It was Stanford defensive coordinator Lance Anderson's turn to step up to the mic before the Rose Bowl takes center stage on Friday. The matchup between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Stanford Cardinal should be a heck of a showdown between two smashmouth teams and the Cardinal assistant believes the same.
Scout was on hand to deliver some video, quotes, and notes on what Anderson had to say earlier today.
ON FACING IOWA...
"They're a physical football team. They run the football very well. The quarterback is a guy that can make plays. Also the thing that jumps out initially watching them is that they're probably more like us offensively than a lot of other teams we've played. They'll line up with the tight end and two running backs, they'll line up with two tight ends and get into some of the bigger personnel groups that we don't see as often in the Pac-12. It's just hard-nosed, smash-mouth football. It's going to be an exciting match-up."
"We have (done a lot of ones vs ones in practice). Just especially last week where as soon as we started the bowl practices, we've done a lot against our offense. Like you said, there is no better way to simulate that. There are some definite similarities there."
ON BLAKE MARTINEZ...
"Defensively, Blake Martinez has had a phenomenal year for us. It's amazing to look at his stats and the number of tackles he has. He's been a real leader for us on defense. He's a guy that's come in and played well every single week. It's great to have those - some dominant players, guys who are special players that can help lead the team and other guys look up to. It's great when your best players are also some of your hardest workers, the guys that practice the hardest and work the hardest in the offseason. Guys like Christian McCaffrey, Blake Martinez, those are those kind of guys."
"I think he's got such good experience at this point. He's played a lot of football now in his fourth year, and he's just such a great fit as an inside linebacker in our defense. He's strong, he's physical, he runs well for a guy his size. I think at this point he has a really good understanding of the defense and where he fits, what his job is, how it fits in with the other ten guys on defense. He's just let himself go and just played fast and as a result made a lot of plays."
ON TEAM HEALTH...
"I think at this point we're in really good shape. The secondary the last few weeks of the regular season and even the Pac-12 Championship Game we had some guys beat up. We were missing some guys. But I think the time off has really helped. Defensively, we're about as healthy as we've been all season long."
ON THE IOWA RUNNING GAME...
"As well as Iowa runs the football, we know that we've got to be able to stop the run. It's got to start there. Got to be able to stop the run. They're a good team, so that will be a good challenge for us. They do a really good job running the football. So that's what makes the play action so effective."
"So what we try to find is, we try to find little keys where maybe the linemen give something away where it's a little bit different in the run as opposed to the pass. So we'll try to make a lot of the cut-ups and show this is pass, this is the play action. It's still hard, especially in the flow of the game. But we try to pick up on those little keys as much as we can."
"But it's one of the reasons we always talk about one of the first things we need to do is stop them from running the football. You stop them from running the football or at least slow them down, and the play action doesn't become as effective as if they are really running the ball well. So you've really got the attitude that we have to sell out to stop the run and we've got to get up in there, and all of a sudden there is a play-action fake and the ball goes over your head. So it's a good challenge. It's a challenge. They are very similar to us. That's one of the first times when you put on their film, you see using multiple tight ends, using fullbacks. We haven't seen as much of that in the Pac-12, but very similar to our offense."\
ON IOWA QUARTERBACK C.J. BEATHARD
"He seems very talented. I think he's a guy that does whatever's required to win. It's amazing. He makes a lot of great throws. He's very talented. He has a great feel for the pass rush. I think he moves around the pocket well, buys time. When needed, he makes a lot of plays with his feet. It's amazing sometimes looking at, here's a 51-yard run by Beathard, or here's a 54-yard run by Beathard, and it's a two-minute situation that gets the drive going or it's a third down, they're packed up and (Beathard) gets them out. He does a great job of running that offense."
"So we've got to be very aware of our rush lanes. Don't give him time to get a little extra time to get the receivers down the field. Don't let him scramble, get outside and make some plays. We've got to be leery of our rush lanes, be very disciplined there. When he does throw the ball, we've got to be able to put some pressure on him and be able to get him down when we get there."
"For him it's a little bit different because a lot of it is not the quarterback-designed runs you'll see. It's him just making plays with his feet when nothing's there. So it's very tough. Just mentioned, we've got to be very disciplined in our rush lanes. Guys have to be tuned in to doing their job, making sure that they've got their responsibility covered. Becuase if something breaks down or a guy gets out of position, he can really make you pay with his feet.They've got some quarterback draw, which is some longer yardage situations that have been very effective for them. So it's definitely something that you've got to account for."