Pac-12 football coaches teleconference: Cal gears up to host Stanford for the 119th Big Game
Cal is set to host Stanford in the 119th Big Game, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre thanks his team for the reactions he's received this season, and lots of talk surrounding the Rams' new starting quarterback Jared Goff and how Luke Falk will play on Sundays.
Stanford's David Shaw
With Stanford headed up to Cal this weekend for the 119th Big Game, it was only natural for head coach David Shaw to talk about his favorite Big Game memory.
“Every year I get asked this, and there have been some really good ones…but my answer is always the same: The 1990 Big Game,” says Shaw. “They put on a show. Ed McCaffrey getting the touchdown then not getting the two-point conversion, the fans rushing the field, booting kicks into the stands because they took the net away because they thought the game was over, the field goal…you can’t have a more exciting rivalry game than that one."
California's Sonny Dykes
With the Big Game coming up, Cal head coach Sonny Dykes says his teams focus is going to be the same it’s been all year: Finishing plays.
There was also talk surrounding Cal alum and current LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff, as it was just announced that Goff will start for the Rams this Sunday. “He and I text message pretty regularly,” says Dykes. “We haven’t since this announcement, but we had a feeling it was coming. The Rams had a plan."
Colorado's Mike MacIntyre
Nearing the end of a remarkably successful season for the Buffs had Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre somewhat reminiscing on what it’s taken to get his team to where they are today.
“I saw a group of men who brought it together, I saw depth, playmakers, and a group of men who bought in,” said MacIntyre on what tipped him off that his Buffs would be in for a good season. “I call it the three P’s: Perseverance, passion, and prayer. You’ve got to have all of those.”
The reception of the Buff’s improvement has been nothing but positive in Boulder this season. “I used to run down by Boulder Creek to get away, and people would try to run over me on their bicycles — now they ride by me and say, ‘Go Buffs!’ so I tell my team that it’s because of them that I’m still alive,” laughs MacIntyre.
Utah's Kyle Whittingham
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham had just one thing to say when asked about keeping his Utes focused on Oregon this week, rather than looking ahead to next week’s game against Colorado: “[That game] doesn’t decide the division if we can’t get a win this week.”
Whittingham says the key to his players’ focus is to take a breath at the start of the week, look at the big picture, and acknowledge the standings, then get “tunnel vision” on that week’s opponent. “We always know where we stand,” says Whittingham.
The tunnel vision this week is no difference, despite Oregon’s struggles so far this season. “They’ve had some struggles this year, but they’ve got players, they’ve got speed, they’ve got athleticism,” says Whittingham. “It’s Oregon, what more do you need to say?"
Washington State's Mike Leach
Washington State head coach Mike Leach was already focused for this week’s trip to Boulder and kept it short and sweet. He talked about his team’s hustle and not about team injuries. “Once the thing starts, you play with whoever’s out there,” says Leach.
Arizona's Rich Rodriguez
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez isn’t concerned about people’s concerns with the shuffling of Wildcat players this year, specifically the offensive line. “They’re expected to do their job no matter who the quarterback is,” says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez also talked recruiting, and the lack of big guys on his offensive and defensive lines. His recruiting philosophy is to not recruit big, but to instead recruit players who will “grow in” to the position. Speaking of recruiting, Rodriguez admires Colorado’s slow and steady approach to the process, and remarked on the Buffs’ progress because of it.
Oregon's Mark Helfrich
Oregon hits the road this weekend to take on Utah at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Ducks have a chance to put a stop to Utah’s run for the Pac-12 South should they get the win on Saturday, but will have to go through Whittingham’s known defense to do so. Meanwhile, Utah acknowledges that while Oregon has struggled this season, the Ducks still have all the speed and raw athleticism in their players to put together a good game.
UCLA's Jim Mora
UCLA head coach Jim Mora has coached his fair share of NFL quarterbacks, so with the season’s end approaching, a lot of talk was focused around what he sees in terms of potential of a certain Pac-12 quarterback: Washington State’s Luke Falk.
“Scouts always look beyond the system in all positions, but quarterbacks are the most scrutinized position,” says Mora. “I think Luke Falk will be an excellent NFL quarterback. He’s smart, he’s unflappable."
USC's Clay Helton
The USC Trojans hit the road this weekend for a matchup against the UCLA Bruins, a rivalry that has been going strong since its 1929 origin. With USC still in the running for the Pac-12 South title, a win this weekend is necessary to keep that hope alive.
Washington's Chris Petersen
The Huskies were handed their first loss last weekend by USC, and Washington head coach Chris Petersen says his team has been trying to do just one thing since: Refocus.
“We played a really good team and they did a really god job playing us,” says Petersen. “We had chances we couldn’t capitalize on.”
Looking ahead to this weekend’s game against Arizona State, Petersen knows his Huskies will be facing a strong offense. “They have a good system with good players and that’s always going to equal points on offense…If our teams take care of business, it’s all going to work out for us."
Arizona State's Todd Graham
When the Arizona State Sun Devils head to Seattle this weekend, they have two things on their minds: Winning the turnover ratio, and and trying to defend Washington’s explosive game.
“Ross is one of the most explosive players in the country,” says Arizona State head coach Todd Graham. “We know we’re playing arguable the best team in the league.”
Graham knows that even with key players back in the game, if they can’t practice on top of it, it isn’t much help to the team. “The big thing is getting healthy. We’re a young football team, so our big thing is to get better and play better,” says Graham.
Oregon State's Gary Andersen
Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen was unavailable this week. The Beavers are set to host the Arizona Wildcats this Saturday.