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Tuesday's Stanford Press Conference Notes

Stanford coach David Shaw shares his thoughts on Arizona and more in Tuesday's conference call.

This season, Stanford has lost to Northwestern and defeated USC. Stanford coach David Shaw attributes the ability to bounce back to his team's overall character.

"You can’t make young men be something they’re not," Shaw said. "You recruit smart kids, tough kids, but you recruit high character kids. When things don’t go your way, they don’t point fingers, they don’t back down from challenges, they poke out their chest and go to work.

"To be down two scores in the Coliseum and guys didn’t bat an eyelash, they fought back. You have to have the character, you can’t make it show up when it’s not there."

Many were surprised by Utah blowing out Oregon, but the many Pac-12 coaches felt the conference would be unpredictable. 

"During the Pac-12 Media Day sitting around with the other coaches, we were all talking about it," Shaw said. "It’s going to be insane in our conference. You can’t say someone is markedly better than anyone else.

"To the outside world the Utah-Oregon game was crazy, but to us in the Pac-12, we know when Utah is hitting on all cylinders they are extremely good. Every single week you never know what is going to happen."

Any time Stanford and Arizona play and linebacker Blake Martinez is playing, there will be questions as to why Mike Stoops and company did not recruit one of the best defensive players in the country. 

"Recruiting is such an eye of the beholder," Shaw said. "The thing with Blake that was interesting is that you have to see him live. We didn't offer Blake until he came to our camp.

"We need to see him live and after watching him for five minutes live we knew he was the guy. I never fault anybody for not seeing something because evaluation is an evaluation, but it is also a gut feeling and sometimes you are right and sometimes you are wrong."

Arizona's quarterback situation is a bit up in the air with Anu Solomon doubtful for Saturday, but Shaw does not think it will have a major impact on Stanford's strategy.

"It won’t change our approach too much," Shaw said. "The biggest issue is Rich Rodriguez. Going against the scheme and having some shootouts against the scheme, I realize this is a tough scheme to deal with.

"They put you in so many conflicts with run pass whether the quarterback is involved or not involved. The slot combinations, the bunch sets, the screens. That is going to be the biggest focus, knowing whoever plays at quarterback is going to be a dynamic athlete you have to account for."

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