Tuesday, Dec. 31
• The mood Tuesday evening was lively at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, where the Stanford travel party -- along with dignitaries such as Rose Bowl winner Jim Plunkett -- set up shop for the night.
Word on the Avenue of Stars is that a number of Stanford celebrities will be in attendance for the 100th Rose Bowl Game.
• Stanford held team meetings in the morning and traveled to the game stadium for its team photo in front of the south facade of the Rose Bowl. Student-athletes were treated to a lunch of ready-to-order In-N-Out burgers prepared freshly by a host of trucks settled outside the stadium tunnel.
• The officiating crew for the 100th Rose Bowl Game will be provided by the Big 12 Conference.
• The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band took a break from its practice session at Glendale Community College to permit the team to practice on the football field.
• Several members of the Cardinal squad spoke at the Rose Bowl Kickoff Luncheon, where Tournament of Roses Parade Grand Marshal Vin Scully told the New Year’s Eve crowd “My heartfelt thanks to the 12,000 people who make this event what it is and have a Happy New Year!”
• If you are looking for an extra dose of Scully to start off your new year -- and who isn't -- then be sure to tune in to Pasadena's Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1. The annual New Year's Day event is a popular Southern California attraction, and draws around 700,000 attendees each year.
The audience is bound to be full of Los Angeles Dodgers fans who will go wild for Scully. The 85-year old broadcaster has worked with the Dodgers for 63 years, and has solidified his status as a Los Angeles icon over that time.
As the Grand Marshal, he will be riding in a float during the Rose Parade and tossing the coin before the Rose Bowl Game.
“I’m looking forward to the parade, sharing that once in a lifetime experience with my family and looking down Colorado Boulevard at that canyon of humanity,” Scully said. “It’s a great chance for me to say thank you to the people of Southern California who have been so kind to me. Then it's on to the game and the thrill of tossing the coin in that historic stadium, especially for the 100th Rose Bowl Game.
“I’ve been blessed with good health and a very understanding family to be able to broadcast Dodgers games all these years. Witnessing the 1955 championship, the only one in Brooklyn, probably was the highlight, and Kirk Gibson's home run in 1988 and last season's 42-8 streak certainly are very memorable.”
• Speaking of Dodgers, Stanford junior wide receiver Jordan Pratt spent eight seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system (2003-10), and advanced to the team’s Triple-A squad in 2010. Pratt was drafted in the fifth round (151st overall) of 2003 MLB Draft by the Dodgers, as the atmosphere and energy engineering major entered Stanford as a 26-year old freshman.
• Rose Bowl forecast -- 76 and sunny.
Rain has adversely affected a Rose Bowl Game just four times (1916, 1922, 1934, 1955), with the coldest game on record occurring in 1919, when the day’s high temperature was 25 degrees. There have been many occasions where the skies were listed as “hazy.”
• This is the 100th Rose Bowl Game held at Pasadena and the fourth time hosting the BCS Championship game (2002-06, 2010, 2014). The next most games have been the Orange and Sugar bowls with 79 each and then the Sun (78) and Cotton (77).
• Very few American sporting events are older than the Rose Bowl, including the Belmont Stakes (145 events), the Kentucky Derby (139), the Preakness (138) and the World Series (109).
• Of the 99 previous Rose Bowl games, 43 have matched two schools ranked in the nation’s top 10. Interestingly, the higher ranked team holds the slimmest of leads in those games, 22-21.
• Since the inception of the Associated Press poll in 1936, only 14 times has a team outside of the top 10 won the Rose Bowl. An unranked team has appeared in nine Rose Bowl Games, with two emerging as the champion: USC in 1944 (29-0 winner over No. 12 Washington), and UCLA in 1984 (45-9 triumph over No. 4 Illinois).
• The Granddaddy of Them All will feature the Rose Bowl coach of them all, as Stanford’s Randy Hart will make what seems to almost be an annual appearance in his long-thriving coaching career.
• Stanford has 36 varsity sports, and many members of those respective teams took time to show support for the Cardinal football squad during a Google+ Hangout.
