A: They're a little different. Kevin Hogan is a little bit better runner than Josh was. So there is a little bit more quarterback on the perimeter stuff. Their system is their system.
Q: What did you think of your offensive line? Versus USC they had such a great game, they didn't have quite as much success against Cal. How did you judge those two performances back-to-back?
A: They're two different teams, two different schemes. Obviously they do have a good front. They've got some kids that we've played a lot of football against, so we understand them: [Ben] Gardner, [Terrence] Stephens, then [Trent] Murphy, Chase Thomas on the edge and Shayne Skov in the middle; guys that have been around a long time. They have very good knowledge of their scheme and they play hard. In terms of our performance against Cal, we're about end results. I don't care if we run it, I don't care if we throw it. If you're going to let us throw for 377 and six touchdowns, we'll take that every week.
Q: Did you protect as well against Cal as you did versus USC?
A: Did we protect? Yeah.
Q: Could you talk about [Stepfan] Taylor a little bit?
A: For some reason, and I don't know why, an underrated running back. I don't think he gets enough publicity or notoriety for what he's done. He's going to go down as one of the all-time great running backs in Stanford history. Physical runner, it just seems like in every game, he's going to pop a run. All of a sudden, he comes off of something and rips off a huge 20 plus yard run. He's got really really good vision. He's strong. He breaks a lot of tackles. He's on par to go for his third time over 1000 yards. It's really a challenge to make sure we tackle him and get him down because of how hard he runs.
Q: Can you talk a little about Stanford's front seven? Number one in the nation against the run and number one in the nation with sacks. How do those two compliment each other? Do they?
A: Well they're good against the run and good against the pass. That's how I look at it. It's a huge challenge for us offensively, getting matched up against the best defense we faced so far. A lot of veteran players on that side of the ball that play really had. I like watching them on film, they're fun to watch. I hope they're not as productive on Saturday.
Q: How do they get after the passer?
A: They've got great athletes, great scheme. So they free up a lot of guys to get guys in a lot of one-on-one situations against people. They beat the guys they're in one-on-one situations with. They usually get the upper hand.
Q: A lots been made about facing Stanford and your speed offensively, do you see anything in their defense that shows they've worked to counter the speed of your offense?
A: I don't look at it that way. I look at it as them being number one rush defense in the country and being the number one in sacks in the country. So I'd say they're doing a pretty good job on the defensive side of the ball.
Q: How about laterally though?
A: They're running sideline-to-sideline. You don't give up 50 yards a game rushing, if you're not running sideline-to-sideline.
Q: Has De'Anthony been playing defensive back in practice?
A: We don't really talk about how we do practice. If we did, we'd let you guys in every day. Just like injuries we just don't talk about that. I appreciate you asking.
Q: A lots been made about you guys having a lot of depth, and injuries, etc. You guys get so many reps, especially in the fall. Does that give you guys an advantage in terms of weathering these types of storms, because you've got other guys you can rely on?
A: We think it does. It allows us to get guys more reps. I think at a lot of other programs, you don't get as many reps in practice. You always here about ‘The ones got a lot of reps, but our twos didn't'. We think with how we structure practice and what we're trying to do with from an efficiency standpoint, that we can maximize guys getting quality reps in practice. And we hope, if we get in situations where guys have to play, we've gotten them enough snaps in a practice situation where they can play. I think the other byproduct is that in games this year we've been fortunate this year that we could kind of play down our depth chart because of leads we've had. Some of the guys are getting the opportunity to play in games right now; this isn't their first time. It's not going to be ‘Game 11, Oh my God!' this guy has to get in the game and he's never been in a game. In a couple of our games everybody whose got eligibility and is not being redshirted has had the opportunity to get in, and you hope that will be a benefit for us. That's one of the things we've always tried to work for here, is to really work for our depth on both sides of the ball.
Q: Last week Cal was pretty banged up, now you're pretty banged up, is the 85 scholarship limit something that should be looked at? Also the 65 man traveling roster?
A: The travel roster is at 70. The scholarship limit isn't something that I think has anything to do with it. The rules are even for everybody and I don't think anyone has an advantage or a disadvantage how its.
Q: Kyle Long played another game at guard. Did he make a significant jump from game one to game two, in terms of his comfort level at that position?
A: I don't look at it like that. Playing guard and playing tackle is kind of the same thing. It's either you have a guy on your head or you don't have a guy on your head. If someone went from wide receiver to quarterback, I think that'd be a different situation. But going from tackle to guard, and the way Wood rotates people upfront, I don't think it's that big. Nick Cody has done it a lot. Mark Asper started one year at tackle for us the next year at guard. C.E. Kaiser did the same thing. The only position that I think that's a little bit more unique in our system is our center. But our guards and tackles are pretty much interchangeable. Obviously trying to get Kyle comfortable at one position was a little bit easier for us. But, he grasped it really well, played pretty well these last two weeks.
Q: I asked Marcus earlier if he's seeing the game better. He's saying that the game's slowed down quite a bit. Are you seeing that from him? Then, are you encouraging him to run a bit more with this big defensive front?
