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December 1, 2017

Bryce Love

Harrison Phillips

David Shaw

Santa Clara, California

USC - 31, Stanford - 28

DAVID SHAW: To be 1-2 and to fall back to where we are right now, says a lot about who we have on our team, coaches and players, and guys banding together, it's very significant. In this day and age where it's easy to give up, it's easy to quit, it's easy to point fingers, it's easy not to give that great effort, it's easy to just spread apart, and our guys did none of that.

So it says a lot about who we are, and not to mention this football game be, to be down two scores in a game, and it's over. Guys were banged up, guys were in a little bit of pain, and they go back and fight back and make it a tight game and give ourselves an opportunity. That being said, bottom line, we had opportunities and we didn't make enough plays. We made enough plays to keep it close, but not enough plays to win.

You know, the sequence of 4th and 1 on the 1, to take the lead in the Pac-12 Championship game, I mean, there's no hesitation at all. That's what we're going to do. We've got four minutes left. If we don't get it, we've got them backed up, and hopefully the defense can stop them, and we get the ball back in good position for a touchdown and field goal.

I mean, there's no question about it. There's no hesitation on my part at all. It's just what you do. Bottom line, we didn't get to play on offense, and we didn't get to stop on defense. We came back, fought it, and made it a game, but that's a pivotal part of the game. Things that we can do better and that we need to do better.

But give credit to those guys on the other side, USC made the plays. Sam Darnold stood in there and made unbelievable throws. They made the plays to win the game.

That being said, I'll take these two guys to my left any day of the week. Toughness, heart, effort, it's just unmatched, unmatched. I'm so proud of these guys. We'll take a little bit of a rest after this, and we'll get ready for the bowl game. So questions.

Q. Bryce, how was your ankle? You had a 53-yard run, but how was your ankle in this game?
BRYCE LOVE: It felt good going in, it's doing fine.

Q. Harrison, you gave up 501 yards as a defense today, but how do you think you played? The game went right down to the final minute?
HARRISON PHILLIPS: Obviously, we didn't execute at a high enough level to get the win, and that's our goal. I wanted to hold them under 17 points, and we didn't get that goal either. So, it just wasn't the Stanford defense that we needed to play in order to get the win. A lot of big plays that we just can't have. We've got to win on the early down so we can force third downs.

Q. Bryce, you said your ankle was fine going in, but you lifted off on that final drive while you were going down to make the lead and you didn't come back a couple plays. How was it? Did you not have any push left? Tell us what happened there?
BRYCE LOVE: Just part of the game. Just going through the injury, things like that will happen. It's just we've got to wait for it to come back, and that's pretty much it.

DAVID SHAW: Let's do this, any injury questions, ask me. I'll answer those. Thank you.

Q. Coach, you had just three penalties in the first half, but they all came on one drive, and one was an un-sportsmanlike on Perez (no audio).
DAVID SHAW: By us, some of those are obvious calls and some of those are judgment calls. A lot of things happen in the pile, and I didn't see it, per se. The description I got was understandable, and all I'll ask there is to make sure that we're consistent calling them on both sides. Like I said, I didn't see it, so I can't give a true evaluation. So I understand what was told to me what happened. But like I said, that's a judgment call if an official thinks that one of our guys crossed the line.

Q. Coach, a couple questions for you on Bryce. One, can you just comment on his game tonight? He continues to deliver for you guys, but then secondly, on those last two plays from the one, did you feel like he wasn't healthy enough to be on the field?
DAVID SHAW: No, that's not the case at all. We have our short goal line package that we've been using all year, and we went to that. As for Bryce, who knows what percentage. Every time you ask him Bryce says 90% even when it's not. But the bottom line is our doctors and trainers are watching him all the time. If there's something he can't do, then we won't ask him to do it. If he can push off and explode, then he'll go out there and play because that's what he is. He's a tough human being, he loves to play the game, and he's outstanding at it.

