Notes on the Rest of the Pac-12

The head coach and a player from each Pac-12 team answered questions from the media Tuesday at Pac-12 Media Day, and here are some notes on the other 11 conference teams...

CALIFORNIA – Jeff Tedford, Marvin Jones

Created standard and expectation at Cal, and last year fell short of that.

Six points away from being 8-4 last year. A very fine line between winning and losing.

Tedford will be more involved in the offensive game plan and play calling.

Tailback situation is open for competition.

Playing at AT&T Park.

Not worried at all about relationship with scout Willie Lyles.

OREGON – Chip Kelly, David Paulsen

The media is smart since it picked Oregon to win the league.

Young team, graduated many seniors.

11 or 12 seniors, 47 freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

Big opener against LSU.

Recruiting going well, not impacted by talk of impending sanctions.

LeMichael James is a special player.

David Paulsen said the reports of possible violations isn't impacting the players.

Message from Kelly to fans about investigation: We have the best fans in college football, and support from them is tremendous.

DeAnthony Thomas can run, he's a speed kid. It's coaches job to see if they can get him the football.

Many questions about Willie Lyles, and Kirk Reynolds, the Pac-12's Dave Hirsch cut off one question.

OREGON STATE – Mike Riley, Lance Mitchell

Going to have to grow a lot through fall practice. Had 5 guys who had off-season surgery and missed spring practice.

Whether or not you agree with new rules about excessive celebration, you have to play close attention to it and be careful.

Injury to James Rodgers: You can never count him out. He's running and ahead of schedule. Will bring him back conservatively.

About Oregon's recruiting investigation: Consider it another learning experience. It's more education on how to handle their business.

Safety Lance Mitchell said he thought defense fell off last year. Have a lot of young guys that played last year and that experience will make a difference.

Don't have a #1 running back to replace Jacquizz Rodgers. Probably running back by committee. Riley thinks Rodgers made right decision to go pro.

STANFORD – David Shaw, Andrew Luck

David Shaw's similarities to Jim Harbaugh: Both competitors. He'll try to sustain the competitive environment Harbaugh created. Differences are minimal.

Luck likes the continuity with Shaw, who recruited him. Shaw values Luck and thinks he was key in helping Shaw make transition to head coach.

When Luck was asked if he'll leave after this season (since he has one more year of eligibility), Shaw said, "Great question." Then Luck said he's approaching the season like it's his final season.

On WR Chris Owusu: Since last surgery, said to him, "Play every game." Has talented but inexperienced receiver group around Luck. But experienced tight ends.

Luck didn't ever regret decision to come back.

Luck thinks the team can be better.

Shaw was instrumental in the development of Luck, especially when he was young and running the scout team.

WASHINGTON – Steve Sarkisian, Chris Polk

Have a football team that started to play a good brand of football toward end of last season. Still a very young football team. Played 16 true freshmen last season. But some veteran leaders. Program is involving but playing brand of football we believe in.

Challenge is to find consistency factor.

On offense replacing Jake Locker is a challenge. Great young quarterback in Keith Price. But can't rely on QB position like did with Locker for two years. Have to rely on running backs, and receivers.

Just a few guys limited injury-wise, but for most part pretty healthy.

Follow blueprint from end of last season, relying on Chris Polk and playing strong defense. Sarkisian: "Have a pretty good horse to ride."

Stadium renovation: 2011 season at Husky season, then final home game will be at Seahawks Stadium, CenturyLink Field. Husky Stadium will then come down and they'll play 2012 season at CenturyLInk.


WASHINGTON STATE – Paul Wulff, Jared Karstetter

How to improve stopping the run: It's been an issue. Defense could be more physical and could have

more game experience. Only 1 or 2 seniors but players have played, and that wil make a big difference.

Players he expects to make break out: Ricky Galvin on offense, running back who broke arm last year.

Kristoff Williams, receiver redshirted because of injury. Defensively, Sekope Kaufusi making big difference. Alex Hoffman-Ellis has chance to be one of finer LBs in conference.

Karstetter says thinks team was more competitive toward end of last year. Any lack of respect from a

team they use as motivation.

