THE MODERATOR: We're ready to go
with Stanford. We have Coach David Shaw, and
we have our Offensive and Defensive MVP,
Stepfan Taylor and Usua Amanam. Coach, an
opening statement, and then questions for Coach.
COACH SHAW: Thank you. First of all,
just very proud of our guys. Give a lot of credit to
Wisconsin. Nobody gave them a chance coming
into this game, but we watched the film, saw how
physical they played, and saw how they lost so
many close games to some really good football
teams. We knew this was going to be a battle.
For us, we wouldn't expect it any other
way. This is the way we've played all year. We
know it's going to be tight, and we know it's going
to be close. At the end of the game, we're going to
find a way to win. That's what our guys did.
As I said, I'm so proud of them, the work
that these guys have put in, the way they played
together, and when somebody makes a mistake,
our guys don't get on each other. They pick each
other back up again, and that's been a running
theme all year.
So we knew our unity, our togetherness,
the way we played together was going to give us a
chance to win the football game.
Q. Why do you think you won today?
COACH SHAW: Well, not to be sarcastic,
but we scored the most points.
Surprised this isn’t getting more run around here. Sounds like something our last coach would have said. Shaw’s growing more comfortable in his own skin.
Q. Well, why do you think you scored
the most points?
COACH SHAW: For us, it's not the why,
it's the how. We played extremely hard. We didn't
always play smart. We missed a couple of throws,
and we had a couple of guys that missed a couple
of blocks on offense. Defensively, we missed a
couple of tackles.
But for us, it's not about playing perfect.
It's about finishing strong, and that's what our guys
did. So we knew in the fourth quarter, if it's a
one-score game, and we're up or we're down, we
know we're going to give ourselves a chance to
We’ll have the exact Ben Gardner quote soon, but, much like Coach Shaw alluded to not playing smart, Gardner too said that Stanford left points on the table because of self-inflicted mistakes. Gardner, for one, thinks that the second half was far more reflective of the Stanford defense’s talent level than the first 30 minutes.
Q. David, first of all, when I talked to
Chase Thomas, he said that you guys kept
going back to the same thing in the second half
that you kept basically trying to do the same
things constantly. What was that same thing?
COACH SHAW: It was about us being us.
We say that a lot. It's about playing our scheme.
We did some things early in the game to loosen
them up a little bit, but we want to play our style of
football. And we put the onus on the execution.
Of the drives that stalled, we didn't execute great.
Wisconsin played extremely well. The
drives that Wisconsin had, they executed
extremely well, but we missed some tackles. So
for us it's always about getting back to basics. I tell
these guys a lot about a conversation I had with
Joe Montana and we talked about the Super Bowl
wins and how Bill Walsh would go back to day one:
installation. The game is on the line, and the plays
that those guys know and rep. We say that all the
time we're going to go back to what we do,
because at the end of the game, it all comes down
Q. Coach, you've had two outstanding
seasons in a row. How much pressure are you
going to put on yourself and your staff for this
year coming up?
COACH SHAW: It's not about pressure for
us. It's about, once again, our work. I know first and foremost as a coach the thing you do is
surround yourself with the right people. I love my
staff. I love the way the guys work. We've
recruited great kids, kids that are tough. They're
smart, and they're great kids to be around.
So the environment is one of
competitiveness, that we push each other and we
work together. So for us, it's about what's next.
What's next for us is the winter conditioning.
We'll enjoy this. We'll have a great time
and we'll get back to winter conditioning. I've
reminded the young guys that were in the locker
room how hard it was to get to this point. It's not
going to be any easier. Our conference, you see
our conference, and our conference, we beat each
other up throughout the year, so next year is not
going to be easy. Every team's going to be back,
bigger, and stronger, and it's our job to be the
This would have been the logical point for Shaw, had he wanted to, to make headlines about next year’s team being a top-five unit, or gunning for the national championship, or such. He demurred, ducking the question if anything.
Q. Obviously you guys coming off of
last season with Andrew Luck, and then the
USC hype and the Oregon hype. Why do
people sleep on Stanford, do you think, and
what did you guys prove today?
COACH SHAW: It was understandable.
We weren't upset about it at all. It was
understandable. Andrew Luck deserved and
deserves a lot of credit and a lot of attention for
what he has done with us and what he's doing now
in the NFL.
But the thing that we knew is that we had a
good team. The thing that Andrew knew was he
had a good team around him. Andrew was as
excited about this year coming up as anybody that
we have. That is one thing we kept talking about.
He was so excited because people gave him so
But nobody was talking about our running
game. Nobody was talking about our offensive
line. Nobody was talking about our front seven
and how special those guys were, last year and
this year. Our guys knew if we played smart and
played together and played hard, we'd give
ourselves a chance to be right here.
Q. Can you talk about the defensive
performance in the second half holding
Wisconsin scoreless? If somebody had told
you that would happen, and then that play with
the interception at the end, you would have
COACH SHAW: Sounds about right.
