Bootleg Post-Game Interviews: TCU, Part I
Safety Bo McNally (#22):
On the disappointing outcome...
McNally: "Our coaches put together a really good scheme to stop them, and we just didn't execute it. If we had done that, we would have stopped them."
On why the defense struggled...
McNally: "It's just a lot of things added together. It kind of felt weird out there, we didn't have the same intensity. It's hard, winning that big game last week, and then as soon as Monday came around we were trying our hardest to forget about it and move on. Maybe everyone talked about it so much, it made it a whole lot more difficult. We're just going to move on, keep pushing forward, and try and do what we're coached to do, try and get back on track."
G Alex Fletcher (#60):
Fletcher: "We ran the ball early on, and then we didn't run the ball well. But we put ourselves in 2nd & 10, 2nd & 13, that's when they start bringing heat. We ran the ball well, but as an offensive line, I don't think we did a good enough job to win."
The Bootleg: Looked like they were bringing heat that last drive…
Fletcher: "They were bringing seven or eight guys. They were playing Cover One. So obviously, Tavita was sacked three times, he did a nice job scrambling and holding in there, but we didn't play well enough to win and that's the bottom line."
On the effect of the USC game.....
Fletcher: "We were focused, we played hard. If you would have told me that Anthony Kimble had 19 rushes for 113 yards, I would have said we would have won this game. We controlled the clock, we were scoring in bunches, I thought Richard (Sherman) played a great game, but obviously there was yardage left on the field, and if they score 38, we have to score 41, and we didn't score enough points to win."
The Bootleg: First couple of quarters, you guys were running really well, creating a lot of holes for Anthony. What do you think changed down the stretch?
Fletcher: "We just didn't run the ball as much. When you play catch-up, you have to throw the ball, so we ran the ball nice in the third quarter, we ran the ball nice in that last drive, Tavita had that keeper and Anthony had a couple of nice runs, but you get down, you get down, you get in 2nd & 15, 3rd & 15, and then you get the ball thrown around."
The Bootleg: How would you grade the line's play today?
Fletcher: "I mean, the line played well. We ran the ball well, pass-protected pretty well, but we didn't play well enough to win. We didn't do our job and until we play well enough to win, that's not enough."
The Bootleg: You were pretty pleased with the effort?
Fletcher: "Our team always plays with high intensity and high effort. Effort's never the question. It's just, you keep working on it, you keep grinding and that's it."
Linebacker Clinton Snyder (#20)
On TCU's spread offense....
Snyder: "They do a lot of different things out of a lot of different personnel groups, and they do a lot of things well, and they did the better job."
On his unit's performance...
Snyder: "Defensively, we didn't get it done today. We let down the offense. We need to get refocused this week, come out in practice and have a lot more intensity on defense. A lot of missed opportunities."
Reporter: What made them difficult to stop?
Snyder: "They played well, but I believe that we stopped ourselves on defense. Missed tackles, missed assignments, we weren't getting lined up right. Just missed opportunities. We got a couple of facemask penalties which didn't help us there, but we've just got to be fundamentally sound on defense and we just didn't get it done today."
Reporter: Was it hard to get focused?
Snyder: "We were talking about not letting that happen all week. Really, we were focused, we just didn't come out with the right effort and intensity that we needed to play with."
Reporter: Was over-aggressiveness a problem with screens?
Snyder: "No, you beat screens by rallying to the ball, and that just comes back to us not going hard enough on defense. You've got to retrace your steps, go back and play the screen. So that's on us."
The Bootleg: I heard TCU players on the way to the locker room, saying Stanford didn't play for four quarters. What do you feel?
Snyder: "I agree with them. On defense, we need to come out and play all four quarters. We didn't get it done."
The Bootleg: There were some bright spots though. You had a big day, do you want to talk about that takeaway you had?
Snyder: "I mean, the ball just popped up in the air when we had that sack there and I was lucky enough to catch it out of the air."
The Bootleg: What do you the think the biggest difference was? The first few quarters were going pretty well, and down the stretch, obviously it was tougher.
Snyder: "We just weren't getting it done, period, on defense. A lot of missed opportunities. And even when did get plays, we got penalties for facemask and stuff like that, so we've got to come back and get it done next week."
Wide Receiver Richard Sherman (#9)
The Bootleg: I want to ask you about your emotions right now. Obviously, I know you take losses really hard and this has to be a tough one.
Sherman: "Yeah, definitely, I'm pretty upset right now. We were in that game, we were winning the whole time. You don't want to lose any game, but especially not like that, we were winning the whole game. I'm pretty sore right now."
The Bootleg: You feel like you kind of had it wrapped up and let it go a little bit?
Sherman: "Yeah, I definitely feel like we had it in hand and I don't know, I guess we started having breakdowns, and we didn't end up getting it done."
The Bootleg: Obviously, it's really hard to say right after the game, but is there anything you can point to and say that was the difference - something you were doing well the first few quarters and then turned around?
Sherman: "I don't think anything in particular. I mean, it looked like everything looked good, and then in the last couple of minutes, everything started falling apart. So we have to work on that.We weren't driving on them like we should, we weren't getting points like we were in the first half, so we have to work on that."
The Bootleg: There were still some bright spots though. Take me through that fourth-down reception from Tavita, you were fired up.
Sherman: "It's been like that since last week, it's not anything new to us. Fourth & 20, fourth & eight, whatever, we're going to make the play and we're going to have confidence in each other. I was pretty excited, I just had to get open. The linebacker there, I knew I could beat him, Tavita knew I could beat him, and he threw it."
The Bootleg: I wanted to ask coming after the biggest win in years for this program, how was practice any different?
Sherman: "It wasn't really different. We were just working harder than ever, making it a priority that we didn't get caught up in it. We didn't think about it, we didn't watch the tape, we were just working on the next team we had to face.