How to improve OL protection, with all OL returning: Two JC guys played first fall last year and true

freshman. Not effective running game and receiving group was young. So predictable passing situations. A lot of those things are solved.

Next step for Jeff Tuel: Needs to take team on his back and win it. Wulff thinks he will take that step.

New coaches, including ex-UCLA DL coach Todd Howard, having big impact on team.

ARIZONA – Mike Stoops, Nick Foles

Thinks have talented group of players coming back. Offensive abilities center around experience at QB with Foles and strength at wide receiver. Offensive inexperience at OL, hopes experience at QB and WR will balance it out. People making assumptions about inexperience guys on OL, but Stoops thinks OL have potential to be better than last year's OL.

Defensively very similar to what he's had. Lost DEs, that's where took greatest hit. But strength is back seven. Two LBs back and strength of team is DBs.

Inability of kicing game was demise last year and where need to improve.

Going to three straight bowl games feel established good program, now wants to take next step to be top national program, and compete in a championship game.

Reaction to being picked 4th: Doesn't affect him, never picked high. Not unusual for Arizona.

Group of receivers is very talented and diverse – size, speed to be able to put on field. Ability to spread football around. Have guys demand a lot of attention, so better get them the football. Strength of our team, and hopefully give us ability to run ball better than in past.

Jokingly didn't think he was that fiery on the sideline.

Criner situation: Had some personal and family issues with his mother that he had to attend to, and spent some time in Texas with his mother who has been very ill. Criner has come back and worked hard. Feels better about his mother.

End of last season disappointing. Didn't do things necessary to win down the stretch. Played teams that ran ball effectively, and AZ's inability to run the ball effectively contributed to those losses.

ARIZONA STATE – Dennis Erickson, Brock Osweiler

Erickson said he's happy to be here, happy to anywhere at this time.

Strength is defense. A lot of depth. Two deep at every positon on D. Omar Bolden went down in spring with ACL, needs to be replaced.

Offensive side of ball -- most excited he's been, 7 or 8 OLs that have played. Never had that before. All 5 starters back, and back-ups, too. Have skill players coming back. Cameron Marshall is outstanding. Brock Osweiler had outstanding spring.

Osweiller taking over as a leader in spring and summer.

Questionable whether Deantre Lewis will play or redshirt. Might not play for three or four games. Probably can't practice next week. Huge part of offense. But Kyle Middlebrook can replace him, and Cameron Marshall. He got shot [literally], and suffered damage to the hamstring. Want it to be right for him.

Gettting to QB was issue last year. Will Sutton returns, though. There are other guys who can rush the passer. Should be improved.

Will have to do some different things. Everyone does zone pressures, and you can't play man all the time anymore. Have to learn to get more pressure on the QB.

Erickson, on how he feels about potentially coming in second and not playing in Pac-12 Championship game? "I don't care." Championship game allows you to get back into conference, even if you lost a game.

Don't have a lot of depth at corner. Need guys to step up. Defensive front – never have a lot of depth there. Receivers have to stay healthy.

Plan to run Osweiler: Great QBs have to be able to move around and give themselves a second chance. Osweiler does it on his own. But won't run too much option for him.

Criticism of program not going to bowl: Doesn't affect him. He has high expectations for team this year.

COLORADO – Jon Embree, Tyler Hansen

Very excited to be apart of Pac-12. Great fit, athletically and academically.

Schedule has 13 straight games with no break. Have to be smart how we practice. Creates opportunities for young players. Have to play everyone who isn't redshirting.

Want to improve identity of program. Want people to understand physical team, being able to run football. Colorado when it was successful in past it ran the ball well.

Hansen on being a Cali kid being in Pac-12: He grew up Pac-10 fan, so it's great for his senior year being part of it. It's special.

How admittance to Pac-12 has affected recruiting: It helps a lot, playing USC or UCLA, or Arizona schools. We have to get to where we're recruiting the states effectively . Have four or five committed from California in current class.

Hansen can be effective in such a quarterback-dominated conference. You can do it in your last year. Last year at UCLA had Drew Olson, andhe finished with 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Embree will take that every year. Hansen in spring scrimmage went 18 of 19. Wish he was a junior.

Switch to pro-style good for Hansen. Same scheme played in high school. Under center, feels comfortable in the offense.

Embree has familiarity with the conference. At UCLA for three years, son has been at UCLA for three years. It was always with UCLA involvedd, but watched teams play. So much diversity offensively and defensively. Don't see same style week to week. Always have to prepare. Need great adaptability week to week.

Need to change culture of program, which hasn't won on road since 2007, and 18 straight on the road. No one on team has played in a road win. Sticking point with Embree. Taking it head on. It all starts how you prepare. Good teams win on the road, and obviously Colorado hasn't been a good team, or he wouldn't be here. We have to win on the road. First game on the road, and we need to address that issue immediately.

USC – Lane Kiffin, Matt Barkley

A lot of great things going on at USC.

22 players return who have started before. A lot of experience.

Good NCAA appeal process is over. Disappointed in decision but at least know what it is now, not hanging over head. Have a plan of how to deal with it and make the most out of it. Proud of players and how they're handling it in trying times.

Note how we dealt with Marc Tyler, swiftly. Until Marc gets right he won't be back at program.

In second year, so more comfortable with staff and players. Never been on field before. So know more about roster. Will really help them.

Offense has five returning starters. Hopefully improve from last year. Khalid Holmes will move to center. Two new guards next to him. Matt Kahlil could be one of elite tackles in college football.

Rhett Ellison is true Trojan in the way he handles himself.

Robert Woods will try to take his play to next level.

QB Matt Barkley – goal is to improve his decision making, to go to next level. Could have one of those elite seasons of USC quarterbacks.

Defense have to improve everywhere. It hurt them last year. Gave up so many explosive plays.

DL has chance to be strong group. Devon Kennard moved to DE. Important to have fast DEs and not big LBs. Inside don't know about Armon Armstead and his health.

LBs Galippo will be the Mike, outside of that doesn't know that much.

DBs, there's T.J. McDonald, and hoping for AA season out of him.

Have a very competitive schedule. Conference is going to be strong.

Kiffin said that Barkely would then announce he's returning for his senior year, which got some laughs.

Barkley says he has "quite the arsenal" at receiver this year. Farmer is even bigger, taller and faster than Robert Woods. List goes on and on for receivers.

Barkley: Key for him is being consistent throughout the year.

Sanctions: weekly it really doesn't matter this year. Once you get going, don't think players think much about it. Barkley: Doesn't think about it. Team has so much going for it.

Could Kiffin move a WR to DB? Don't know, but Marquise Lee was a great safety in high shool.

Kiffin was asked to debunk a myth, and he deferred to Barkley, who said: "Well, he's in the same place for two years in a row now, which is good (laughing)."

UTAH – Kyle Whittingham, Tony Bergstrom

Ecstatic about opportunity to join Pac-12 conference. Talked about for many years. Big challenges, and fully aware of that. With big challenge is big opportunity.

Tough to face BCS teams every week? Week in and week out aware have to bring A game. Fared well against BCS schools before.

Influence recruiting? : Big spike in recruiting. Within 10 games of announcement in June, had 7 verbal commitments. Impact on recruiting is felt right away, and carried over to past recruiting season.

Bringing Norm Chow on board is another big impact. His rep has enabled them to get commitments from very good players.

Change in offensive philosophy is going very well. One of reasons brought in Chow. Pro-style attack. Much better situation for QB. Right direction to go. Jordan Wynn didn't participate in spring ball. Get him back at beginning of fall camp.

Skipping Oregon and Stanford – based on last year it's a big advantage. But every year is new challenge. Different teams always emerge.

USC being first conference game: Baptism by fire.

Huge buzz in community about being Pac-12. 98% renewal rate for season tickets.


Pac-12 Pre-Season Media Poll


North (first-place votes)

1. Oregon (29)... 239

2. Stanford (13)... 220

3. Washington... 142

4. Oregon State... 120

5. California... 110

6. Washington State... 51

South (first-place votes)

1. USC (24) ... 230

2. Arizona State (13)... 207

3. Utah (4)... 170

4. Arizona (1)... 140

5. UCLA ... 89

6. Colorado... 46


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