there was no hole.  I give them credit, they're good up front.  We got to block them better and find ways to get through in the running game.
Once again, yeah, Gaffney is not here.  But we did it before Gaffney, we did it with a bunch of different guys.  We need to continue to gel on the offensive line.  We need to continue to use our runners to do what we do well.  Our runners need to be efficient.
What I don't want to do is say we're running the wrong offense because we missed two field goals and turned the ball over twice in the red zone.  If we don't do that, we win by two scores.
I understand the questions are going to come.  I'm waiting for the question about we moved the ball in the no‑huddle offense, how come we don't just stay with it and go to a spread.  I know that question's coming.
This is just our offense.  This is what we do.  We have to do it better.  When we do it well, hey, it's fun to watch.  We score points and play great defense.  Bottom line is we didn't play well enough today to get a victory.  The other team did.

Q.  Is Andrus Peat okay?
COACH SHAW:  Yeah.  Just had a bloody nose.  Bloody nose.  Kept opening up.  When he's bleeding, they had to take him out.  Finally got it cleaned up and it stopped in the second half.

Q.  How concerning are all the missed tackles?  Jordan Richards had to clean up a lot of plays that could have been stopped.
COACH SHAW:  Very concerning.  Very concerning.  I know you guys don't get to watch practice ever.  But we spend the first 15 minutes of practice on tackling.  We have a lot of pride in our tackling.  We have a lot of pride in our guys running through tackles, not chopping their feet, not waiting, being aggressive.
Those guys are good receivers now.  Those guys are only going to get better.  Some of them are young.  They're going to get really, really good.  You better go wrap them up.  Wrap them up.  You go there with your hands out, they are going to stiff arm you and keep running.
That's very disconcerting for our defensive side of the football.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about clock management.  It looked to me like you were doing some very clever clock management, keeping the SC offense off the field, stretching it out as best you could.
COACH SHAW:  Well, we talk about as a staff, we've had a pretty good system, it's something we've pretty much built over the eight years here, year number eight here, as far as how to use timeouts at the end, how to be smart, knowing that when you get in the two‑minute drill, it is still a lot of time.  The clock stops on first down.  You can save your timeouts.
That last play was a run‑pass option.  If it didn't work, if we still had the ball, we get a chance for a timeout, kick a field goal.  You always save a timeout for opportunities like that.  I think we've done a good job of clock management.  We saved our timeouts at the end.
If USC went for that fourth down, we would have let them run the play, then taken the timeout on second and third downs to get some time back to let them kick the field goal.  We have a pretty good system with our two‑minute drill.

Q.  Just wanted your thoughts on how you thought Hogan played today.
COACH SHAW:  You know, there were times where he was great.  He was great, you know.  There were times where, you know, he didn't have an opportunity.  Broke down protection a couple times.  There were times we missed a couple throws.
What I appreciate about Kevin, good play, bad play, doesn't matter, he shakes it off and comes right back.  When you got a bad play, go down there, steps up in the pocket, makes a great throw, the throw that should have won the game on a touchdown to Hooper, you know.  Unbelievable throw.  The guy is in his face.  It comes back.
So the thing is, he's not perfect.  He's very good.  There are things we have to clean up, you know, ball handling‑wise.  We were atrocious in the red zone.  Things we have to clean up as a unit.  I thought for the most part he played well.  I know he'd love to have four plays back, and that's too many.  That's it.

Q.  End of the first half there was a sequence there where you had an illegal formation, delay of game just before the field goal.  What was the problem on the illegal formation?
COACH SHAW:  Oh, bad communication on the sideline.  Bad communication on the sideline.  When the personnel was called, some guys thought they heard one thing, some guys thought they heard another thing.  We ended up with 12 guys on the field.  That was the real call, too many guys on the field.  The ball has to come back.
Then there's a thing we have to talk about.  We're a team that huddles.  We're a team that huddles.  Sometimes the ball gets spotted very, very quickly because all the no‑huddle guys want the ball spotted very fast.  There were a couple times where the clock ran down on us a couple times.  That's partially on me.  That's partially making sure we orchestrate ourselves the right way, to handle the ball being spotted extremely fast.  We had a delay of game and had to take a timeout because of the clock.

Q.  The second‑and‑three on the last drive coming off the timeout, at the 22, what was supposed to happen?
COACH SHAW:  Which play?  Second‑and‑three, the last drive?

Q.  Last drive.
COACH SHAW:  The last play?

Q.  The one before the last.
COACH SHAW:  That's a good question.  I have no recollection right now.  I'm stuck on the last play.

Q.  Coach, on the touchdown that wasn't to Austin Hooper, did you agree on the chop block call?
COACH SHAW:  I don't know.  I don't know.  If it's close, if it's close, it's going to get called.  It's a player safety issue.  You can't block a guy above the waist and below the waist at the same time.  If it was close, you absolutely have to call it because you can't let stuff like that go.

Q.  Big‑picture question on identity, which is central to establishing this program, also flexibility.  You were talking about no‑huddle.  Do you look at the plays with the huddle, we were this successful, the plays with no‑huddle, we were this successful, then adjust?  There's a balance because you want identity but be flexible.  How do you manage that balance?
COACH SHAW:  I would love our identity to be two things.  Number one, we're a tough, physical football team.  Number two, that we will be efficient in everything that we do.
Once again, when you go back, watch what we did today, if we can be efficient being as a three‑receiver team, three‑tight end team, two tight end, three back team, three tight end, no receiver team, being a five wide team, no‑huddle team, slow‑it‑down team, if we can be efficient in all those things, as we showed the ability to do, we have a chance to be extremely good.
Okay, we can't run the ball because Gaffney is not here.  No, that's not true.  To say we're just going to air it out.  We will at times.  I think we got one of the best football players in college football in Ty Montgomery.  We are going to keep giving him opportunities.  We got Devon Cajuste, made some great plays today.  Our tight ends made some great plays today.  Michael Rector made some great plays.  We have to continue to give those guys opportunities.  Gosh, Remound Wright had some nice runs.  Kelsey had some nice runs.  That's just the way the game fell.  We have the personnel to be very good.  We just need to be efficient so we can be good.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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