Tuesday's Buddy Teevens Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 26, 2004

Stanford football head coach Buddy Teevens addressed the media about his 2004 team prior to the team's key road game at UCLA to be televised by Fox Sports Net this Saturday, October 30 (12:30 pm, PDT).

Opening Remarks
'It was a tough physical ball game (vs. Oregon last Saturday) with a full 60 minutes (played). We talked to the team about it and Oregon is a good football team that came out on top. The challenge is now to refocus on UCLA, another good football team that's been putting up some numbers.'

On What Has Been Learned About The Team From The Oregon Game
'We've got some tough guys. Guys at the half responded offensively. We struggled a little bit early on with physical size and the athleticism of their defensive front, but we played better in the second half, which is not what we've done up until this point. They jacked us up early on, but we came back more effectively in the second half. (Quarterback) T.C. Ostrander showed some character and although he had not taken any appreciable snaps came in and, under pressure, had to perform and made some plays. He made some youthful mistakes, things he'll certainly correct, but he held himself to a high degree of accountability. He made some plays that gave us an opportunity to have success. Defensively, I thought we competed hard all game long. We hit physically; it was that type of ball game. Unfortunately, we came out at the short end of it. It was a physical college football game.'

On Quarterback T.C. Ostrander's Performance
'He stepped up. It was his demeanor and his focus in the huddle. You like to see guys play like they practice, and he did. He stepped up his game. The pressure was on, and he made some good decisions. He threw the ball, he scrambled, he reset his feet, and found some guys, second and third receivers, which was critical for us offensively. He has been throwing the ball better lately. (Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach) Bill Cubit has done a real nice job with him of developing his greater understanding of what we're doing. But the change from practice field to the game environment is totally different. He answered well, all things considered.'

On The Big 'Leakage' Up Front The Led To 10 Oregon Sacks
'That big dude (Haloti Ngata) is listed as 340, but he's probably 370 and a very good athlete. We got some pressure (put on us) up front. On different levels they twisted and gained a little bit, and we adjusted. I though we did a better job in the second half, but we did allow people to pressure us.'

On The Difficult Defensive Match-Up With Bigger Player In The League
'A guy that big {Haloti Ngata), I still don't know exactly how much he weighs, dwarfed some of our guys - and we have some decent size in our offensive line. With the quickness and speed he has getting off the football, he runs well and he plays hard. For a big man, he keeps his pad level low. It's hard for a 295 or 300 pounder to take a guy that's quick and gets off in a snap, and gets his pads underneath you. That's a tough deal. He's an NFL guy in my opinion, and the sooner the better.'

On UCLA's Reputation Of Being Strong Offensively But Not Defensively
'They've been very productive offensively. (Quarterback Drew) Olson is playing well, playing within himself, making good decisions, and putting the ball on the money. The receiving core - (Junior) Taylor, (Craig) Bragg and (Tab) Perry) --have all been productive. Marcedes Lewis, their leading receiver, has done a nice job opening himself up. They have a big physical guy with (running back Manuel) White and a powerful running back in (Maurice) Drew. He's low to the ground, real strong with his legs, a tackle breaker, and has speed to break the distance. So, there's danger in a lot of different areas. Olson gets rid of the football so they've been productive. They don't run a lot of different plays. They run a zone play and can block as well as anybody I've seen, and they will run it and run it and run it. They've got a real good feel for it. Their offensive line has done a good job. They've got some newer guys in there, but they seem to develop each week that we've watched them play.'

On Stanford's Pass-Oriented Game Against Oregon
'We've been inconsistent. It's here today and gone the next snap. We need to be consistent. All parties are responsible. We have to come off the football thoroughly with the front line. We need to see what is there and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself.'

On UCLA's Defense
'I've been impressed with the defensive group. They're young, but they fly around, they play hard, they play physically, they play with enthusiasm. Obviously, they've been in a lot of ball games with their offense, and they're great contributors to it. People say they're not a real good defensive unit, but I dispute that. They're making plays and improving week to week.'

On Oregon's Terrence Whitehead
'He played very well, caught the ball, did some damage and ran the ball effectively. We allowed six big plays. If you take those out, that's almost half their offense. Whitehead was key; he's a tough guy and carries the ball well. They opened up some things for him, and he took advantage of it.'

On Avoiding Hits To The Quarterback
'It's about shared responsibility. (T. C. Ostrander) took some shots - it's just newness there. He's trying to hold on (to the ball), and he's a courageous kid. He'll stand in the pocket with a lot of noise around him. But in trying to find a guy, making sure his read was accurate, he needs to accelerate that release. We also need to have consistency with the receivers: doing what they're expected to do when they need to do it. That'll be a huge push this week. We're pretty clean with the offensive line assignments. And then execution ... if you have your man, you need to make sure you protect him. Just the physical mass and the push Oregon gave were difficult to adjust to right off the bat, but our pocket compressed fairly quickly. Moving the quarterback, which we did a little bit of, worked itself out in the latter portion of the game. We were better than we were early on.'

On Quarterback Trent Edwards' Handling Of The Ball
'A couple he may have held on to, but he has really developed in that regard. He's not afraid to throw the football away, and we need to. We throw the ball a lot. We need to take the no-play and make it a no-gain instead of a loss.'

On Stanford's Backup Quarterback Situation During A Game
'In short term, if something happens, we'll plug (Ryan) Eklund in because he's been around a little bit. He'll take a snap, make the right decision, and make the right call. If it's a longer duration, as it turned out on Saturday (against Oregon), our thought was to go to T.C. (Ostrander). Eklund will go in for a couple of plays, a series of two maybe. And we'll just to get a sense of him. It happened at Washington State. It was one play. He went in and did a nice job. Here, he went in for three plays, then we moved him out. We wanted to get Trent focused in where he was and what he was capable of doing, but it became obvious that he couldn't continue, so we made a switch to the other guy.'

On Quarterback T.C. Ostrander's Performance Versus Oregon
'We're not going to live or die with any one individual. Certainly Trent (Edwards) has had a huge impact on us. He's a very gifted guy, but T.C. went in and we expect him to execute, and Eklund the same deal. What it reinforced was what we've seen in practice: he has the ability to execute the offense. He hadn't had the chance under pressure until Saturday versus Oregon and he responded effectively. It demonstrated what our expectation was -- that he's a quality guy and can do the job for us.'

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