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STANFORD UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 10, 2014
WASHINGTON STATE ¬Ė 17
STANFORD - 34
COACH SHAW:¬† It was a hard, tough game on a short week.¬† Another physical game honestly, like Washington State defensively, they're a physical group.
So, a long week.¬† Now an extra day, we're going to give our guys some rest, we got to recuperate.¬† I thought ‑‑ oh I got to start off offensively.¬† I thought tonight's the first night that we looked like us and we felt like us.
I thought our runners came out and ran extremely hard.¬† Offensive line blocked extremely well.¬† Barry got us started with some great runs.¬† Wright came in and ran extremely hard also.¬† Young made a couple plays, it was great to see.¬† Kevin Hogan played like he can play.¬† He bounced back from last week.
We all had a tough game, tough week last week.¬† Kevin played extremely well, he threw the deep ball extremely well.¬† He trusted his guys.¬† Our young tight ends showed up today in a huge fashion which we hope will continue the rest of the year.
Defensively, we knew what the challenge was this week.¬† A team that throws the ball all over the place with a great quarterback.¬† And we needed to get pressure with four guys and I thought David Parry played great.
I thought Zach Hoffpauir was everywhere.¬† I'm excited to see those guys play at a high level.¬† It was great to see us play with emotion and energy and fire on all three phases, it was really good to see.
Q.¬† How were you able to get to keep Halliday under 300 yards.¬† What was your strategy, extra DB's how did you do it?
COACH SHAW:¬† That was a big part of it was extra DB's.¬† Terrence Alexander came in for his first really extended play time and was really, really good.¬† Very impressed with Terrence, he's going to be a great corner.¬† He played in the slot during the course of the game, played well.
Zach Hoffpauir was great in coverage.¬† I think we played really, really smart defensively.¬† A lot of credit with Joey on the back end not letting the deep ball get us and playing deep to short and playing the deep ball.
I thought Ronnie Harris played a couple really nice deep balls.¬† Had a height disadvantage, but was in perfect position.
Then once again the pressure up front helps.¬† The pressure up front helps that he can't sit back there and hold the ball and allow those guys to get open.
One thing I said to the defense this morning was, the pass rush helps the coverage and the coverage helps the pass rush.¬† I thought both of those played extremely well today.
Q.¬† Is this the first time you felt like you guys played like you.¬† Can you expand on that?¬† What were you particularly happy with?
COACH SHAW:¬† The biggest thing for me was ‑‑ it's hard to describe, just the feeling.¬† We handed the ball off, it was second and 4.¬† We got positive yardage.¬† We got running backs running out of tackles.
We didn't have you unblocked guys in the backfield.¬† I thought our offensive line was steady.¬† We talked about not just trying to kill guys, we talked about just keeping them blocking, staying blocking and let our runners be runners.
I thought Barry got us off to a great start, made a couple guys miss, got out in the open field a couple times.¬† Remound came in and was the hammer for us, broke a couple of tackles, ran extremely hard.¬† That helps the play action game. ¬†You saw the boot game now come back.
If you run the ball well, play action and boots now actually have some meaning.¬† The pass game I thought they hit the quarterback a couple times.
Later in the game we had a much better pass protection.¬† The Francis Owusu came in on a big third down and made a big catch for us.
Michael Rector, we missed him the last couple weeks, we missed him with throws and he and Kevin haven't connected.¬† It was great to see them connect tonight.¬† Those two guys have been working hard because they have such a great connection for the last couple years and now to get back and hit a couple in the game is good.
And that's the thing, when we're doing what we're supposed to do offensively, we got a lot of weapons, a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things.
Bringing Christian McCaffrey along.¬† Doing some specialty things with both he and Ty, some guys that can have a specialty role and he's another guy that can change field position.
Q.¬† You had a couple ‑‑ there was a fumble there and a couple penalties, one that went a ways down there.¬† Are you guys not doing enough consistently?
COACH SHAW:¬† Apparently not.¬† We're not working hard enough at it, which we'll continue to.¬† What I told the team at halftime was, we're not going to are worry about mistakes any more.¬† We're not going to over‑analyze what we're doing.¬† We're going to be to try to be perfect, but also realize that we're not going to be perfect.
And that's actually a direct quote from Ty Montgomery talking to the team this morning.¬† It was a great effort to try to be perfect, but when we're not, the sky can't come falling down around us.
We are going to play through our mistakes and continue to give a great effort and I thought our guys did that.¬† Trying to reach the ball over the goal line, that's a little learning lesson for him.¬† It's first down, there's no reason to reach the ball, we're going to run it two more times and try to run it in.
Q.¬† It seemed like there was a lot of effort today to get the runners off tackle and get them to the perimeter.¬† Is that something you would say was Washington State specific, or would you consider that something where that's kind of where the run game's going with this team?
COACH SHAW:¬† We wanted to mix it up.¬† With stunts and blitzes.¬† We wanted to do some inside and some outside.¬† That's the good thing is, once you take advantage of that movement and get back outside and play back outside.
And now we come back and we ran back inside with power and we ran back inside with some inside zone with both Barry and Remound.¬† It was just a really good mix‑up.
I thought our coaches do a great job of getting our guys ready for that.¬† Because if we just run balls between the tackles, all the movement inside can hurt you.
But, as long as we can mix it up outside inside and comeback to the play action and the boots, when all those things are working, it makes life a lot easier.
Q.¬† Take us through the thinking in getting Greg and Eric, of course, in that early touchdown. ¬†Greg, in particular, in that red zone, turning him into a weapon, take us through your thinking on that.