Monday, Dec. 30
• Head coach David Shaw spoke with the media at The L.A. Hotel before the Cardinal had its last practice in full pads at the StubHub Center.
• The evening ended at the Santa Monica Pier, where several thousand Cardinal faithful gathered in a sea-salted setting to see Stanford personalities such as Josh Childress, Mark Madsen, Sam Schwartzstein and Todd Husak give their take on the Rose Bowl Game.
Team captains Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy, Ben Gardner and David Yankey followed a performance by the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band with the team’s notable C-House chant to close the event.
• Lindsay Schnell of Grantland.com spent a few days on The Farm earlier this month to dissect Tyler Gaffney the football player, Tyler Gaffney the baseball player and, well, Tyler Gaffney.
Gaffney’s brother and Cal rugby player Drew …
“My brother is the only person who, when he tells me he loves me, it makes me feel so special,” says Drew, choking up. “He always included me in things, never left me out, and always made me feel like I was a part of everything he was doing, all his success. He never made me feel like lesser than him.” Tyler has taken to heart the advice from Lester Riley, his maternal grandfather, who died three years ago and used to tell his grandsons, “Be the good guy.”
Gaffney on being a student-athlete at Stanford …
“When you step up to bat in the bottom of the ninth, tie game, it doesn't matter if you hit that walk-off home run or not,” Gaffney says. “You've still gotta write the 12-page paper when you get back to your house.”
• Whether you’re at home, on the golf course, in the car or at the stadium, be sure to flip on the radio and listen to the golden pipes of Stanford’s home broadcast.
Live coverage will be available on Stanford’s flagship station – KNBR 1050 AM – with Scott Reiss ’93 (play-by-play), Todd Husak ’00 (analyst) and John Platz ’84 (sideline). All three are native Southern Californians.
Reiss, whose broadcast credits include television work at ESPN and Comcast Sports Bay Area, graduated from Beverly Hills High School. Husak, a former all-Pac 10 quarterback at Stanford who led the Cardinal to a Rose Bowl appearance in 2000, graduated from St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. Platz, a Stanford basketball letterman in the early 1980s, who in addition to football sideline duties is the radio analyst on Cardinal basketball broadcasts, graduated from Pasadena-neighboring San Marino High School.
• Dating back to 1955, Stanford trails the all-time series with Michigan State, 2-3-0.
In the most lopsided bowl game victory in school history, Stanford took apart Michigan State en route to a 38-0 Sun Bowl win in 1996, the first shutout by a Cardinal team since 1974.
Stanford advanced to the 18th bowl game in school history and the second straight under head coach Tyrone Willingham. The Cardinal’s win gave Stanford a 7-5 record and five consecutive wins to end the season.
The Sun Bowl victory completed what was then one of the most surprising turnarounds in the history of Stanford football. The Cardinal was 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the Pac-10 and was not in anybody’s bowl picture. But Willingham rallied his troops, led them to four straight wins to conclude the regular season and found himself alone in third place in the Pac-10 and in the Sun Bowl.
Sophomore quarterback Chad Hutchinson was named the Sun Bowl Offensive MVP after throwing for 226 yards on 22 of 28 passing and one touchdown.
Kailee Wong recorded 10 tackles (3.0 for loss) and two sacks. He was named the game’s Defensive MVP. Carl Hansen added eight tackles and 2.0 sacks. Josh Madsen had 11 tackles and one fumble recovery to go along with an interception.
The 2014 Rose Bowl Game marks the sixth-ever meeting between Michigan State and Stanford. Michigan State won the first-ever meeting, 38-14, on Oct. 8, 1955, in Spartan Stadium. The Spartans also defeated the Cardinal in 1956 and 1961. Stanford recorded its first win in the series in 1962.
This marks the second time in series history both teams are ranked while playing against each other. No. 3 Michigan State topped No. 12 Stanford, 21-7, at Stanford Stadium on Sept. 29, 1956.
• Greg Bishop of the New York Times has written several pieces on all things Stanford thoughout the fall season, but his latest feature on Kissick Family Director of Football Sports Performance Shannon Turley might carry the most weight (yes, pun intended).
