Shaw Coaches Cardinal to Title Win

Stanford head coach David Shaw discussed exactly what the Pac-12 title win means for the program...

Amidst the post-game press conferences and interviews celebrating Stanford's 27-24 victory over UCLA, a win that clinched both the Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl berth, Cardinal head coach David Shaw was already looking towards the next game.

"I'm the worst person to ask about that," he said in response to his thoughts regarding the win. "I'm still thinking about the things that we didn't do well. It usually takes me a few hours to calm down and appreciate the fact that we won this thing. I'm thinking about the Rose Bowl now; I'm thinking about who we are going to play and how we are going to play and how we are going to get our guys fresh. We're going to be on the road in the next couple of weeks and for me, it's always about the next step," he said.

Stanford had defeated UCLA 35-17 mere days before, but Shaw cautioned his team to be prepared to face a tough opponent in the Bruins.

"We knew we would get UCLA's best. I reminded the team that before we played them, they were on a five game win streak and that they were averaging forty two points a game. They were blocking a bunch of kicks, making a whole bunch of sacks on defense, and we couldn't take them lightly. They came out and got after us right off the bat, but our guys hung on long enough to get ourselves right, get ourselves back in the game," he said.

The game was back and forth all night and the Bruins had the win heading into the fourth quarter, but Stanford has also had some bright moments on the film, including an interception for an eighty yard return by Ed Reynolds.

"Ed has been doing that all year. Whenever we need a game changing play, he's been the guy. He leads the country in interception yards by a long way and he added to that tonight. I don't know how he doesn't get player of the year awards for defense, because I don't think anybody in the country has made more game-changing plays than Ed Reynolds has," he said.

Another bright spot on the Cardinal roster was true freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan. Though Hogan wasn't Stanford's starting signal-caller at the beginning of the season, he impressed on the field throughout the past four games, completing 16 of 22 for 155 yards and a touchdown.

"We feel so good about Kevin Hogan. He's so mobile, he's so athletic, and he's tough and smart. He's ultra competitive. He's hard on himself; he doesn't mind being coached hard when he makes a mistake because knows in the back of his mind he can play so much better. He's just scratching the surface; we are so excited about his ceiling, how good he can become and we are just trying to see if he can get closer to that before the Rose Bowl," he said.

Aside from the win, Friday marked another achievement for this Cardinal team, as running back Stepfan Taylor broke the record to become Stanford's all-time leading rusher.

"That was so special. I coached him for a year as a running back and he's just that one guy in the room that never makes a mistake, never does anything wrong. He knows all the answers. He's a great pass protector, a very unselfish guy. He never talks, never says anything. He just comes and works and leaves. He's such a great example of what a true Stanford man is all about," he said.

Ultimately, the outcome of the game is about more than just another win. For a team encompassed with doubt at the beginning of the season, Shaw emphasized how much the success has impacted the team.

"It means the world. A lot of people did jump ship on us; we didn't play great early in the year. We had some rough games, we lost two games, one very close loss to the number one team in the nation, but our guys saw that we had so much going for us, that we just needed to play a little bit better.

"That's what we try to do each week, just play a little bit better than the week before and give ourselves the chance to win. We know we have the talent, we have the toughness to hang in there. If we can be close at the end of the game, we have the chance to win it," he said.

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