MMQB report (10/13)

The Monday Morning Quarter Back luncheon met today with Coach Pete Carroll. The attitude was upbeat and the program was snappy. Waiting for the coach, several plays from last year's ND game were shown on the big screen in Town and Gown.

I've heard that game described as the worst defeat in ND's history and my goal for our team this year is to make that the second worst defeat in ND history. Pete does have an unusual approach to rivalry games. He does not try to hype the team and has, in the past, described his philosophy that each game should be targeted and considered on an equal plane.

Pete does recognize that the fans don't feel that way and he has no problem joining into the hoopla at the fan level. But apparently, not at the team level. Coach was a little late arriving today and based on what other coaches have said in past years, I bet the extra demands of ND week have intruded on his usually punctual schedule.

He began by commenting about the fine performance of our team on Saturday against Stanford. In particular PC revels in the success of our running game. Perhaps because that was the last essential element to come around, it seems special now that we've been successful for two straight games.

The taped plays from the game started with special teams, then offense and finally defense. There is a lot to like about our punt, place kick and filed goal blocking units and he showed examples from each element. As a first in my MMQB memory, he showed a spectacular opposition play. The kickoff return where the ball was stolen by Stanford and carried in for a TD. In this instance I gather, he did this out of admiration and to give credit for such a special play by the Stanford player. I assume it was the first time he had seen that happen.

He showed many of the best offensive plays. Great runs, passes and catches by several players were included. Pete has a pleasant style of banter that he uses to communicate with MMQB. At one point he asked if anyone was getting bored with the repetition of successful plays. It brought the expected laugh and comments from the audience to show as many as he wanted. As a break in the celebration, he repeated what has been reported in several publications about how badly we will miss Dominique Byrd. Pete talked about how we will adjust and said we have several options.

The coach then got to defensive highlights. He loves our defense and takes a lot of pride in showing our successes. Several plays featuring the DL, LB and DB's were reviewed in detail. The interception by Will Poole was highly praised and he said that Will had more pass deflections than any other player in the Pac 10.

The questions and answers were a mixture of the usual questions about the last game, the next game, injuries, recruiting and football "nuts and bolts". Pete answers questions very well and with a pleasant demeanor. I was pleased with one answer about anonymous Internet recruiting reports in which he complimented WeAreSC as an example of doing a good job. When asked about dedicating this game to Marv Goux he said that as far as he was concerned all our games are dedicated to Marv Goux.

He stayed with us more than an hour and finally had to call an end to the meeting. We adjourned around 1:20 PM with Pete giving a "beat the Irish" yell.


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