T.C. Ostrander Big Game Post-Game

He had the best first half of probably any game in his Cardinal career, despite a costly fumble, yet T.C. Ostrander afterward took responsibility for his second-half swoon against Cal's defense. Stanford's starting quarterback was the first player to speak with reporters after today's Big Game, and he discussed the gameplan, missed opportunities, inspiration, Walt Harris and the future.

T.C., how do you feel things went offensively today?

"You know, I think we stepped up pretty big-time today.  I'm pretty sure that this is the most success we've had moving the ball down the field in a while.  We just needed to capitalize on the field position and put the ball in the endzone when we get down there.  It kind of made the difference today.  I thought a lot of our guys - all of our guys - played with a lot of heart and played really well.  I thought the line stepped up big-time, and I'm proud of them for that.  The lesson that we can take from this is that it's going to take just a little more next year."

Can you summarize the gameplan of what you thought you could do against Cal's defense, which worked today?

"I think we came out with a pretty good gameplan.  We had some new thing, some wrinkles we were going to throw at them.  When we did, they worked.  The way they played their coverage in the first half, if they were going to line up in man, we were going to try to take advantage of that.  I felt like we did.  The second half, they came out and started playing more zone.  I myself didn't adjust to that quickly enough for us to be as successful as we needed to be, so I'll take some of that."

T.C., where did the inspired play come from today?

"The seniors had a little talk last night, kind of saying their good-byes.  If not before, then after that, I don't think there was a guy on the team who didn't want to win for them.  And win really, really badly for them.  It's got to come from those guys."

There is talk that Walt Harris might not be back.  Have you heard that, and do you think it's unfair?

"I've seen some talk like that in the papers, and all I can say is that I think we have some momentum going right now.  I think we have a lot of growth to make in this offense.  If we do that, then I think we'll be pretty successful in the future."

Would it be a mistake to let Walt go at this point?

"Yeah.  We have some some momentum going, and we have a lot left to improve and to get better."

Do a majority of guys feel that way?

"Yeah, that would be my estimation."

What is positive with Walt Harris now that is creating this momentum, which maybe wasn't there earlier in the year?

"You know, I think we have a lot of young guys.  It took them a while to get their feet wet a little bit.  It's hard to learn a complex offense, and to get used to football at this level at the same time.  I would say that probably was a really big part of it.  But also, guys buying in.  Sometimes it takes a little while for things to click."

You guys were 29-point underdogs.  Do you walk off the field today thinking, 'We should have won this thing'?

"Definitely.  Guys are disappointed in the locker room.  I don't think anybody is satisfied with our effort today.  Yeah, we can see that there has been improvement, but we had a chance.  We had a chance, so we're disappointed."

T.C., what happened on the fumble?

"I need to look at it on the film again, but I was reverse-pivoting out and I thought the ball might have hit off the guard's leg.  Again, that's my mistake; I have to do a better job of pulling it in and making sure that doesn't happen?

Did that happen pulling away from center, or did you lose the ball getting ready to hand off?

"It was going to be a pitch."

As far as momentum, when they missed that field goal, did you feel like you guys missed an opportunity to put something on the board?

"Yeah, we had a lot of missed opportunities.  We missed that one.  We didn't get any points off the fumble deep in their territory, which was disappointing.  To beat a team like Cal, which has some talent and is a good team, you're going to have to take advantage of the mistakes that they make.  We didn't do that."

What were you looking to do after their missed field goal?  There were two running plays starting off that drive, which put you in third-and-long...

"I thought that we ran the ball pretty well today, actually.  I haven't looked at the actual statistics, but if we could run the ball for four yards on first down, that puts us in a much more manageable second down.  No one wants to get in third-and-long, but sometimes if that's your philosophy, that just happens."

Do you see a mature and improved Richard Sherman out there today, versus the earlier parts of the year?

"I think Richard grew a lot this year, not only as a football player, but as a person as well.  He's even dealing with a knee problem, which I'm pretty sure he is going to have surgery on after the season.  He fought really hard today and never complained about it once.  He beat a really good corner a couple times, so he should be proud of that."

T.C., now that the season is over, can you tell us about your knee?

"I don't know specifically what it is.  I'm going to have an MRI on my knee sometime this next week and see what is going on with it."

On the first drive, your pass to Evan Moore that they reviewed.  Did you get a view of that?

"I thought it was pretty close.  I probably should have thrown it harder to his back shoulder.  The issue today was that it was pretty gusty and windy out there.  You couldn't tell which direction it was going to be, so the wind might have played a little part in that ball being so low.  I thought he had it, when it caught it."

Did you think from the start that the wind was going to play a pretty big part in the passing and kicking games today?

"Yeah, we came out in pregame warm-ups, and if you didn't throw a pretty tight spiral, the ball was going to go all over the place.  We had to deal with that.  It didn't play a very big part in the game that I can remember.  Maybe on the missed field goal that we had.  But it was the same for both sides."

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