The Bootleg: And then one more question, you don't have to answer this. I saw Coach Harbaugh pull you outside the locker room and talk to you afterwards. What was that about?
Sherman: "He was just talking to me about being a leader in the situation, and that it was hard, but I should keep my head up because I know people are watching me."
The Bootleg: How'd you take it?
Sherman: "It's fine. I understood him and I agreed. Whether we're losing by 50 or losing by one, we don't want to lose at all. We're just trying to execute. We weren't thinking about last week, we were just thinking about this week, trying to make plays and this week, I guess we didn't get it done as much. That's what we were trying to do, trying to make a play."
Quarterback Tavita Pritchard (#14)
Pritchard: "The O-line did an outstanding job all day. Credit them, they did a good job, but I myself and us as an offense need to make plays in the crunch. They did, and credit them for that.
On the difference down the stretch...
Pritchard: "They weren't doing anything differently, I don't know as far as their offense, but I know we just made too many mistakes. We didn't play the game like we did in the first half. They didn't do anything differently, but they came to play in the second half, so credit them for that."
On whether he had faith that the last drive would be like last week's...
Pritchard: "Oh yeah, you always have to believe. We've been here before, let's just do it again. It didn't work out that way, just had to make a play."
On that last play, you never had a chance, right?
Pritchard: "I don't know. I'll have to look at it on film. Tough, tough. But when they know we have to throw it, it makes it tough on those guys. I know that and we're going to keep that in mind."
Big blown opportunity that you didn't get the W here?...
Pritchard: "You have to think of this game like any other one. Obviously, you learn from it, but it's like 'SC -- you have a big win, you have come back the next week and prepare, you have a loss, a tough loss, you've got to get it behind you, oh well, and come back next week and work harder than we have this season."
On his health...
Pritchard: "A couple of bumps and bruises, nothing too bad."
Wide Receiver Evan Moore (#8):
Moore: "We had to get that win. It hurts, it really does. But we have to approach next week the way we approached this week. That's going to be the key, how we bounce back from this. The belief this team has, the confidence, the swagger coming into this game is something we have to leave this game with too. Because we were one play from winning that game. We make a big play, ultimately we win, and we can't let one play get in the way of the rest of this season."
The Bootleg: When Richard made that fourth-down catch, did you think the magic was going to happen again?
Moore: "I shook my head. What is this guy doing? Two straight weeks. Yeah, honestly, what were we, on the 15 or 20? Yeah. First down at the 15 or 20, I thought for sure we were going to be able to punch it in somehow. But it's not like the magic ran out. It just didn't happen and we got it, we're going forward, we're competitors and we're going to bring it next year too."
The Bootleg: Had to wait a long time for that first touchdown, how big was that?
Moore: "That was a nice little weight off my shoulders. I've been pressing pretty hard the last couple of games, just doing everything I can to contribute and make plays. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened that well, but I felt like today I was in the flow of things real well."
The Bootleg: Did you think you had that other one?
Moore: "Yeah, I thought I did. I said, 'C'mon Al' - he's a family friend, he's the referee, the middle guy, the one that called it down at the one. 'C'mon Al, you know that was in.' 'We're going to review it, we'll see.' Guess I was wrong, he was laughing at me." (Laughs.)
Moore: "They're a good football team. They made some adjustments and we misfired on a couple of things that we usually can hit on. I have to see the film to really know sure, but we fault it a little bit on execution, but we put up a pretty good number of points as an offense. As an offense, we know that the defense has picked us up at some points this year, so as an offense, it's our job to pick up the defense too. And we were one drive short of doing that, which is really frustrating, because they've picked us up a lot this year. But when we put it all together, all three phases, I think it's going to be something really big."
On Tavita's hit out-of-bounds...
Moore: "I just gave #39 a little warning."
You and Richard (Sherman) jumped in…
Moore: "Yeah, he's our guy-- whoever's at quarterback's our guy. He was alright, he's tough. Tavita's a warrior. He liked it. Tavita's nose was bleeding, he was jumping all over the place, it just added to the environment."
The Bootleg: You and TC are close. Is it tough to watch him going through this?
Moore: "I know what TC's going through. I'd be lying if I said things have gone perfectly for me the past couple of years in terms of situations I've been in on the field and play time and stuff like that. But TC will respond the right way, I know he will, knowing that he's always one snap away from playing, he's our captain so people are still looking at him all the time as an example to see how he's handling this. TC's time on the field by all means is not over. Tavita's a great player, so is TC. As you saw today, we're going to need TC sometimes. Who knows? He may even win us a game next week. Who knows?"
Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Reporter: Some of the defensive guys are feeling like they gave away the game, saying they were not playing with the same focus and intensity, do you share that opinion?
Harbaugh: "I believe that there were plenty of opportunities for us to win this football game, that's the tough thing. But I'm proud of the way our guys played, I really am. Our guys played with tremendous courage and effort on both sides of the ball. It was a heck of a football game.
"It was a great ballgame against a heck of a team. And we just have to play a little better a little more. We had opportunities to win the football game and we lost.
On the challenge on the last possession...
Harbaugh: "The clock was running, we'd just taken a sack and felt like we needed to regroup. I figured we might as well get a challenge out of it as well, in case it was an incomplete pass. But I was calling a timeout there just to regroup the offense. It was third down and I figured we might as well get a challenge out of it just to see. But I was going to call a timeout there, regardless."
On his quarterback Tavita Pritchard:
Harbaugh: "He does so many things that you want your quarterback to do. He moves around he makes plays with that playmaking ability that he has. I was really pleased with the way Tavita played."
On the out-of-bounds hit on Pritchard...
Harbaugh: "It was a late hit out of bounds and we got a flag, it was correctly called."
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