Rose Bowl In Focus: Derek Mason & David Shaw

Derek Mason talks about up-and-comers for next season, while David Shaw discusses about his father, and why Stanford's biggest step toward the Rose Bowl might well have come in a losing effort. Again, many of these quotes stem from exclusive interviews with The Bootleg, and there are some absolute gems here.

Defensive coordinator Derek Mason

"We made adjustments. We needed more consistency in stopping the run game, and Ed Reynolds and Jordan Richards stepped up. That's the difference between 14 [points allowed in the first half] and zero in the second half."

On what he's proudest of:

"I'm proudest of way we fought in the second half. We were sloppy in first half. The end of the first half was as bad as I had seen in last one and a half months. We let Wisconsin back in game. We gave them life and then we had to take it again from them. Wisconsin's a good team, but so are we."

"We completely stopped the run in the second half. They had to throw to beat us. Hats off to these guys, who bought into everything we do and stepped up to the challenge."

On "recruiting" would-be early NFL entrants:

"It's gonna be the case every year. The thing I look at is we recruit good players and we have good players right now with us. That's the way it is. We're BCS bowl, Rose Bowl champions, so if you come play at Stanford University, we can play with anyone in the country.

"We just gotta continue to be us. We will have guys come and go. [Michael] Thomas and [Delano] Howell left last year, no Terrence [Stephens] this game. The thing I told you is that we're going to continue to recruit guys who fit and they'll keep playing. The rest, whether they leave or stay, we're thankful for what they've added on the football field."

On future breakout players:

"Blake Martinez, undoubtedly. He is a silent assassin. He will be the next Shayne, the next Chase.

"Blake Lueders was sidelined this year, but played as a frosh. And one thing you've seen with Tarpley and Jordan Richards is that when given the opportunity, players who have played early flourish and are that much better in their second year."

"James Vaughters is going to be a beast next year."

"So we'll lose some, but also a lot comes back. That's the goal I think, every season, is to assess the talent and start chipping away. See definite strengths, see weaknesses, and move forward, address them and give ourselves the best chance to win."

On Wisconsin neutralizing the pass rush:

"They did some stuff they hadn't done. It put pressure on us to make adjustments. So credit to our guys that they made adjustments, and we did too as a staff. You watch a lot of college football and there are going to be a lot of challenges, but we can make the adjustments."

On pulling away late:

"Wear ‘em down? I sure hope so. They were really good. We made our best adjustments and, I think, kept pounding away. Body blows, just pounding away."

On recruiting:

"It's less than 48 hours before we hit the road and go do what we do. We have one day to enjoy with our families. They've been through a lot, a lot of sacrifices. So we'll take care of them and then go and close on the 2013 class and make ground on 2014."

Coach David Shaw

On Jordan Williamson:

"I told him just to be smooth. On kickoffs, his hangtime was great. Field goals were no problem. He can be the best kicker in college football."

On his father:

"When I saw my dad, I started crying. I saw how proud he is of me."

On the Stanford mentality:

"Stanford students are mentally tough. Not just the athletes, but the community. We don't back down from challenges and that's big. I hope that's reflected in how we play. .

On specific players:

"We waited for that interception, and when we got that chance, we had to do it. Usua Amanam got that chance and didn't let it go."

"Kevin Hogan got positive yards. Every yard counted."

"Daniel Zychlinski was booming punts and giving us proper field position."

On the Notre Dame loss:

"I counseled our guys. I have a social psychology major and told them we can sit sulk and think about what could have been, or say that from now on we're going to finish and not leave it up to the officials. On D, we needed one stop and didn't get it. On O, they got one on us when they needed to."

"The crazy thing, honestly, is would we be here if we beat Notre Dame? I don't know. It was a galvanizing moment for us, so heartfelt. We went on a tear, the seniors, and that game propelled us to this game. We went on a tear and made a choice that we were not going to lose."

On the Stanford fans:

"We talk about not being surprised by your environment, that you can't let that affect your play. But you see all the Stanford people, the biggest Stanford party ever, the most Stanford people in one place ever [not including campus]. That crowd was loud when we needed it."

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