No Andrew Luck? No problem. The Stanford Cardinal continued their successful run against the Matt Barkley-led USC Trojans — thought to be one of the top contenders for a national championship — with a 21-14 victory in Palo Alto on Saturday.
Technically speaking, given the rankings, the victory was an upset for Stanford, but coach David Shaw doesn’t see it that way. Shaw operates with the mentality that every game is a coin flip that his team can win if it gives a great effort. The Cardinal were rewarded with a jump to the top 10 in national polls.
David Shaw joined The Dan Patrick Show to discuss people calling the game an upset, why he doesn’t view it that way, what stood out when he watched film and drew up a gameplan, the scouting report on Matt Barkley, if the program’s style changed when it lost Andrew Luck to the NFL and why he’s not blowing the victory out of proportion.
How does it feel and how do you react when you hear that you guys upset USC?:
“I feel OK about it. I know that a lot of people, present company included, liked USC to win this game. But that’s college football, right? That’s college football. You’ve got to line up and play. You’ve got a bunch of 18- to 22-year-old kids that play on emotion and play hard together and you never know what’s going to happen.”
Was it an upset in your mind?:
“Honestly, it sounds crazy and people don’t believe me when I say it, but in our mentality it’s not an upset, because we’re on equal footing with everybody that we play, we believe. Every game’s a tossup. If we play extremely hard and extremely well, we feel that we can beat anybody. If we don’t play our best, we feel anybody can beat us. So every game we’ve got to bring it. … Our defense played great. Our offense did enough until we got that running game cranked up in the fourth quarter. And our quarterback made just enough plays.”
What stood out on film of USC that you felt you could gain an advantage?:
“There’s a thing with the game. It wasn’t just them; it was us. We’ve recruited extremely well. We’ve gotten faster. Our defensive backfield is better than it’s ever been — our athleticism, our speed. And we have just enough experience back there.”
What was the scouting report on Matt Barkley?:
“Just that the guy can make all the throws. He can move within the pocket. We knew we had to get pressure on him. If you give him all day back there, he will pick you apart. I don’t want this game to go so negatively toward him because he’s a great player. He really is. But the thing with us is we had to get pressure on him, we had to hit him, we had to get some sacks, to hopefully at least speed up his process so that those receivers didn’t have time to work in the secondary.”
In losing Andrew Luck to the NFL, did you change your gameplan or style that you have?:
“Not at all. There’s just a certain percentage that we shave off the gameplan because the guy was unbelievable in every sense of the word. So we had to be a little smart in not doing as much, but as far as what we do — we run the ball, we play great defense, we’ve got great tight ends … so we feel like we can still play our game. And our goal here is to build a program that can be sustained.”
On not blowing the victory out of proportion:
“It was a great weekend, and for us, we want this to be the norm. We don’t want this to be so special that this is a peak for us.”