That being said, he's outrushed a lot of football teams on one and a half ankles. Not individuals, outrushed entire football teams in the last six weeks or whatever it is. That's a combination of ability, toughness, heart, character, all those things rolled into one, and I have so much respect for who he is as a man as well as what he is as a football player.

Q. Coach, the sequence that you've been talking about in the goal line plays, before and after the late hit on SC, you stuck to the ground even when Bryce went out. Was that just your -- Stanford's identity, and that's what you're going to do down there? What was your thinking?
DAVID SHAW: That's a combination of what they're playing and what we're doing. We have a pass play called before a timeout, and we came back and switched it back to a run, based on the look that they gave us. There were things that they were doing. We're six inches away from popping each one of those, and we worked so hard at that, and we're so good at that short yardage goal line part of our game. Like I said, it's a no-brainer, because if you don't get it, you're on the one-yard line, and the defense gets a stop, you get the ball back at the 50, if not the plus 45. Then you go back at it again.

Q. Coach, you talked about in the first match-up with USC the pass pro needed to be better. How would you evaluate it tonight in the complication of Devery having to go down, and that changing your lineup for the last half?
DAVID SHAW: The word that you'll keep hearing me say when I said in our locker room is character. And Devery, like a lot of guys late in the year, guys are banged up. He went out there, battled, got hurt. We take him back to reevaluate him. We throw guys in there. And Brandon Fanaika goes in there and plays well.

Everyone goes back out there, can go for a little longer, can't go, comes back out. I thought the pass protection was good. I thought it was much better than the first game that we played. It could always be better. But I thought our quarterback had time to play, particularly at the end of the game when we need to have it. We got a couple balls batted.

But these guys are probably the best in the nation at batting balls. They do it to everybody. Got the quarterback protection up in the pocket, made some great throws. J.J. and Kaden in particular, a bunch of other guys made great plays to make it a close game.

Q. Coach, I wondered if you could comment on Sam Darnold's play? He had two 300-yard passing performances against you this year.
DAVID SHAW: Not just us. Not just us.

Q. What about this game?
DAVID SHAW: Yeah, he's an outstanding quarterback. He's extremely accurate. What he does I think so well, two things in particular, he operates in a very, very small space in the pocket. The couple times we're bearing down on him. We're just about to hit him and he gets the ball out. Second thing, I think he's the absolute best in the nation and one of the best I've seen since Andrew Luck. It's the time between when he sees it to the time the the ball gets out of his hands. That's one of the things as an NFL scout and NFL coach that you look at as I did for all those years in the NFL. He sees it, and that ball is already in motion getting out. It's that quickness of his trigger that's impressive.

That being said, we put pressure on, we made him move. We had a couple opportunities to take the ball away and we didn't take advantage of those, and a guy like this will make you pay.

Q. Couldn't tell from the press box, but it looked like the wind was blowing pretty hard out there. Was that a big factor in the play calling?
DAVID SHAW: Not at all. No, no issues at all with that. And I think both sides have quarterbacks with strong arms that can cut the wind, even if there was some wind out there.

Q. David, Heisman votes are due by Monday, I believe. Does Bryce have a legitimate shot at that? Do you think that character should be part of that vote?
DAVID SHAW: You're just asking loaded questions, aren't you? Loaded questions. Well, let's just say this, I don't have a Heisman vote, so I'm not going to talk about those that do. They can vote whoever they want. I'll put our guy's performance, I'll put our guy's character, I'll put our guy's records that he's broken this year, another run over 50 yards, I think it's 12 for the year, the most in the history of the NCAA. What he's done on one leg, it's unheard of. I don't know if I've ever seen it happen before.

So, if people can vote their conscience, then that's fine. I don't care. I put my arm around this guy and put him up in front of anybody, not to mention what he does academically. You know, the guys that we have here, I'm so proud of all of them, in particular Bryce, of being that young man that you want college football to be about, and you want to point to and say, to my two young sons that I have and say, be like him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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