Buddy Teevens Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 5, 2002

Opening Statement
'We played well in certain areas against Oregon, but they were very impressive football team, very physical. I was very impressed with the way the guys rallied in the last three quarters. We are looking forward to USC. They are a very talented opponent. (QB Carson) Palmer is throwing the ball extremely well. He seems to have great confidence. This is probably the most complete secondary group we'll face all year. It's nice to have them at home. I continue to be impressed with the resilience and resolve in our players.'

Goals on the season
'Some of the goals we had for ourselves are no longer attainable. But, the mindset is: winning is important, competing to win is important and continuing to improve as a football team is extremely important. For the senior class, they have an opportunity to leave a legacy by making something special happen in these final three games. For the younger players, they need to continue to improve and try to win as many games as possible in the next three weeks.'

On Chris Lewis
'Last night was his first involved practice in the last two weeks. I wouldn't say he's 100%, but he's able to throw the ball more frequently with more repetitions than he's had and a little more velocity on the football. He feels that he's getting better and maybe he'll compete on Saturday.'

On playing younger players
'We are playing just about everyone we've got. There's not a lot of options to play younger guys. There's really no one, outside the collective group of redshirts, who haven't seen time. With all of them, the more time, especially the young guys, the better they become.'

On USC's secondary
'Athletically, they are very capable cover corners. They are not afraid to play press coverage, get up in your face, try and inhibit your release. The also will play zone up on occasion. They are really aware, and play confidently with their safeties. They seem to play very well as a group. They are very aware of what's happening on the football field.'

On Kenneth Tolon
'He continues to improve. He's demonstrated a breakaway capability. He made a real nice run on Saturday up inside. A lot of his success is bounce outside and take it wide, demonstrate some speed and make people miss in the open field.'

On USC defense giving up 30+ points a game
'I've been impressed by what I've seen on tape. I was encouraged last week with our play in the red zone. We were scored two touchdowns in two trips in the red zone. That's what needs to be done against a team like this. They have not allowed a lot of big plays. Their secondary is very gifted and they pressure the passer, but people have put some points on the board. Hopefully we have that opportunity as well.'

On Kyle Matter
'We had a couple dropped passes. We need to make plays when plays are available. It's consistency across the board. He's been pressured, took a couple shots, one that obviously removed him from the ballgame. I wouldn't necessarily say it's a drop in his performance, but rather the offensive group as a whole has to execute across the board for everybody to look good.'

On fixing the problems
'When guys are open, we need to throw the ball to them. When guys are open, they need to catch the football. We need to protect the passer so we can get the ball off. It's a simple formula. We've had a number of dropped passes in critical situation, even regular situations, and the confidence starts to erode. Our yards per catch average is six or seven yards. When that's the productivity you have, people will constrict, congest the passing routes underneath. Getting the ball down the field opens that up. We'd like to continue the opportunities down the field, and when we take them, we need to hit a couple.'

On game plan
'We've got to execute offensively. We need a big pass, a big run. It would be unwise to say we are going to go out and chuck it all over the place. Taking opportunities to put points on the board, intelligent selections and then making plays. Defensively we need to eliminate big plays, and team football is what we need to play. We haven't demonstrated the ability to put 45-50 points on the board. We need a special game to get to that level. We need to play intelligent football, and I keep stressing to our team, team football.'

On frustration of passing game
'It's been a season-long thing. You have to draw back and look at what our guys are doing well and try and execute productively in those areas. The controlled pass has been effective for us. The tough thing is, it's a seven yard per catch average, and it takes a lot of those to get down the field. Why hasn't it been more productive? Probably a variety of reasons. They are frustrated as certainly I am as well that we have a chance and don't capitalize on our opportunities.'

On seniors and leadership
'As I told the team yesterday, true character shows when things are not going well. People can either stay with it and continue to push forward, or they back off. The quality and character of our team is despite frustration, and disappointment, they are going to continue. It's not an eight game schedule, it's an 11 game schedule. It's no surprise they came out and practiced hard last night. They are intelligent guys, and understand they are still representing Stanford and have three more opportunities to go out and have success and our expectation is we are playing to win every game. More leadership has emerged in the tougher times, with younger guys stepping up as well.'

On players responding to optimism
'I'm an optimist, but I'm also a realist. I clipped out plays from the Oregon game, and showed them, if this is done, this will happen, and we'll have success. When you can point out select situations that we didn't do this, if we do, success will follow. The reason our players are as resilient as they are, they see that if I would've caught that ball, we are first and ten on the 25. If I make that tackle on the reverse, they're three and out. It comes down to, there are real answers.'

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