Pac-12 football coaches teleconference: David Shaw, Bryce Love on how Christian McCaffrey's legacy still impacts Stanford
Stanford's David Shaw and Bryce Love
Christian McCaffrey's humility and hard work – despite the accolades and attention – has had a lasting impact on the team he left, especially on Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week Bryce Love.
Despite Stanford's ups and downs, Love has been a consistent force. He's rushed for more than 100 yards in six straight games and, against UCLA, came 21 yards short of Christian McCaffrey's single-game school record for rushing yards.
"Bryce himself credits Christian's approach to him," David Shaw said of Love's strong start. Last year, while the spotlight focused on McCaffrey, McCaffrey made sure to turn his attention to his teammates to celebrate their success, especially Love.
"For me, a guy like Christian, it's so many little things. here and there so many little conversations," Love said. "It's just a lot of little things he did that set him apart. How he was in the classroom and on the field, I'll say that natural competitive drive is something I took from him."
Like McCaffrey, Love is kind of on the outskirts of some very early Heisman talks. He's already pocketed 787 rushing yards and five touchdowns through his first four games. Though, Shaw laughed at the idea that there is any process to getting Love's name front and center.
"If you can't tell on the phone I'm laughing right now," he said. "To me, there's no – its an observation – there is no process. There's no Heisman process, there's no committee. To think you can influence voters, there's really nothing you can do. We don't know who's going to get it, let's just play as hard as we can and let the chips fall as they may."
UCLA's Jim Mora
The Bruins face a tough Colorado team this Saturday, and Jim Mora is impressed with almost every facet of their team. Quarterback Steven Montez can compete snap to snap with Josh Rosen, Mora citing his big arm and mobility in space. One difference between the two teams might come down to UCLA's struggling defense pitted against Colorado's strong unit. "Defensively they're taking the ball away at a high rate and that's something we've struggled with." Mora said.
USC's Clay Helton
The Trojans forced six Cal turnovers last week.
Coach Clay Helton credits his defensive coaching staff for sending new coverages and packages that Cal hadn't seen before, a four-man rush put a lot of pressure that's forced the issue up front a lot this season.
"Not only have we had 10 turnovers, but we've had eight sacks."
Cal's Justin Wilcox
The Bears will face Oregon this weekend, which means Ducks' quarterback Justin Herbert and Cal coach Justin Wilcox will be reunited.
The Wilcox and Herbert families have deep ties, rooted in Junction City, Oregon. The Justins, with their siblings, would play football together in the backyard on holidays.
"I was really close with his parents and grandparents growing up," said Wilcox. "I haven't lived there in a long time so I don't keep up with the people, I can only follow Justin from afar."
It's been a while since the Justins, Herbert and Wilcox, have seen each other in their hometown. Now Wilcox has to see Herbert in a different context. "His ability to throw the ball. He can throw it as well as anybody," Wilcox said. "He's a talented quarterback and I know he's a great kid."
Washington's Chris Petersen
Huskies' receiver Chico McClatcher will miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle. That's football, said coach Chris Petersen.
"That's just how football goes, unfortunately. We know that going into the season that we need to have other guys ready to go," he said. "It's football 101, next man up, let's go."
Colorado's Mike MacIntyre
Coach Mike MacIntyre is not looking forward to facing Josh Rosen. The guy leads the nation in touchdowns, so the fear is rational.
"He's just throwing it so well, he's on target," he said. "We're gonna have to play excellent football. If he sits back there all day he'll pick you apart. He knows exactly where he's going with the football, he's reading the coverage well."
To keep up with Rosen, MacIntyre hopes his team can just get the ball in the end zone more.
Arizona State's Todd Graham
The Sun Devils are still glowing from their upset win over a ranked Oregon team this past weekend. They're starting to find themselves, said coach Todd Graham.
"We just have to keep getting better," he said. "I think we're close to finding what our niche is, what our identity is on all three phases." Part of the success came through freshman kicker and Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week Brandon Ruiz.
"He's special, he's as talented as any guy I've coached. Got a real calm, cool demeanor."
Washington State's Mike Leach
Leach talked about his quarterback Luke Falk, who leads the nation in touchdown-interception ratio.
"He studies relentlessly, constantly studies and constantly works," Leach said. "We've got some young receivers out there and I think we're getting better in terms of our timing out there." He's always been a tireless worker.
Oregon's Willie Taggart
The Ducks lost a heartbreaker to Arizona State this past weekend, but coach Willie Taggart never saw the fire flicker in Justin Herbert.
"I learned that we have a winner in him. I know looking at him his eyes the whole game we felt like we were still going to win when we got the ball back with 50-some seconds," he said.
Oregon State's Gary Andersen
The Beavs play Washington this weekend, and coach Chris Petersen mentioned that he thought the Beavs were close to where they need to be.
"I appreciate that," OSU coach Gary Andersen said. "Obviously we're working to get better every single day. What we need to be able to see is consistency."
"A good coach, Petersen, can see that and he understands that and he'll pass it along to his kids so they'll be prepared."
Utah's Kyle Whittingham
Utah has a bye this week, which gives coach Kyle Whittingham an extra week to soak in all the Bryce Love film he can take.
The Utes still have the best rush defense in the Pac-12 – averaging 87 yards allowed per game, but they'll face a new challenge in Love.
"Bryce Love is a tremendous football player," Whittingham said. "He has the whole package as a football player....He's a guy that we will have our hands full with."
Arizona's Rich Rodriguez
The Wildcats are coming off an encouraging loss in which they put up 24 points on Utah and their stingy defense. Arizona will face Colorado after a bye week.
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