Scout was on hand for the Rose Bowl press conference featuring Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren. He previewed the matchup with Iowa, spoke about his offensive star Christian McCaffrey, and was very complimentary of Hawkeyes' linebacker Josey Jewell.
ON MCCAFFREY NOT WINNING THE HEISMAN...
"You know, there was nothing said as a unit. A lot of us were with him in New York, and we were disappointed. We're very biased, and we love our guys. We think they got it wrong. We think the AP got it right. That's one of the things I did is text them as soon as the AP came out, and I was like, well, at least we've got one of those things right. (Christian McCaffrey) fired back with: I guess AP stands for "all purpose" becuase at least they like my all purpose yards."
"But he's so humble, and he's always so quick to point out everything his teammates do for him. He talks about (Kevin Hogan's) leadership and how it's helped him. Wow, I mean, Christian has been unbelievable this year on and off the field. He's so beyond his 19 years on this earth. You listen to him in press conferences and you watch his work ethic, you watch some of the things that he feels on the field that aren't natural for anybody, but much less a 19-year-old true sophomore."
ON PREPARING FOR IOWA...
"Thats the best work we can get is against our own defense because it's the only way you're going to match up to somebody as close to physical as Iowa's defense, and it's not going to be the scout team. It's going to be going to 'good on good' work. We're going to be going against those linebackers like Blake Martinez day in and day out. That's going to be the best work for us."
"Iowa is going to be, I don't want to say vanilla, because it's the wrong term, but they trust their guys to line up and play great football and play a very physical style. So much so that there's not much movement, in the Pac-12 where you have all these different schemes and people flying in from vines on third down. There's not a whole lot of that out of Iowa. You're going to see guys that are going to line up in base and play a physical style and really feel like they can man up. We talk all the time, I think they actually believe they can dazzle you with dance and they don't have to baffle you with BS. They're going to line up in front of you and try to fight you toe to toe."
"I think a lot of us, when we saw this game, a lot of football people thought, wow, that's going to be a great battle on both sides of the ball, and it should be."
"I think the biggest thing for us as coaches is being smart enough not to put every play that draws up well against that structure on the board. You've still got to limit and figure out what you do best and what's going to fit best for your match-ups and really try to isolate those plays and work those plays, make sure everybody knows them as your core plays going into this game. So I think that's one challenge as a coach."
"The other thing, because we normally have all those schemes to prepare for, it's been a challenge for our guys and a test of their maturity to continue to focus and really focus on the details. Does he give any alignment tips? Is there anything we can see? What does this mean out of my player? What can I take away on this particular pass rush if I'm setting this way? They've done a great job of attacking the film in a different manner, if you will, really specific to the player and to their moves without having to worry as much about the scheme. With us being a gap scheme offense and an outside zone offense, when people move, we get some big plays out of that. We end up getting some explosive plays because our schemes just deal with it really well."
"So when you play a team like Iowa that's going to stand there toe to toe with you, we're going to have to earn everything. So we're going to need all those one-on-one blocks to win."
"Oh, it's of paramount importance for us to find a way to get Christian and guys like Bryce Love that have elite speed. Some of those guys, if we can do that, we're going to like our chances. But we have to line up toe to toe and drive them off the ball a little bit and do what we do. We've got to create a new line of scrimmage and create a physical style up there. We take a lot of pride in making people not want to finish games across from us, and that's going to be really hard to do with this group across from us in this game."
ON IOWA LINEBACKER JOSEY JEWELL...
"That middle linebacker (Josey Jewell) is pretty good. He's all over the place. Just sideline to sideline, making play after play, chasing things down. For a guy that reminds you a little bit of (Stanford linebacker Blake Martinez), one of our linebackers that can really run sideline to sideline. Just really impressed with how he never gives up on a play and how many plays he's able to make from whatever position he starts."