Ask Tyrone Willingham

Nov. 6, 2000

John J. Stephens, Ph.D. '85 (Albuquerque, NM)
Coach, the last two games (vs. Washington and UCLA) have been lost by a total margin of five points. What in your view are the most important (offensive game side) issues that the team needs to deal with in the next two games?

Our offense is quietly becoming a very potent offense. In the last two games, we have averaged 80 plays and 421 yards per game. If compared to our Rose Bowl season, that's eight more plays per game and 46 yards less per game. We need to be more explosive with the offensive plays, eliminate mistakes, improve our passing game and score touchdowns in the red zone.

Steven Neer (Bishop, CA)
How does the bowl money breakdown work? Would all schools in the conference share in Oregon's BCS money (assuming they qualify)?

The revenue for any Pac-10 member's participation in a postseason football game is divided equally among the conference's 10 institutions. That is after the participating institution receives the cost of transportation and expenses, minus any deductions by the conference.

Tyler Walters (San Clemente, CA)
Now that the team can not reach a bowl game, does your approach change (i.e., begin thinking about next year in terms of playing time)? Just winning football games would seem to be enough motivation, but do you find it more difficult when there are no postseason possibilities?

Our approach does not change being a goal-oriented program. Our initial goal was the Rose Bowl. When that became unattainable, we focused on a lesser bowl. Now that all bowls have been removed, we shift our goal again to target something that our young men can gain satisfaction in accomplishing. It is more difficult without postseason possibilities. The greater the goal, the greater the joy and satisfaction in the accomplishment and our young men and coaches thrive in that environment.

Zach Taylor (San Francisco, CA)
The Pac-10 is back up and running offensively. There have been some tremendous offensive fireworks this year. How do you go about recruiting top defensive players and do the NFL scouts shy away from Pac-10 defensive players for this reason?

If there is a conference that is most similar to the NFL, it is the Pac-10 Conference. With its balance of passing and running, we provide the NFL with its best look at how future stars might perform. For this reason and others, there is a natural draw for athletes to the Pac-10. We find it no different except that they must meet our academic requirements.

Luke Thompson (Stanford, CA)
The punting unit has really struggled the past few seasons. Sean Tolpinrud has been replaced by kicker Mike Biselli. As a result, field position has proven to be a considerable factor in recent games, notably in the UCLA game. What have you and your staff been doing to try to rectify this situation?

You are correct that we have a problem at punting, but it is not because of a lack of effort by our young men. They are working very hard to be good. This is an area that we have struggled in for the past few seasons. Our search of high school talent has not landed an All-American yet, but we will continue to search. I hope that someone on our squad will realize the talent they possess and reach the level of excellence we expect.

Have you ever wished you had the opportunity to ask head coach Tyrone Willingham your most pressing question regarding Stanford football? Here's your opportunity! Each Monday, the Cardinal coach answers several questions from the fans. Ask your question!

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