COACH SHAW:¬† It's why we recruit big athletic tight ends.¬† We thought we had some matchups in our favor.¬† Our young tight ends really have had about two really, really good weeks of practice.¬† They have been good, but I think Austin Hooper and Eric Cotton and Greg Tabaoda, all three of them really have been coming along, and we'll continue to use them.¬† We'll continue to use them particularly in red zone just because they're so big, and so athletic, and they can all make really difficult catches so the quarterback doesn't have to be perfect.
Greg makes a catch with a guy on his back, trying to pull the ball out and he was able to be strong enough to hold on to it.¬† The other one, it's a jump ball and he goes up and takes the ball away from a guy.
And it's so hard, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but give the other guy that's been practicing extremely well has been Dalton Schultz on the scout team.
So, really thinking about next year, having four young athletic tight ends that can really change games.¬† I'm so excited about where that part of our game is right now and where it's coming.
Q.¬† I'm confused.¬† First of all, how is he?¬† How is his condition?
COACH SHAW:¬† We're going to get him evaluated.¬† As obviously, wasn't going to go back in the game.¬† We'll get him evaluated and we'll see with his prognosis is going to be.
Q.¬† Was it a possible concussion?
COACH SHAW:¬† He's going to be evaluated.¬† I wasn't going to put him back in regardless.
Q.¬† The illegal shift, was he confused about something?
COACH SHAW:¬† It was a last minute movement which we don't want to have happen.¬† He wasn't sure if both he and the other receiver were on the ball, which is just a communication thing.¬† So, he thought he could move really quickly before the ball got snapped and he moved too late.
Q.¬† Have you received any information about James' status?
COACH SHAW:¬† We're going to send him for some X‑rays and see what the deal is.¬† I'll let you guys know early in the week next week if we think we'll have him back.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
COACH SHAW:¬† It's been part of David Parry's ‑‑ the two steps of David Parry was, number one getting him healthy.¬† And this is the first time that's been really, really healthy for a long stretch.
And, secondly, was to be more versatile.¬† And he's put a lot of pressure on himself.¬† Now that he is healthy and now that he can play more plays, he's got great power and strength and quickness, so we can play him in the nickel.
So, now to be able to rotate and not just have Henry Anderson and Aziz in our nickel, we can actually he have a three‑man rotation in there where guys can get off blocks and make great plays.
It was great to see Aziz get in the backfield.
I thought Henry was great.¬† He got a holding call, just how much he penetrated.
And then David Parry I thought was phenomenal inside.
Q.¬† Christian McCaffrey got a lot of touches early and often.¬† Was that a situational thing against Washington State or has he broken in the rotation?
COACH SHAW:¬† He's in the rotation.¬† He's played his way into that.¬† He's a potential difference maker in any game that we play.¬† We're going to use him from the back field.¬† We'll use him as a receiver.¬† We use him as decoy.
So, he will be out there a couple times and not get the ball.¬† We'll use him as pure running back and just hand the ball to him.¬† So, he's going to add to that mix.¬† And I hope our running backs ‑‑ I know they are, they will support each other and push for each other.
But, this is the kind of game that we're going to play.¬† We're going to rotate those guys in there and as long as they support each other and push each other, I think we got a chance to be good the rest of the year.
Q.¬† One of the things I really noticed today was a step up of the running backs blocking for Hogan.¬† Is that something that's been a point of emphasis for the last couple of weeks?
COACH SHAW:¬† Absolutely.¬† We have had ‑‑ we have done it really well in spurts.¬† I don't think we did a good job as a team blocking Notre Dame last week.¬† Partially because of the blitzes that they ran were really good, partially because of their personnel.¬† That's a Top‑10 defense.
But we put a lot of pressure on those guys and saw Barry get in there and pick up a blitz.¬† Saw Remound come in on third downs, Pat coming in on third downs.¬† We're going to use multiple backs there, keep them fresh, they all have to be able to block.
Q.¬† Halfway through the season what do you think this team does best?¬† What's your biggest question mark on them?
COACH SHAW:¬† I think the biggest question mark for me right now is, can we play like this the rest of the year?¬† This ‑‑ we played extremely well the entire game and all three phases.¬† It wasn't perfect, that's fine.
But we played hard, we played smart, guys made plays, and that's what we need.¬† That's what we need from our guys.¬† So, that's the biggest question to me.¬† Can we get ourselves to play this way next week in Tempe and the week after that and at week after that.¬† No matter when, no matter where, can we give that kind of effort and have that kind of consistency, have that kind of execution.
Because, to be honest, our guys have played hard in every single game this year.¬† We just haven't executed in every single game.¬† Tonight we executed.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
COACH SHAW:¬† That is a big thing with Thai, his versatility, he can do a lot of everything.
He won't be playing rugby anytime soon, but the toughness and the aggressiveness, there's no question about it.¬† And his versatility to play through the back field or play receiver, to play in the slot, to be a punch punt and kick off returner, absolutely.
Q.¬† Is James Waters doing okay?
COACH SHAW:¬† We're going to get him some X‑rays and see if he'll be ready to go next week.¬† He was itching on the sidelines, he knew we couldn't go back in.¬† He had to take the shoulder pads off, but we'll find out early next week.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
COACH SHAW:¬† No, I knew he was coming.¬† We communicated.¬† I knew he was coming, I was hoping he would try to get here a little bit earlier, but there was traffic.¬† The guys saw him, the guys know how much he supports them and loves them.¬† He sends notes periodically to me to give to the guys as encouragement.¬† And they appreciate it, they really do.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports