Running back Christian Ramirez, coming back from a sprained ankle, got a few more reps. …
Freshman Ricky Marvray, working with the scout team receivers, was in a red no-contact jersey because of a slight shoulder injury. …
Quarterback Kevin Prince was in shoulder pads and helmet for
practice. His jaw still is banded shut, but he was able to do some
individual work and extra throwing at the end of practice. He is
expected back for the Bruins' Oct. 10 game against Oregon. …
Sheldon Price continues to work with the No. 1 defense at cornerback. Run support could be an issue at Stanford for the 6-foot-2,
163-pound freshman – running back Toby Gerhart goes 235 pounds, not to
mention the fullback, guards and tackles that will come running at him.
But he said he is up for the challenge, of starting for a second game
in a row and taking on some of the blockers and that big back.
Here is a quick Q&A with Price…
Are you surprised at all to be starting again this week?
‘'A little, but it's growing on me every day. I mean, I was blessed
with the opportunity to play my freshman year and I'm just taking it
and running with it. I don't like how it came about – we never want
guys to get hurt and stuff like that. It's unfortunate, but someone has
to come in and play.''
Against Kansas State they didn't want you doing a
lot of pressing and things like that. Is that changing a little bit?
‘'The first half I didn't really press, but then, I mean, pressing is
probably the strongest part of my game, even though I'm not that strong
I press real well. So the second half I started pressing and now, we
just work on it in practice and I've gotten better and better.''
So that big cushion outside that you were giving, that's gone?
‘'That was first two quarters, get my feet wet. I was nervous and stuff, had eyes big as saucers. But now I'm fine.''
Stanford obviously with Toby Gerhart, run support is going to be important.
‘'I've been working on my tackling all year and it's getting better
and better. I've just got to be able to come up and make the tackle. It
doesn't necessarily have to be the perfect tackle, as long as he gets
to the ground.''
You going to be able to zig-zag through the blockers coming out at you?
‘'That's probably one thing I have to work on, taking on blocks,
because linemen and fullbacks, they probably outweigh me by 20, 40, 30,
60 pounds, so that's something I have to work on. But overall I should
be ready. We keep going over that same stuff in practice, working on
it, so I should be fine come Saturday.''
How do you combat that, the 40, 50, 60 pound difference?
‘'With that you have to use your speed, because you're not going to
out-leverage him because he's so much bigger than you. So I just use my
speed and try to avoid the blocks as best I can. If I don't get
touched, that's better for me. I give myself a better chance.''
So, just don't get locked up …
‘'Yeah, that's the key … just don't get locked in a battle with
somebody who is stronger and probably bigger than you. I've been
working on that and so far it's been going well in practice.''
Is that the part of Saturday you're really looking forward to seeing, how you play that?
‘'I've been looking at their passing game, but I know what I can do
against the pass. I'm a defensive back, I'm supposed to be able to
defend the pass. I want to really see how well I can tackle and this is
going to be a big test for me.''
You passed the first one well enough …
‘'Yeah, I passed the first one, so I've just got to keep it going.''
Coach Rick Neuheisel after practice:
‘'I thought it was a spirited practice. I was pleased to see the intensity of the work. We understand the quality of the opponent and our guys are aware that it's going to take a big-time effort to get it done, but got off to a good start today and I'm eager for more tomorrow.''
The first question is, what was up with the music?
‘'Well, we've got some guys that haven't been listening to me when I say I'm going to make them go to class, so we've got a little bit of a regimen that they're going to go through now that they've missed class and that's the music that they're going to be doing it to. We call them the rolly-pollys, so the Hokey Pokey is as close as I could get. We're going to make sure that guys are understanding they're here for an education.''
In a game where you're facing that kind of a running game, is time of possession important?
‘'Time of possession is important when you feel like you need to protect your defense, when you're playing defense with your offense in terms of the field position, you're trying to keep the ball away from them, you're trying to make the opponent impatient. That's not necessarily the case against a Stanford team that's going to pound and pound and pound. I'm not sure it's as meaningful statistic in games like this. But, certainly, when you have a huge advantage in it, usually you have a huge advantage, you might be able to take them out of that pounding game.''
Does that disrupt their flow?
‘'It can. But I think they know who they are and they're going to play their game.''
Their defense, do you see them as overly aggressive … lots of blitzing …
‘'They have that in their package. If I would characterize their defense, I'd say very sound and fundamental. They know which pad to take things on, they're very sound. And they're a heavy team, they're a big team. That doesn't mean they won't have a blitz package. They'll have a package and they'll have something new for every game, too.''
Tuesday Practice Report, Neuheisel
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