Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
This week is a cat and mouse game. Break out your version of Mousetrap.
This press conference isn't as fun as Saturday's, since Simers doesn't attend this one.
It is a quick turnaround and I think that's a good thing, to just get on to the next one , and the next one's the Pac-12 Championship Game. We put ourselves in this position through a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication by the players and I'm really proud of what they've accomplished all year and I'm excited to go out on Friday night and compete for the championship of this conference. We had to put yesterday behind us and we'll learn from it. Most of the players have already been up to look at the film. It's an interesting scenario to play a team within six days. I cannot recall ever being in this situation before. I don't know if it benefits either team or it's hard on any team. I think it comes down to going out on Friday night and executing. Any familiarity we have with them they'll have with us. It'll be fun to go up there and play. Our guys were disappointed but I asked them to get over it quickly and it seems like we have. It's what we've worked all year to get towards.
You must have an advantage having just played them.
It's the same for them. I think it cancels each other out. I've never been in this before. We get to watch them, and watch how they played us, and the things we need to do better, and maybe watch their game plan against us, but they get to do the same thing. We don't want to get too tricky, we want to go out and do what we do best.
How does it compare to the NFL where you play divisional teams twice?
There's more time inbetween obviously. You become familiar with those teams and you'll see patterns and certain plays they only run against you, or certain coverages they only play against you. There's some similarity in that respect. The six day window makes it really interesting. Typically what you do after a game is you grade the film from the previous day's game, then you start looking at the opponents film from the previous game. We've looked at five or six games leading into yesterday's game, and now we get to see ourselves on tape against them.
It doesn't compare AT ALL if you ask me. Yeesh.
What about the overall strength of the conference?
I think it's a great conference. Oregon, they're 11-1 and an outstanding football team. Oregon State who beat us earlier this year is an outstanding team. We're getting a chance to play against Stanford in the conference championship. Those three teams have really established themselves this year. In the south, we've had a good season to this point. USC is a good football team, they're not happy with their record but anyone who's seen them play cannot doubt they're a good football team, and both Arizona schools. It's a good conference. I don't want to leave anyone out.
You'd be two games out if it wasn't structured this way.
I don't know why they structured it this way, but if we had not been in this scenario, we'd be two games out and now we have a chance to win the conference. It's going to take a heck of an effort, but we got a chance. Losses kill you. This one is one that's different. They stick with you forever. You better purge it quick because there's a big one coming Friday night.
Is there something you can tweak schematically or was it all effort?
Our effort was good. It wasn't maniacal, which is where we need it to be. Scheme needs to be tweaked. As a coach the first place you always look when you suffer a defeat is yourself. That's your job as a coach, to help your player find success on the field.
Is there a reason why there was less than maniacal effort?
It was good effort. I wouldn't criticize the effort at all. We're looking for extraordinary every time we step out there. That may be unreasonable, but I'm always going to demand what I call maniacal effort from these guys.
Adjustments on the power run game by Stanford?
They're just big up front and they get on you and maul you. When you give up 220 yards rushing it's hard to believe you did good against the run. They popped some that were devastating but there are a couple of tweaks that could help us.
Same team, same players, same coaches but this game has meaning...
It'll juice up the adrenaline. We're excited about it. These guys have worked incredibly hard since the first day of the offseason program in the winter to get to this point. They've accomplished a lot. They've done everything we've asked and I'm real proud to be a part of this team. They're excited about it. They have a chance to realize a dream on Friday night and that's to become a champion.
What does Kevin Hogan do for Stanford and how has he changed Stanford?
He's a real good decision maker, and he's poised. It's a cliche, but he plays within himself - he understands his strength and weaknesses, and they do an excellent job of accentuating his strengths, the way they match their run game with their play action game. The way they get him on the edge a little bit. I was impressed with the way they run the football, especially up the middle to get the extra yards.
When you were with the Niners, Tyrone Willingham had the Stanford program going well. What was your impression, being so close?
I've never really been that close to that program. My dad coached there for a year. I've had a lot of respect for what they've done, what Tyrone did, what Jim did, what David is doing. They have good smart players and they do a heck of a job with them.
Seriously with that question?
Is their success due to how different they are?
Possibly, because their style of play offensively is different from what you typically see in this conference. They do a tremendous job of playing to their strengths. They know who they want to be. They recruit that type of athlete, and they play that type of game and every one of their players have bought into that approach. Whoever you're going to be, be that guy.
Is the schedule of this week disruptive to the players?
It's great that they get to do it. As long as we can compartmentalize it, in meetings focus, we'll get most of it done early in the week. Hopefully it doesn't affect the players. Hopefully I'll do my share to deflect my players from it.