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Ask Tyrone Willingham
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 10/09/2000

Oct. 9, 2000

Sara Andersen (Walnut Creek, CA)
Following last season's success, I'm sure expectations were very high coming into this season. This season hasn't be awful so far (some good games, some not so good), but how do you handle possible disappointment among the players when expectations are not realized? Thanks.

What we try to do in our program is constantly adjust our goals so that there is always something that we can obtain, or that our young men or our team should be working towards. What we do as we progress through the season (is) we lower our goals or we raise our goals depending on where we are in the season. We try to constantly keep something tangible that our young men can reach and strive for each week and throughout the season.

Michael Chui (Bloomington, IN)
Do you think the pass rush of the past two opponents (Arizona and Notre Dame) affected the throwing mechanics, and hence the accuracy, from the quarterback position?

In the past two weeks, our quarterback has taken probably more hits than he has taken all of last season or at least in major portions of last season. Any time that your quarterback is being hit, most defenses will tell you that is the next best thing to sacking the quarterback. Therefore, there is no question that when you have your quarterback under duress, it does affect his ability to be accurate with his throws.

Dave Easton (Denver, CO)
Do you feel Stanford has the speed to match up with the (Oregon State) Beavers and will you be practicing on artificial turf this week? Good luck in Corvallis - already a tough place to play and now they have a good team!

(First question) Oregon State is a tremendously improved football team now with excellent speed to maybe even great speed. We do have some speed on our team. We're not sure if it is enough to match up, but in any case you would hope that it is your fundamentals and your mechanics that allow you to play different opponents and try to do things to negate their speed from a standpoint of a mechanical and fundamental nature. (Second question) Yes, we will practice on the artificial turf. But, as any time you practice on artificial turf, it has a tendency to make you a little sore because you're not on it often. So, we will practice one day on the artificial turf to kind of get us ready for the Beavers' stadium and their turf.

Sam Ready (Medford, OR)
What are your impressions of the OSU backfield and does a rotating backfield like OSU used (Ken Simonton and Patrick McCall) against Washington present additional problems for defenses, or is it mainly a tactic to keep each back fresh? They seem to be the same type of runners.

In the case of Oregon State, it seems as though they are mainly keeping their one great back (Ken Simonton) fresh, because I think when it's time to hand the football off, he (Ken Simonton) is the guy that they want to be carrying the ball. They don't do a great deal with McCall when he's in there. They do let him have a few runs but primarily the ball needs to be in Simonton's hands, and he is probably as good a back as we've seen this year, or will see this year.

Ryan Delaney (Oakland, CA)
I had heard that there was a push to get the Pac-10 to allow for a year-round training table. Is that a possibility in the near future? Good luck this weekend!

I believe, if I am correct, that the Pac-10 Conference has passed (the) year-round training table, and that it will be at the discretion of each individual institution to decide how best to implement a year-round training table or to implement a year-round training table (at all). I believe that it is a good feature any time that we can do something for our student-athletes and of course nutrition is a major problem with young people at that age. Any time that they have a few extra or discretionary dollars, they try to spend it other places than their stomachs. So, I think if we can provide for them year-round training table, I believe it would provide them a better platform on which to handle the stress of competition that their body takes.


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