Bradford, Edwards Oregon Post-Game

On a day of disappointments, 10 points from Stanford's experienced and talented offense at Oregon was startling. Two of the principal players, senior wide receiver Mark Bradford and fifth-year senior quarterback Trent Edwards, answered questions afterward. Bradford had the best day of any Pac-10 receiver (9 rec, 108 yds, 1 TD) and Edwards was solid with a 123.9 rating, but both were upset.

Senior wide receiver Mark Bradford

What are your thoughts after today?

"We just have to go back to the drawing board.  The coaches really challenged us with the after-game speech - basically told us we have to go back to the drawing board.  Go back and work hard.  This is really a humbling experience right now.  A lot of guys need to look at the film, just take the coaching and get better from it."

Were they a little bit better than you expected defensively?

"No, I expected them to be good.  I saw the film.  They had a really good defensive scheme, so I wasn't surprised at how good they were defensively."

Did you expect you guys to be better offensively?

"I thought we had a few chances to execute a few plays that we didn't get - like the tailback pass.  I thought that we were going to be able to hit that.  There were just a few plays out there that I thought we would be able to executed that we didn't get done."

How do you get away from the 'here we go again' scenario after what happened today?

"I never really felt that this game.  I always felt like we can make a couple more plays - a play here, a play there.  I know how big a play or two can be in a game.  We've had times in the past where stranger things have happened.  We have seen it, like the UCLA game last year and other teams.  With me, I always just think: 'Just make the next play, make the next play.  It's going to come, it's going to come.'  Until it says double-zero, I feel like I have a chance."

Is it surprising that this year's offense, with all the seniors you have, to have 10 points at the end of a Pac-10 football game?

"Yeah, that was really disappointing.  I thought that there were a lot of plays out there that should have been made.  We had a lot of opportunities.  I never would have thought we would have a 10-point game.  At the same time, if we score 10 points and they score seven, then we win.  I expect a little bit more out of this offense, and I expect more in the future.  So obviously we have to hit the drawing board and come back better."

You and Evan Moore were both able to complete passes in the first quarter.  Then their DBs played better as the game went on?

"[Pause]  I guess they were able to make a few more plays.  The playcalling kind of changed.  Their defense changed; they went to more of a bracket after we made a few plays on them.  They went to 'cover two' a lot with help over the top.  They really wanted to stop our pass game because we were really effective in the beginning.  The scheme got us."

They were basically daring you guys to run?

"Yeah, basically.  That's how I felt - yeah."

You got up after that hit J.D. Nelson gave you.  Was that just being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

"A lot of those hits look a lot harder than it really feels.  On the sideline, everybody was asking, 'Are you okay?  Are you okay?'  I felt it was just a regular football hit.  I just bounced right back up and was ready for the next play."

You are often a quiet guy, but this is your last year.  Do you have words you are going to deliver to your teammates?

"I am probably going to go and talk to them.  Just let them know that we are a lot better than what we showed out there today.  We have the potential to go out there and make a lot more plays, and a lot bigger plays.  To not get down on themselves and go into the 'oh no, here we go again' type of thing.  Because I know that I feel that way, and I need to make sure that everybody else feels that and it is instilled into them.  Just try to convey that to the offensive guys and have them rally behind me and rally behind the positive notes."

Fifth-year senior quarterback Trent Edwards

How do you feel right now?

"I feel kind of frustrated.  I thought that we were well prepared to come in to give these guys a fight, and I don't think we really did that.  I can't really point fingers until we look at the film.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the way I wanted to play.  I know a lot of guys can probably say the same thing about their performance today.  We just have to live and learn from it."

What did you see over the course of the game as you looked downfield, that Oregon changed once you could no longer run the ball?

"They were a little softer in their secondary.  They weren't biting on our play-action as much.  Obviously, if you can't run the ball, there is no real threat to have a play-action pass in there.  They have a really solid secondary.  I know that we had two solid receivers that they had to pay more attention to, and I think they did that once they started stopping the run game."

How did you feel your protection was today?

"I thought it was phenomenal up front.  I thought the guys really handled them.  They didn't bring as much pressure as I thought they would.  I thought they would blitz a lot of their linebackers.  They kind of stayed away from that.  I don't think we gave up any sacks in the first half.  There were maybe two sacks in the second half that were my fault, and I don't know many on top of that there were.  But that's a big improvement over where we were last season."

You have a lot of guys back on offense and expected such big things.  What was going through your head as you look late in the fourth quarter, have 10 points on the board and are down by 38?

"Yeah.  Again, it's frustrating, but we didn't convert early in the game.  The first three quarters, we weren't able to convert in the red zone.  That's something we need to look at on film and something we need to do better.  A lot of that is on me.  I need to do a better job on offense.  I need to know a lot faster where to go with the ball.  That's an area I need to improve on."

The word 'humbling' has come up a few times.  What happens tomorrow and the next day to move on from this?

"I wouldn't describe it as a humbling experience for me, at least.  That's a solid football team and a solid stadium with a big crowd and a big nationwide audience.  We have a ton of young talent, that this was their first game.  You can say that's humbling.  At least for me, yeah, it's frustrating that we lost by so much, but I would not entirely consider that a humbling experience."

Mark made reference to Coach Harris challenging you guys afterward to get this thing turned around early on.  What were his words and his message?

"He said it was a humbling experience, and we need to look at the tape first; then learn from that.  We have a solid opponent coming up next week.  But you have to give a lot of credit to Oregon.  They are a 10-win team from last season.  I thought that their quarterback did an incredible job.  Their run game really helped him out.  Defensively, they were pretty solid up front, too."

They lost some guys up front.  Were you surprised at how their down four played?

"I was impressed.  I don't think that they were where they were last year - how good their front couple guys were that pressured us last year.  But they're still solid up front.  I know that the teams they are going to face are going to have a lot of problems with them as well."

How do you feel that Oregon's defensive backs did against your receivers?

"I thought that they did a pretty good job.  They tried some different techniques we weren't expecting on our receivers.  In the second half, I thought that they did a good job changing their coverages.  I thought that they were very well coached.  I know that they can change their secondary looks, and that is something we were concerned with going in - that they can disguise things pretty well.  They know where to go and which guys to cover, and they were able to do that.  That's going to help them out the rest of this season."

How do you feel physically?

"I feel fine.  Nothing major to report.  Just minor things here and there, but nothing really worth worrying about."

You said you don't want to point fingers, but what message do you give to your teammates.  This is your last year, and this is not how you wanted to start?

"Sure.  The message to my teammates is that everybody needs to step up.  Everybody - there is not one individual player.  The first person you need to look at is yourself.  That's whether you are a senior, a junior, a freshman or a sophomore.  You need to look inside and find it.  Find it in you to make sure that things like this don't happen with the next 11 games we are going to have."


Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our website, as well as our full-length feature articles in our glossy magazine. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com (sign-up) and The Bootleg Magazine (sign-up)!


The Bootleg Top Stories