Pac-12 football coaches teleconference: Mike MacIntyre, Cory Hall reflect on Andersen's departure
The Pac-12 coaches react to a colleague's departure, Khalil Tate, and ESPN's odd tantrum.
Arizona's Rich Rodriguez
Rich Rodriguez is a happy coach. After losing his starting quarterback to injury, his backup - Khalil Tate - took over and made history.
"He certainly did a great job of seeing the field," Rodriguez said. "He made some athletic moves and got tremendous blocking down the field, that's what helped swing 20-yard runs into 50-yard runs.
"He did a good job of making people miss, we knew he could run but he was even faster than we thought," he said. "We needed every bit of it."
Colorado's Mike MacIntyre
Having taken over one of the worst football programs of Power Five schools himself just a few years ago, Mike MacIntyre was shocked to hear about Oregon State coach Gary Andersen's early departure.
"I think it's crazy he would be leaving two and a half years out of a program that wasn't established when he got there.
"I was shocked," he said. "I know Gary really well. We played each other at Utah State and San Jose State. He's a great man and a great coach and we definitely need people like him in college coaching."
The Buffs will face an Andersen-less Beavs team this week and preparations haven't changed, MacIntyre said.
MacIntyre was also left reeling from being on the receiving end of Khalil Tate's path of destruction.
"He was faster than anyone on our team... One of those nights that he was better than everyone on the field."
Washington State's Mike Leach
Leach credits defensive coordinator Alex Grinch for developing what's turning out to be a pretty stout defense. Jahad Woods, who stepped in against USC a few weeks ago and recorded nine tackles, has been particularly impressive.
"Jahad Wood is a (redshirt) freshman and looked really good last year too," said Leach. "He's kind of a quiet guy but he's really strong."
USC's Clay Helton
The legend of Sam Darnold began in Salt Lake City against the Utes last year, where he went 18-for-26 with a rushing touchdown in a last-second loss.
Saturday Darnold will come full circle, and the quarterback's first start still stands out to coach Clay Helton.
"I thought it spoke volumes for how he performed in that game," he said. "Rice-Eccles is not the friendliest place to play an opening game, they have a lovely fan base."
"We lost the ballgame in last 16 seconds, but what it turned out, walking away from the game, as sad as I was for our kids I was happy because I knew we found our quarterback."
Washington's Chris Petersen
Coach Chris Petersen shared his praises for punt returner extraordinaire Dante Pettis, who'll get his shot at a 10th career touchdown return against Arizona State this Saturday:
"I think he's explosive, he's a good runner when he gets the ball in his hands...He's a long strider, which a lot of times doesn't equate to a good elusive football player, but he is. Those long strides just eat up a lot of ground. Like good kick returners, he has a good feel back there for where the space is."
Of course, Petersen was also asked about the nation-wide reaction to his comments about Washington's late kickoff times. ESPN harped on it throughout their broadcast, even using cupcake analysis to break down Washington's non-conference schedule. Petersen left his initial comment as is:
"I don't have any more thoughts on this. I spoke my piece and I'm on to Arizona State and that's how it is. Everyone's always about stuff that's not about football, and our whole focus is on Arizona State."
Stanford's David Shaw
Shaw and Oregon coach Willie Taggart found common ground when the pair coached on Jim Harbaugh's Stanford team a decade ago.
"We had a lot of personalities on that staff, Willie's and my personalities are similar, we're methodical and don't change a lot day to day," he said. "Early on we found that common ground that we were similar personalities."
Shaw and Taggart will face each other as opposing head coaches for the first time this Saturday when Oregon and Stanford take the field, but between two chill coaches, Shaw expects more animation from the Oregon side.
"There are times when you have to get a little fired up, Willie does maybe a little more than me."
Cal's Justin Wilcox
Cal lost their third straight game in a Washington Huskies rout, prompting Wilcox to hint changes were on the horizon. Wilcox backed away from change, essentially saying we should expect the same starters to keep playing.
"Ross (Bowers) is our starter right now, that's how we're approaching this week," he said. "Every week, everyone has to go out and produce, so we're going to play the guys that earned the right to play in the game and Ross is our starter."
Oregon State's Cory Hall
Cory Hall, formerly the cornerbacks coach, has been the Oregon State interim head coach for all of 24 hours. He didn't sleep much last night.
"It's surreal, but I don't like to say surreal. It's been good," he said. "I have been thrust in a role and I'm kind of learning on the fly."
His message to a shell-shocked team: "We're a family, we are one big family and we're going to stay tight no matter what happens and we're going to be competitive and we're going to do this for coach Andersen and for each other and we're all in the same boat."
Gary Andersen's message to Hall: "Just be yourself. That's exactly what he told me. Just be yourself and everything else will take care of itself. He left me in good hands, he really did, and I have a lot to thank him for."
Oregon's Willie Taggart
The Ducks will play Stanford after losing at Autzen to Washington State. Willie Taggart says that was a pre-season goal now tarnished: "One of our goals was to win all of our home games and we let one slip by us."
Utah's Kyle Whittingham
Whittingham likes how his new offensive scheme is playing out and where his team is at as the mid-season approaches. But after a loss to Stanford at home, it's clear the offense needs more, he said.
"You can't win a college football game these days with 20 points."
UCLA's Jim Mora
The Bruins haven't lost to Arizona since 2011. The rise of Khalil Tate might change that.
Tate played high school ball in Inglewood, right in UCLA's backyard, and Mora was in hot pursuit of him.
"I remember that he was a great playmaker for a great team and had a lot of success and had extreme versatility," he said. "It doesn't surprise me at all the success he's had last week and nor does it surprise me the success Dawkins has had."
Arizona State's Todd Graham
Todd Graham and the Sun Devils face Washington this week, and Graham had good things to say about UW's defense:
"I think they're the best defense in the league. Statistically, you can argue that they're very experienced, very good.
"One thing they do a good job of is interceptions, taking the ball away. You have to make sure you're taking what they give you and not forcing anything. We have confidence, we have to avoid negative play."
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