Defensively, and that's the thing, we talked about it
early on when we started winter conditioning. We
were going to win games differently than the way
we won the year before. We're not going to score
40 points a game. That's just not how we're built
right now. Hopefully we'll be built that way again in
But we're going to play great defense, run
the ball, use our play action, use our tight ends;
and thankfully our quarterback came on strong
another the end of the year. We've got a mobile
quarterback, that made some great plays. His
stats weren't great, but he saved us with his
athleticism. That's how we're going to play this
year. We knew with a tight game, and as I said
earlier, we got our hands on four or five balls
defensively in the first half. And for us, those
usually turn into interceptions, and we didn't get
them in the first half.
We talked about it at halftime, we're going
to have to intercept those balls to win it in the end,
and we did that thanks to Usua.
I really liked, “That's just not how we're built
right now. Hopefully we’ll be built that way again in the future.” It suggests he has been and still is not satisfied (as some fans had feared as Shaw stuck with Nunes amidst his struggles) with the offense, and while a realist, will not be one to settle for “good enough” moving forward.
Q. How does the perfectionist within
you feel about this? I know you guys have
high ambitions and lofty standards that you set
there. And you win a game on national TV that
you really want to play well in, and you find a
way to win, even though you don't play your
best, how does the perfectionist within you
COACH SHAW: It never stops. I still have
that in my gut. There are two of those third downs,
I'm still upset at the calls that I made. Some
execution things that I know we could have done
so much better.
But right now, it's not the time for that. It's time for celebration. Really excited, really happy,
and we'll go back and try to make sure that next
year we play even better. And that is the thing.
We have a lot of guys coming back on
both sides of the ball, all three phases, and we'll
hold ourselves to a higher standard. But our
standard is not just talking about winning games.
Our standard is how we work, and how we come
together, and how we practice and the attitude that
we build before we ever play a football game, And
that starts in a few weeks.
Q. [Stepfan,] you didn't have a carry longer than
ten yards, but you still averaged more than four
yards a carry, which is kind of an unusual thing
to do. Is this kind of the quintessential
Stanford game to grind it out against a team?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: Yeah, we knew
coming in it was going to be a physical game. We
knew that they know how to stop power or knew
how to play against power as well as us.
So coming in, we knew it was going to be
just grinding it out, grinding it out, and hoping for
the big one. They did a great job. We knew they
were a great defense coming into this game. We
had all the players making big plays as well early
on, and as well as our defense keeping us in the
game to be able to get the win.
Great stat on Taylor that speaks volumes about his consistency.
Q. If you could be honest about this, it
might be difficult, but when you guys take over
in the first quarter there and you take a 14-0
lead and you're dominating the game, what is
going through your mind at that time?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: I mean, everybody's
preaching on the sidelines, let's go, keep the pedal
on the metal. And we prepared and Coach told us
this game is going to go by quick. And that first
half was over really quick. It seemed that we didn't
have many possessions.
So coming out in the second half, we
needed to capitalize. But we didn't do that. Luckily
our defense played great in the second half and
held them scoreless.
But like I said, we knew it was a quick game, so we were just trying to capitalize as much
as possible. And we knew that at the end of the
game, we needed to get that first down to win the
game. So we got that and then won the
Q. What would Kulabafi think about
STEPFAN TAYLOR: Kulabafi, I think he's
proud right now. He's a happy guy right now.
Q. The perception seemed to be,
without Andrew Luck you guys wouldn't have
the type of season that you did. Do you guys
get tired of hearing that this season at all with
the things you guys were able to do without
USUA AMANAM: I think it served as
motivation for us throughout the year. A couple
years ago we lost Toby Gerhart. Couple years ago
we lost Coach Harbaugh. This year we lost
Andrew Luck. I think it's a testament to our
program and how we train and how we prepare
each week and every season. I think hat's off to
the guys upstairs.
Q. Can you go over the interception?
USUA AMANAM: It was a max drop, so
basically just playing the quarterback. I happened
to see him go to the middle of the field, and I just
pedaled to the right, and I think a D lineman got
his hand on the ball, and fortunately the ball just
fell in my hands.
So I don't think one play wins any game. I
just happened to be at the right place at the right
time, and we were able to kind of seal the game
with that one.
Josh Mauro was the DL who tipped the pass.
Wisconsin on Stanford’s DL:
Q. What did they do to take the running
COACH ALVAREZ: They were doing
some different things on the perimeter. They were
doing some line stunts that we were having some
problems with; and, quite frankly, they're a very
good defensive front. We knew that coming in.
They're one of the Top 5, I think, in the country
against the run.
They're very difficult to block. I thought we
had some success. Melvin had a great day on the
edge. We made some plays, but they were
jamming the middle up pretty good. It seemed like
when somebody was coming up free. We weren't
picking up the back side linebacker or the lineman
on the stunt was coming up free, and they clogged
the holes up.
I thought, quite frankly, I thought our
defense played very, very well in the second half.
Give them a couple of field goals. Both defenses
picked it up, made adjustments and picked it up.
Q. You guys had so much success in
your last game running the football. Can you
talk about what Stanford did that was different
than what you've seen so far this year?
Montee Ball: Well, it was just
challenging for us to scout them and watch film on
them because we've really never faced a
three-four defense with the standup D-ends that
they do. But their interior group is very physical,
and have shown that they do a great job of
stopping the run; and they showed it today. But
we still feel like we did a great job.
Still I can see here 24 for 100, so we still
did a good job of running the football. But we just
didn't keep it going the whole entire game.
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