Post-Game Interviews: San Jose State

The Cardinal overpowered a banged-up San Jose State team Saturday night, spanking and blanking the Spartans 37-0 in Stanford's first home shutout since 1972! Rousing shouts of "C-HOUSE!" echoed into the night as excited and relieved players celebrated in the locker room immediately after the game. Here are reactions from head coach Jim Harbaugh, plus Toby Gerhart, Derek Belch, and T.C. Ostrander.

Running Back Toby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart: "I'm glad I finally got the opportunity. I just went out there and played."

The Bootleg: "What was your sense of the holes that were opening up?"

Gerhart: "They were great. It felt kind of like back in high school, I think almost every play, it was just the one guy that was left. Our schemes are designed to leave one person unblocked and I think, 90 percent of the time, there was just one person unblocked. And that's a lot of credit to the O-line, to the wide receivers, to everybody. Just a great team effort."

The Bootleg: "How does it feel right now?"

Gerhart: "Feels awesome. It's the first win in our house; we only won one last year. It's great. You can see the energy. I think there's energy in the crowd. I think times are changing. Hopefully we can build on this and keep running."

The Bootleg: "Were you healthy, could you have gone back in?"

Gerhart: "Yeah, they were just being precautionary, I guess. I was trying to convince them to let me keep going, but they just wanted to be cautious."

The Bootleg: "Feel okay, nothing hurts?"

Gerhart: "Naw, just precautionary stuff, I guess."

On the touchdown run: "It was an outside zone play, just cut it in and had the receiver Sherman coming down, pick up the safety like he's supposed to. Just bounce it and go, I had one guy to beat, guess I got him."

On the 49-yard burst: "Yeah, it felt like old times. I wish I could have run away with it and taken it to the house, but I just didn't have enough to get it there."

On whether he's expecting more touches in future weeks: "Hopefully. As a running back, you want the ball as much as you can, whether it's on the ground, through the air. But at the same time, you've got to protect the quarterback. It's a team game."


Head Coach Jim Harbaugh

On Gerhart: "I loved him. I really did. He really brought a balance to our game, a physical presence. He was dragging people, knocking them off the ball. It was good finish tonight. I'm thinking of the play where Bo came around the receiver and knocked the ball out, the way Richard was dragging guys, a few other guys who were just finishing plays, they weren't going down without a fight."

On Belch's first field goal: "All of those kicks he made gave us a big lift. We had moved the ball and got that unfortunate pass interference penalty, which I don't know, I didn't see it, but to hit that kick gave us a big lift. Then the other one, too, that 50-yarder into the wind, was big. I'm pleased with Derek. He's really been a leader to this team all summer long. You can see how much it meant to him. He and 'Zags' [Aaron Zagory] were pretty even during camp. But just the way he's been locked in and really into this, his last year, it's great, I was really pleased to see him kick so well."

On the first win in the new stadium: "I know Bill Walsh was here tonight. There were times I could just feel like he was on the headset. We called an 'X shallow cross' play about five times tonight and it worked about every time and that was one of Bill Walsh's signature plays in his West Coast system. There's just part of me that believes he was looking over us tonight."


Kicker Derek Belch

On knowing whether the 52-yarder was good: "Pretty much right when I hit it. Our holder Jay [Ottovegio] was saying 'go, go,' but I said, 'no, don't worry about it. It's good.' You kind of just know once it goes straight from that distance."

On the 50-yarder: "The 50, I kind of drew in a little bit. I play fade when I golf, so that one drew in. I knew it had the distance so I was just begging it in."

On momentum for the team: "It's big for momentum. Last week, when I missed that 47-yarder, I was kind of kicking myself because I probably hit it better than any of these kicks and it just barely missed. It's big when we can get points on a drive, it kind of keeps everyone's heads up."

On the first win in the new stadium: "It feels awesome, especially as a fifth-year senior. We put so much work in, ran the ball awesome, and got the first shutout since 1996, they said. So complete victory, top to bottom. Special teams played great, offense played great, defense played great."

On the first kick: "Coach Harbaugh, Coach Durkin looked at me, asked if I thought I could make it. I gave them the thumbs up. When they ask you, that means they have confidence that you know what you can do, you're the decision-maker. So I pretty much walked out there and said, 'Alright, it's going in!'"

On the win: "Personally for me, it's been a long five years, so it feels good to get this in a winning effort. For our football team, this is hopefully one of many more to come."

On his range: "Up to 60 maybe in practice, it depends on what the wind is doing. That second kick, 50 yards, was into the wind so that feels pretty good, the first one was into the wind. So 55, maybe 55. I actually didn't warm up very well, which is weird because I usually warm up well. So I was a little hesitant before the game, but 50, 55 is make-able."


Quarterback T.C. Ostrander

On the first win of 2007: "We haven't been very good at overcoming adversity and we showed that we could do that tonight."

On Gerhart: "It's not just the yards he got, the runs he made, it's that he can just wear down a defense. It looked like we were wearing those guys down by the end of the first half, and that first drive in the third quarter was huge."

On his only interception: "I thought I read it pretty well. I wanted to give Evan [Moore] a chance to go up and get it, so I didn't want to overthrow and obviously I underthrew him, but that corner made a great play on the ball. It's one of those things where it's easy to fix. It's gonna bother me, it's gonna bother me, but I know I can throw a better ball than that."


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