Notes and quotes: Oregon State week

We whip around the Stanford program, courtesy Scott Cooley to hear about: Andrew Luck's signing style, and his take on his 58-yard smash and dash versus Cal; Richard Sherman on Cal's sportsmanship, or lack thereof; and Jim Harbaugh on John Elway's first return to Memorial Stadium since you-know-what, and his son's humility while an OSU volunteer assistant coach. Read on!

The Hitman

Shareece Wright isn't the only safety in college football that's been embarrassed by Andrew Luck.

Five games removed from "The Hit" against USC, Stanford's Heisman hopeful again proved that he's not just a pretty-boy pocket passer. Cal safety Sean Cattouse found that out the hard way.

"[Cattouse] didn't realize how big he is. You don't just run in there recklessly to somebody that's 240, running full speed," Richard Sherman laughed. "I think he got punished and deservedly so, because he was talking a lot of smack before the game. I wish I could have found him on Facebook so I could have talked smack about that hit."

After Cattouse attempted the tackle, Luck paused before continuing on his 58-yard gallop. Some speculated that he was admiring his handiwork but Luck dispelled that notion.

"I was stunned I was still on my feet," he said. "I figured I would have been on the ground in some form or fashion."

Melee before the Mauling

It was all premeditated. Cal players had planned to march to midfield in an attempt to throw the Cardinal out of character because they knew they had no chance.

There were a couple of other classless plays not caught on the cameras.

"We do our DB drills every week and one of the Cal guys was lying in the middle of our warm-ups," Sherman said. "We kind of got into a little jabbering then and that's when we knew we were going to destroy them."

Sherman also said that the Bears walked off the field after the game without shaking hands. They must have read a chapter in Todd Haley's Guide to Sportsmanship.

The black eye for Stanford was Jamal-Rashad Patterson's ejection for throwing a punch. But he was provoked in a way that Channing Crowder and Mike McGlynn of the NFL claimed they were—saliva projections.

Harbaugh said Patterson had been punished further internally but that he's still on the team.

Elway returns

The Cardinal have been blessed with some high-profile honorary captains this season. Tom Crean spoke to the team before the Notre Dame game and former Stanford quarterback John Elway spent some time with the guys during Big Game week.

"I think John's message was really spot-on," Harbaugh said. "Just live in the moment, play loose, play focused. I think it resonated with our guys."

"He said don't get caught up in the outside distractions of the Big Game," Luck added. "He related it to the Super Bowls he played in, and it basically boiled down to not trying to do too much."

Saturday was Elway's first trip back to Memorial Stadium since "The Play". He probably reminded the officiating crew before the game that instant replay was in full effect.

During Elway's first two seasons at Stanford, Jack Harbaugh was the defensive coordinator. He actually hosted Jim on his official visit to The Farm, which was his last visit as a student.

"I never knew whether I didn't get admitted or didn't get the football scholarship, probably neither," Harbaugh laughed.

Like Father, Like Son

Speaking of the Harbaugh lineage, it appears there is another mad hatter sharpening his coaching skills.

Jay Harbaugh is a student-volunteer coach for the Oregon State Beavers. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf calls in plays from the press box through a head set and those are relayed to quarterback Ryan Katz through hand signals from Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh played in San Diego when Mike Riley was the head coach of the Chargers. He said that he was aware of Riley's student assistant program and encouraged Jay to apply.

Harbaugh is hoping to exact revenge from last year's loss in Corvallis because the bragging from his son has not ceased.

"Jay did not learn how to be magnanimous. He has not acquired that quality," he joked.

Bowling for Upsets

Friday's slate of college football holds three games that could impact Stanford's bowl placement.

Boise State battles Nevada in Reno, Alabama is favored over Auburn in the annual Iron Bowl and Arizona has a chance to knock off Oregon. If any of these undefeated teams lose, there's a good chance Stanford will smell the roses.

But don't throw out these scenarios to the Cardinal players. As we've seen all season, they're focused on one thing and one thing only—Oregon State.

"I'm not even sure which games are on Friday," Luck said. "We know we can't control anything that happens outside of us playing on Saturday"

"There hasn't been a lot of talk around the locker room," said Sione Fua, who didn't even know which teams needed to lose. "After the Oregon State game, we can start worrying about where we are going to fall in the bowl selection process."

Heisman, but no American Idol

We love to point out all the wonderful, intangible qualities of Andrew Luck. But apparently there's one thing that's keeping him from being perfect—he can't carry a note.

"He sings sometimes and doesn't notice that people are watching," Doug Baldwin said. "He's horrible."

Apparently Luck's favorite shower tune is "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

About the Author: Bootleg Senior Writer Scott Cooley has worked in the sports media industry throughout his professional career, including serving as a writer for an ESPN production house and a professional football franchise. His work has been published in multiple print and online platforms including He currently writes for yours truly, as well as Bookmaker, Covers and Red Hott Locks. Cooley specializes in football, baseball and basketball with an emphasis on sports betting. Cooley and his wife reside in California, contact him at

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