Bootleg Post-Game Interviews: ASU
It isn't that fun to solicit post-game commentary from players more disappointed in the outcome of the game than the hardest of hard-core Cardinal fans. The questionable quality of questions from the collective media after a tough loss like this was somewhat surprising to this rookie locker room reporter. One look at Alex Fletcher sitting lost in thought in the locker room will tell you that losing, even to a moderately superior opponent, is taken anything but lightly by a number of current members of the Cardinal program.
MLB Nick Macaluso (#50):
The Bootleg: Nick, you had a chance to get in there and make a big tackle for loss - did that count as a sack or a tackle for loss?...
Macaluso: (Attempting to smile) "You can call it a sack!"
The Bootleg: Obviously you stepped up with Fred Campbell going out with injury, talk a little about getting a chance to get in there and contribute to a defense that clearly put some pressure on ASU early today...
Macaluso: "Our game plan today was just to stop the run. We wanted to come down hill. They showed a great running game - they had great running backs. We were just coming downhill trying to stop it. That was the primary thing and once we did that, we started tackling a little bit ran some blitzes and getting after the quarterback, forcing some sacks. "
The Bootleg: So at least it was fun for you to be out there making progress with the defense?
Macaluso: "Fred Campbell is a one hell of a football player, the toughest guy, replacing him, filling his shoes is huge and it is hard to do, but I am just putting my head down and trying to do the job that Fred did. "
The Bootleg: Feels good to play some football though?
Macaluso: "Yeah, it feels great to get out there, get some experience under my belt, hopefully just keep grinding and getting better for the future."
SLB Clinton Snyder (#20):
Reporter: You guys were on the field a lot, was that just a matter of not being able to hold it off for an extended period of time?...
Snyder: "Oh, no, we were confident that we could hold them off, we just gave up a couple of big plays, they converted on their third downs, they got that one fourth down. If we stiffen up there in a third-down situation, we are off the field a lot more..."
Reporter: How did you feel out there?
Snyder: "Uh, (chuckling with clear sarcasm) I played. I feel good, I am going to be pretty sore tonight. I was playing up to my 100%."
Reporter: Any stingers?
Snyder: "I got a couple, but I didn't come out with them, so it was fine."
Reporter: That final score on the scoreboard looking maybe like last year, how is it different?
Snyder: "Felt like we kept fightin' on defense the whole game. We were strugglin' on offense - we can get that fixed. On defense there is a whole different attitude out there on the field, I feel. Just gotta build on it."
Quarterback T.C. Ostrander (#13):
Ostrander: "Not being able to do much in the run game hurt us and then when we had our opportunities in the pass game, we didn't have all that many guys executing at the same time. [ASU] did a good job, but it wasn't like they were doing anything that we weren't able to figure out. We just... we didn't play as well as we should have."
Reporter: How do you prevent this from 'snowballing'?
Ostrander: "I don't think it's going to 'snowball' because I think we have got enough leaders on this team who are going to take this as an opportunity, as a challenge. We've gotta come back, we've gotta let everyone on this team knows that this next week is a 'work week'. You know, you might be a student-athlete, but you better be spending some serious time on football next week, outside of practice and whatever. Everybody has got to take it upon themselves to get better individually. I think if we do that, we'll get better as a team."
Reporter: Does that scoreboard make you a little mad?
Ostrander: (at a bit of a loss) "... It's frustrating because we're better than that. I don't really care what a lot of people outside of our family think. People are going to look at that and go 'Oh, there's Stanford again' We're not like that, we're better than that. If we are going to represent this school, we've got to represent it better than we did tonight."
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh:
Harbaugh: "ASU did an excellent job shutting down our running game. Once they figured out they could take away the run, then it forced us into some other situations. I think it was such thorough ineffectiveness on our part that you can't point to one phase and say 'that was the reason' It was just thorough on all levels... Everything was to their advantage."
Reporter: The defense... Did you feel like they were playing well?
Harbaugh: "Yeah, first half they didn't feel. Our defense was playing well, our offense was playing well. Special teams. It certainly wasn't the case tonight."
Reporter: [Attempting to touch on a positive] How did you like the pass rush, in the first half or overall?
Harbaugh: "Yep, Clinton Snyder came free a couple times and it was good to see a pass rush, but it has got to be complemented by an offense that moves the football and keeps them off the field. That wasn;t the case and we were giving up sacks, so..."
Reporter: Jim, how do you prevent this from 'snowballing'?
Harbaugh: "This loss... we gotta do a better job. Coaches coach. Players execute. We vowed something early on that we were going to work at it. [Pauses, obviously bothered by the 'snowballing' question] Are you suggesting that it is going to 'snowball' into some kind of quitting? I guess I don't know what you mean by 'snowballing'. "
Reporter: The score was reminiscent of last year?
Harbaugh: "One disappointing thing is that I don't feel like we got better. This is the first time that I have felt that so far this season. "
Reporter: Do you need a couple of days to find out why that was, do you have a sense for why you guys couldn't get there?
Harbaugh: "I don't have a sense right now. Like I said, I felt like we didn't execute and that's on us, the coaches and players. "
Reporter: Do you think injuries are starting to take a toll? - you were missing five starters essentially in the last two weeks.
Harbaugh: "What happens in college football, you hit some adversity, injuries are adversities. Those things are going on in most programs I would suspect."
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