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Coach Erickson and Steven Threet's conference

November 09, 2010

Head Coach Dennis Erickson

Opening Statement:

“Stanford is obviously a good football team in all aspects of the game. Offensively, they are very physical and their offensive front is probably as good as I’ve seen in college football in a long time. Their quarterback is the best in the country. Andrew Luck jumps out at you with the way he plays. The way they run the football and play-action pass is very consistent through every game. He has a lot of God-given talent. Their receivers are playing well and they are scoring points against everyone they play. Defensively is where I see the biggest difference from a year ago to today. They are really consistent and physical on defense. They do some different things, as they have a new coordinator. Playing very well in the secondary and a lot of those guys played last year. They have played well against everyone. Oregon scored points on them, but they score points against everyone. They’re a solid football team. They lose one game to Oregon in Eugene and no one has been close to them except USC. They have pretty much dominated every football game this year. It’s a great opportunity for us to play a top-10 team at home and we are excited about that aspect of it.”

On Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck:
“He was awfully good coming out of high school. He was raised in a football family with his dad being an NFL quarterback at Houston. When you watch him in high school, I remember he was very well schooled coming out. Jim Harbaugh has done a tremendous job with him too. Jim Harbaugh said he was special from day one and he is exactly right. He’s special. They redshirted him the one-year and he probably could of played. They had a plan for him and he is an exceptional player.”

On Trevor Hankins status:

“I haven’t decided yet. I suspended him for one game. In saying that, there is a possibility he will be back, but I haven’t talked to him. Thomas Weber is the only option we have right now.”

On the injury front:
“We came out okay. We had some injuries, as James Brooks had a concussion in the second quarter. Corey Adams continues to have stinger problems and he didn’t play a lot in the second half. Gerald Munns had a hip pointer. It was a physical football game and we got banged up a little bit. I don’t expect any of those guys to not play on Saturday. Junior Onyeali had the same problem with his shoulder. He came back into play. He was in and out, so we expect him to be able to play based on what the trainers saw yesterday.”

On Steven Threet’s body of work:

“Pretty much. We have thrown more interceptions then we would have liked. That’s pretty obvious and factual. He’s improved a lot, but unfortunately with what we do offensively if you throw it in the wrong place then you are going to have some issues. He did that in the first half at USC, but he came back and played extremely well in the second half. He is getting better all the time. Once he has a year in the offense, I would say that about any quarterback in what we are doing. The second year is obviously going to be a heck of a lot better. It’s a learning process for him. He made a lot of good plays, but some mistakes. That’s the nature of the position. I like where he’s at and where he is right now as he moves forward with the last few games we play and next year.”

“I think that’s the nature of the quarterback sometimes. They are all very competitive and sometimes they try to make certain things happen when its not there. It’s better to throw it away but that’s the nature of a competitor. That’s happened to him and hopefully he will learn from that and I think he will.”

On the team’s mood:

“Somber, very somber. When you go on the road against a program like that and you have a chance to win the football game and don’t it’s disheartening. I would be disappointed if they weren’t somber and disappointed in the game. We had some chances and we fought back. We gave ourselves an opportunity at the end of the football game to win it. It’s been the story of our year. We have had those opportunities a number of times. We haven’t won one of those games and hopefully we can do that here shortly. They understand where we are at and what’s left in our season. They have a lot of pride and good leadership. We have a great opportunity this week playing a top-10 team at home. They are disappointed and down like all of us were.”

On kicking situation:

“We’re talking about a guy who has been kicking here for four years. Obviously, he is not having a good year. The situation we have is we are redshirting a kicker that we believe will be our kicker of the future. To take him out of it right now would be insane. We are going to stay with Thomas Weber and hopefully he makes some. He’s disappointed and he’s not going to blame anybody. When you change holders it has a little bit of an effect, but he just missed the kick.”

On decisions to go for two or one:

“What we did Saturday was exactly what you needed to do. We don’t just pull it out of our ears. We had to go for two the first time. It was a two possession game when we scored and you have to go for two sometimes. I decided to do that and I would do it again. The other situation, when they blocked the extra point, there was no reason to go for two. I don’t even know what people would be thinking. We scored a touchdown and if we make it we are up five. They go down then they can’t beat us with a field goal. If they go down and score a touchdown then it’s seven and we can come back and kick a field goal to win it. If we don’t then we are kicking to tie the game. We have a chart that tells you what to do, but that’s not always right either. We made the right decisions, it’s just that it was blocked and went for two.” 

