Harrison, Okwo Oregon State Post-Game

The loss last Saturday at Stanford Stadium marked the end of a winless '06 home slate for the Cardinal. The hardest hurt was felt for the seniors, who leave The Farm with that legacy. Free safety Brandon Harrison and inside linebacker Michael Okwo discussed the defense's difficulty against Oregon State, the pain of losing on Senior Day and the frustration of failing in the new Stanford Stadium.

Senior free safety Brandon Harrison

Thoughts on the game

"Defensively, I would say, that at moments we played well.  At moments, we got some big plays from some guys.  We kind of reverted back to what we've been doing, as far as little technique mistakes that turn into big plays - whether it be we have a guy in the backfield for a four-yard loss but can't bring him down, and he gets four yards instead.  Or third and six-or-seven, and we're supposed to be underneath for short routes, but instead we're on top and they turn around and catch it for a first down.  Inside instead of outside.  It's frustrating to see so many things that are so little turn into big plays that really hurt the momentum for us on defense."

Brandon, can you trace back to the first quarter - what was your emotion when you guys made the quick stop on defense, and then you watch Anthony Kimble run for a touchdown on the second play?

"It just shows what I think we are capable of doing on both side of the ball.  He's an extremely explosive runner.  We got the first three-and-out, or whatever it was, and made them punt.  Seeing a fellow guy from Louisiana run with such passion, run so hard and get into the endzone early in the game was a huge boost for us.  Unfortunately, we didn't do enough and didn't make enough big plays to keep that momentum going."

Did you think at that moment, though, that this could be a magical Senior Day?

"Definitely.  Even when things went a little bit wrong after that, I still believed that we could get it done - that we could leave the younger guys with a new legacy, on Senior Day in the new stadium.  A lot of us are disappointed that we couldn't do that and couldn't get that done."

Is that something you guys rallied around today, to go out at home with a win?

"Yeah, I think we have been pretty motivated, even through the struggles.  But today, we stressed playing for the seniors.  For me personally, I just wanted to have a strong performance and win a game for those seniors who aren't playing right now.  There are some of the guys who are hurt, who I am pretty close with, who can't finish the season: Nick Frank and David Lofton.  Those guys were the extra motivation for me to play the game.  Again, like I said, it's really disappointing to know that I and we didn't play well enough to get those guys a win who want so badly to be out there."

Brandon, of all the frustrations this season, how will not winning at home rank?

"It's important to play well at home, for obvious reasons.  You have your home crowd and your family here.  If for no other reason, it's to give people around here some reason to believe the way that we do.  It's one thing to have the team still be confident, but it's hard to play when the stadium doesn't have any people in it.  We haven't played well enough to have an interest in Stanford Football again.  That's a big part.  If you give good showings at home, that makes people want to come watch the games.  I think that it will probably be tough next year for the guys, with not a whole lot of excitement for the season because of how we played this year.  As a guy who some people consider a leader on this team, I wonder, 'What could I have done differently to make this season a little better?'  I think it's a lot of frustration - I know I keep saying that."

Senior inside linebacker Michael Okwo

Yvenson Bernard ran a lot against you guys today - all but one of their carries.  They had the ball all of the time, especially in the first half.  Did you guys get worn down a little bit?

"He's a pretty special back.  To watch him make some of the cuts that he did, it was pretty impressive from a linebacker standpoint.  He had a gift in finding the holes and being able to play off of his linemen.  I guess we have to tip our hats to him."

Did you feel like you guys were as prepared as you have been all season?

"I feel like we gave 100 percent in practice.  That's what is so hard about this.  It's falling short after giving so much.  I think people were so dedicated this week, especially this last Walk for a lot of us as seniors.  To see it come out to this, it was difficult."

What was the emotion like for you guys as senior group, at the end of this game?

"Exhausted.  Giving it all out there on the line.  Just exhausted."

How is playing here at home on the list of your frustrations this year?

"Not being able to bring home the first win in this new stadium, it's tough.  Especially with everything that everyone has put into this outside of the team.  They worked so hard.  I feel like, in many ways, we owed them.  To not be able to bring about a win, that's unfortunate for us."

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