Weather won't be a factor in championship game, coaches say
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford’s win over UCLA in Saturday’s prequel to Friday’s Pac-12 Championship game took place in 84-degree temperatures in Pasadena, Calif.
When it became clear that a rematch was imminent six days later, weather was the last thing on anyone’s mind.
Fast forward to Thursday afternoon where Stanford Stadium’s natural-grass field was covered with a tarp and the teams’ respective coaches were fielding questions from media members about which team holds the advantage in the rain.
Friday’s forecast calls for 61-degree temperatures and a 50 percent chance of showers at kickoff.
Stanford coach David Shaw agreed that the rain would turn last week's 52-point scoring affair into more of a field-position struggle and suggested it wouldn’t change his team’s plans.
“The rain doesn’t affect our style very much at all,” Shaw said at Thursday’s press conference featuring both coaches (and the trophy). “We’re going to run the ball. We have good coverage teams, kickers and defense. You have to score touchdowns in the red zone and hopefully we’ll be able to do that.”
[Related video: FCG Preview: Stanford's game plan]
UCLA’s Jim Mora brushed off any advantage that influences outside of his control may have on the game.
“I coached up here so I’ve played a lot of games like this,” said Mora, who served as an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers from 1997 to 2003. “It favors the team that executes the best. I don’t think it has a whole lot of bearing on anything you do schematically or structurally.
[Related video: FCG Preview: UCLA's game plan]
“Sometimes people like to think it favors the team who grinds the ball. I’ve also played in games where it favors the team with athletes that can get out in space in one-on-one situations. It doesn’t matter who you play, when you play or where you play. If you execute, you have the best chance to be a consistent football team.”