A: Second question: no. Just take what the defense gives you. Which is what we've always told our guys. And the game has seemed like its slowed down for him, which is what you expect. He's got 10 full games under his belt now, where he's had the opportunity to go out and experience lots of different things on the field. He's a real sharp kid, he's a real quick learner, so the more experience he gets, the better he's going to be. But, we haven't said anything run here. When you're trying to tell him to do something, I think you're really screwing him up. In 10 games so far he's made some pretty good decisions and I'm sure he'll continue to do the same thing this week.
Q: In the fall you talked about how you guys don't instruct much during practice, it's just rep, rep, rep, rep. Then you watch film. Does that change during the season, because you have to game plan?
A: The rep part doesn't change, but we do instruct, it's just who are you instructing. I can't talk to a kid who's getting reps, but we all coach to the guys who aren't in. If you watch how practice, the quarterbacks are around coach Helf, the offensive line is behind Wood. You're opportunity to coach is to point out things to the guys who aren't in. There is a lot of coaching that's going on during practice, it's just we don't stop practice and instruct one player, then it's 21 guys standing around. We want to get as many reps. Sometimes all we do when we want to talk to a kid is sub for him. ‘Hey, I need to get him, so go run a play. Let me explain what's going on here, because we're going to get it in two more plays. We're going to run that play again.' There's still a lot of instruction going on during practice, just not for the guys getting reps.
Q:Is Gameday still just about the fans or is it something good for the university?
A: I think it's good for the university, it's good for the fans, I think it's a positive for everybody involved. I just think people don't realize that none of our players or anybody else is ever involved, because they're at the hotel or in meetings. So, we watch a little bit of it. Sometimes we have something so they watch part of it, but don't catch the whole thing. I think it's great for the university. I think it's great for our fans.
Q: They've so much experience, talent at tight end and they throw to those guys more than most guys do. Can you address the way they use those guys in the passing game and the challenges that might present?
A: [Zach] Ertz is kind of a unique, in terms of he has the athletic ability to line up at wide receiver, but he's also physical enough to play on the line of scrimmage. Dave has always done a great job of utilizing their talents. They did the same thing with [Colby] Fleener a year ago. Then when you throw in [Levine] Toilolo in there. They're just playing to their strengths. That's the mark of a good coach. He's got some talent at tight end, he's got some talent at running back and he's featuring that.
Q: I know you guys preach, next man in. But when a guy like Avery [Patterson] goes down. Is there a side of you that feels for a guy like that? At least after the game, to address what he's done for you this season.
A: Yeah that happens with everybody. When a player gets hurt, I feel for all of those guys. They've given their heart and soul to this program. It means everything to them and they mean everything to us. But, the mentality with the next guy in is, you can't sit and feel sorry for them while the game is going on. Saying ‘Oh my God we lost such and such. Let's mourn.' I felt extremely poor for him, I felt bad for John Boyett, I felt bad for Carson. I felt bad for all of those guys. I think that gets overlooked. But if our mentality isn't next man, then Avery wouldn't have played as well as he did when stepped up and was the next man in. I think that gets overshadowed a bit, but we always feel bad when someone who has give their heart and soul like those guys have.
Q: Now along the lines of the next man in, with [Erick] Dargan now in, how much have his reps steps prepared him for the bigger role he has to take on now?
A: Erick's been great. He's played a lot of football for us, just like Avery had football before. We're 100 percent confident in Erick playing football for us.
Q: You don't have a lot of seniors, but you're going to send a few guys out there for the last time on Saturday. Can you talk about what has meant to the program?
A: I think Senior Day is great and our fans give recognition for them, but the end for us is hopefully some time in January. So, it's kind of weird time for us. We don't look at this Saturday as ‘Look at the seniors and what have they been', because we're going to be together with these guys for a whole lot longer hopefully. We've got a small group, but I think they've been outstanding: the Michael Clays, Kiko Alonsos, Nick Cody. A ton of guys who understand how this program operates and understand what we stand for, and have always done things the right way. So, we're excited for our fans getting a last opportunity to see them, but we still have got a lot of football left in us. So, it's not like we're saying goodbye to them as a coaching staff next week and hopefully we'll get a least a month or so in December as we get ready to play a bowl game.
Q: Stanford appears to be physical on both sides of the football. Do you prepare any differently the week leading up to a physical team?
A: We just took boxing gloves out and teed off on each other for two hours. It doesn't change. You prepare against scheme that you're playing against. Are they a one back team, two back team, one tight end team, two tight end team? Whatever they're scheme is we prepare for that offensively and defensively. That part changes, but how we practice doesn't.
Q: Are you almost expecting Stanford to try and control the ball for forty minutes, get a few stops and try to win the game?
A: I have no idea.
Q: The teams that have beaten you have done that, controlled the ball.
A: They have?
Q: TOP, time of possession.
A: I would argue that point, but if that's how you feel, that's how you feel. We've lost time of possession in almost every game we've played, a lot. Two years ago, a Thursday night game we played UCLA. They ran 73 snaps, we ran 71 snaps. They had the ball for 40 minutes, we had the ball for 20 minutes. We won 60-13. We don't look at that stat. Time of possession means absolutely nothing to this operation. We were last in the nation last year in time of possession.
Q: I'm aware of that, but you've lost to six powerhouse teams in your four years. All four of them have run the ball and controlled time of possession.
A: OK. I mean do I expect Stanford to go no backs and throw the ball every time against us? I think they're going to do what we do and we're going to do what we do and we'll see who wins.