Sept. 12, 2005
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford football head coach Walt Harris along with Cardinal players Kevin Schimmelmann and Josiah Vinson addressed the media at the weekly Stanford Football Press Conference on Monday. Here's some of what Harris and his players had to say following the team's 41-38 win at Navy last Saturday and prior to its home-opener against UC Davis at Stanford Stadium this Saturday, September 17 (7:00 pm, PT).
Head Coach Walt Harris
On last Saturday's 41-38 victory at Navy
"I was very elated with the victory (over Navy). It was a hard-fought game between two high-character football teams that were playing very hard and tough. The game could have gone either way. There was a time when our players could've doubted their chances of coming back, but fortunately they didn't. We finished the game and that was really important ... All in all it was a really good game for us."
On this Saturday's opponent UC Davis
"Davis has had outstanding success over the years. They have had 35 consecutive winning seasons and whenever you think about that, you have to walk away impressed. Either one of their first two games this season (both losses) could have gone either way. They have a tremendous school and program."
On this Saturday's UC Davis game
"This is a huge game for UC Davis as they are making the move into Division I football ... kind of like their bowl game. But, it is also a huge game for the Stanford Cardinal, so we're going to be ready to go. That's my pledge to our players and the people who support our program. We're going to be working hard to get prepared and get ready to play, and hopefully we'll have positive results."
On the performances of running backs Anthony Kimble and Jason Evans against Navy
"We were really excited about what those guys did. Quite honestly, the guys up front really made it happen, but they showed some talent once they got through the line."
On the play of reserves against Navy
"Some guys came through that we might not have expected to when they got a chance to play. It was great and added to the team victory. There were a lot of guys that had a piece of that victory. A lot of backups got a chance to play, and that was very gratifying."
On T.J. Rushing's kickoff returns
"He has a knack for finding the hole ... once he hits the hole, he has speed. It's great to see one of our players leading the nation in a category."
On the play of Trent Edwards against Navy
"Trent deserves a lot of credit for moving the ball around. He completed about 64% of his passes with no interceptions, and it would have been even higher without a couple of the drops and throwaways that we had."
On UC Davis' defense
"It's really difficult to figure out what coverage they are playing. They are very multiple and unusual with what they play. It will present some problems for our preparation."
On the importance of Pac-10 teams' non-conference schedules this upcoming Saturday
"Any times you play against teams that are considered to be good football programs, you have the opportunity to gain more national respect. But, I don't think the Pac-10 ever struggles in gaining national respect. We have the best team in America playing in our conference. From my knowledge, it's a very competitive league."
On the play of the offensive line against Navy
"It was the first game, and obviously there are some things we are going to have to work on. But, for a first game, I thought we did a good job. It was encouraging to be able to run the ball as well as we did."
On the offensive line's contribution to the success of the running game versus Navy
"It makes us feel good (to run the ball as well as we did). We don't get all the glory out there. We don't get our names in the stat book, so we live vicariously through our running backs, quarterbacks and people at all the skill positions. It was a great feeling to watch those guys break some long runs down the field."
On the difference between the offensive line so far in 2005 compared to last season
"A big difference has been our coaches' emphasis on details - knowing the details of our assignment and executing everything exactly the way that we are supposed to do it ... We all believe this year in what we're doing, and if we execute it, we're going to be successful. There's more emphasis on doing everything exactly right."
On having the offense scoring 41 points
"They did a great job and bailed us out. When we had a touchdown scored on us, they would come right back and would do the same thing. That was very encouraging and helpful for us. The victory was a team effort."
On UC Davis
"They are not going to be intimidated by us. They will play us hard."
On the atmosphere at Navy
"It was neat to play in that situation and atmosphere. It's a fun environment to play in front of a sold-out crowd. We also had a lot of fans there supporting us."
On being on the last team to play in the current Stanford Stadium before the renovation
"There's a lot of history in Stanford Stadium. Being on the last team to play in there is just as special as being the first team in the new stadium, if not more. That's a great honor that we're lucky to have. This stadium has been around for a long time, and there are a lot of great players to have passed through here. A lot of people would like to see us go out in a winning fashion."