On Vontaze Burfict’s personal foul:

“He just hit a guy late. They both came and hit each other and they threw the flag. It wasn’t like he went looking for somebody to hit. It’s just part of the game and we had four penalties in that football game. We haven’t had anything like that in a long time. Obviously, it hurts and there is no question about it.”

On the blocking of special teams:

“It’s ridiculous. It’s about accountability. We kick the ball a lot of times in that game and blocked it perfectly every time. Then a guy isn’t accountable on what he’s supposed to do and he flat misses the guy. That’s what happened at Wisconsin too. It’s accountability to do your job all the time regardless if you are playing three plays or seventy plays. You have to be accountable every time the ball is snapped. Obviously, we didn’t block it correctly. It wasn’t any magic thing they did. Our guard went down and dropped his head and the guy came right over the top of him.”

On Brandon Magee:

“He had a tremendous game Saturday. He is getting better and better all the time. He is playing the best we have at linebacker right now. He is making plays. He studies tape and he is having a heck of a year. You can see marked improvement because he spends a lot of time watching tape.”

“To learn the position, he is getting better and better, and having the opportunity to play all the time is beneficial. He is getting better the more he plays.”

On Gerell Robinson:

“I think he’s played well this season. It’s the most he’s played so he is getting better all the time. He understands the position and he has made some big plays. He just has to be more consistent and he will as time goes on. He is a big target and we have to use him more.”


Junior quarterback Steven Threet

General thoughts on Stanford:

“They are obviously a very good team Their record shows that. I just started watching them today. They are very disciplined. They play very hard. It will be a great defense.”

Thoughts on yourself this season:

“I don’t know if there is one word or on sentence to describe, there have been some good games, and some not so good games.  We have had some difficult losses, some very close games we have been in.  We, right now, just have to keep improving and keep moving forward.”

On you personally and this season:

“Too much up and down, I would say.  There have even been some good first half, bad second half, bad first half, good second half.  Just too much up and down.  I just need to play more consistent and help the team more.”

On best game played this season:

“Not sure.  I am not sure there is one game to really pinpoint.”

On the interception for a touchdown:

“I can’t put the team in that situation, any time you throw a pick six, the chances of winning the game are a lot less.  It has to be corrected. I can’t keep making that mistake.”

On the learning to throw it away prospect:

“Yes, there are times that I could throw the ball away, but hindsight is usually 20-20.  It’s easier to make the decisions after the fact.  Even me looking back on it, I question ‘hey maybe I should have thrown it away’ but I have to work on that.  Maybe even in practice, work on that a little bit more, and just get better in that aspect.”

On consistency in first half as opposed to second half at USC:

“It was just getting the ball and making the throws.  There were some bad throws in the first half on first and second down, that put us in third and long, and then a couple on third down that we did not convert.  Anytime you have that you’re not going to get first downs and the defense is going to be on the field and getting tired and it puts them in a bad place.”

On the running game:

“The O-line and backs have been doing a great job, and receivers have been blocking downfield so the running game has been really good.  It’s something that we have been working on, and will continue to help the offense.”

On the decision making process at the line of scrimmage being clear cut or not:

“There is a lot of gray area.  A lot of times you hand the ball off and then you’re like, ‘man I should have thrown that one’.  Then there are times you hand it off and get an eight-yard gain and could have thrown it and only got two yards.  There is just a lot of gray area and you have to have a feel for it throughout the game.  You have to watch the film and try to get a feel for how they are going to stop it. But until you get out on the field, you never really know what they are going to do.”

On being one of the more challenging aspects of the position in-game:

“Yea, its an aspect of it.  I would say sometime the decisions are quick, but its part of the deal to run this offense.”

On if coaches are still sending in two plays, a run and a pass play to choose from based on defense:

“There are times when they do, but there are times throughout the week we have been game planning and see certain looks and we check to it, so it’s different almost every week.”

On being 100 percent health wise:

“At this point, I don’t know if anyone is 100 percent, but I am good to go. Good to play.”

On the qualities of this team to keep going:

“We are obviously a competitive bunch, we fight hard every day in practice and continue to improve, and prepare well and get ready to go on Saturday.  We battle back from being down this week and were not able to make it happen, but we just have to move on and get ready to go for Stanford.” 

On Gerell Robinson’s play:

“He’s done a good job, made a couple of plays for us that were in key situations getting the ball in the end zone, and has continued to improve and continue to work hard all year.”

On bouncing back this week against a top-10 opponent:

“We can’t sit and think about what could have been this past Saturday or earlier in year.  We have a very good team coming in that is going to take all of our effort and all of our preparation.”