The in-depth piece blanketing Turley’s philosophies and proven results includes dandies from fifth-year senior outside linebacker Trent Murphy (“Most people don’t get it. And that’s fine.”) and Seattle Seahawks stud Richard Sherman (“We have an advantage when we get into the NFL. It shows you how little scouts know in their assessments. I’ll roll with Shannon Turley.”).
• The Rose Bowl has hosted some of the best games, memorable plays and biggest names in college football over the course its history. ESPN – which will televise the 100th Rose Bowl – and ABC have combined to televise every Rose Bowl since 1989. Multiple ESPN platforms have documented the game for fans, including ESPN Radio every year since 1998 and ESPN Deportes’ first Spanish language telecast in the United States in 2013.
Six of ESPN’s college football analysts have participated in the Rose Bowl, including two who secured a National Championship with a victory: Ed Cunningham with Washington in 1992 and Brian Griese, who is a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, with Michigan in 1998.
The analysts, along with Cunningham and Griese, include Mike Bellotti (Oregon - 1995), Desmond Howard (Michigan - 1989, 1990, 1992), David Norrie (UCLA - 1983, 1984, 1986) and Chris Spielman (Ohio State - 1985) – provided their thoughts on the historic game.
Bellotti: “I have been to the Rose Bowl three times: as an announcer in 2002, an offensive coordinator in 1995 and an Athletic Director in 2010. The most fun was 1995 as Oregon’s offensive coordinator. We were playing an awesome Penn State team coached by Joe Paterno and were a significant underdog. We decided we were going to have to throw the ball frequently to stay in the game. My quarterback, Danny O’Neil, set all kinds of records that day for passing and total offense, being named the Rose Bowl co-MVP. Though we did not win, we fought valiantly on a great stage with a national audience in the Granddaddy of all bowl games. That game set the stage and became the rallying cry for Oregon football, leading us to consecutive New Year's Day bowl games and 17 bowls in the next 19 seasons. If you live or play on the West Coast, you grow up hoping to compete in the Rose Bowl. It is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Cunningham: “Much of our coaching staff at Washington had been to the Rose Bowl, so when we won the conference and got a bid to play in Pasadena they seemed more excited about it than we did. We’d been to a few bowls, so we thought, ‘What's the big deal?’ We quickly learned that there is no bowl experience that gets you ready to play in the Rose. Everything about it exudes class and history, and when packed 50/50 with the teams’ fans, the Rose Bowl is one of the most unique and exciting places to play in the world.”
Brian Griese: “I’ve been privileged to be part of some memorable football experiences in my life, including two trips to the Super Bowl, but my fondest memory was January 1, 1998, at the Rose Bowl. For many former players, the Rose Bowl truly is hallowed ground. The stakes are always high, but for us in 1998, we were playing for the National Championship. What did it feel like to play in that Rose Bowl? It felt like my feet did not touch the ground for the first 10 minutes of the game. The stadium of 100,000 is split evenly between friend and foe, and because of that, remains loud the entire game! The scene is the most remarkable in all of college football. Having never been to Pasadena prior to that game, I was experiencing the beauty of the surroundings in the moment. My most vivid memory came in the fourth quarter. We led 21-16 with over six minutes left and our offense ran out on the field. It was a T.V. timeout so I was giving the huddle instructions on the play we were going to run. I looked up at the scoreboard after I finished to look at the game clock and it hit me: the scoreboard was draped by the sunset over the San Gabriel mountains. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I remember thinking in that moment that this was going to be one of the special memories of my life.”
Desmond Howard: “One of my most fondest memories of the Rose Bowl is when Leroy Hoard of Michigan ran over Mark Carrier of USC in the 1989 Rose Bowl. Leroy won MVP of that game and Michigan won.”
David Norrie: “Growing up as a kid in Portland, Ore., during Pasadena's Golden Era in the 70’s, I never missed a single play watching on T.V. I remember being captivated by a flashy UCLA team that upset No. 1 ranked Ohio State in the 1976 game, their nicknames etched on white towels hanging off the front of their uniform pants. It may have been subliminal, but I was sold. I was going to play quarterback for UCLA in that game.”
Chris Spielman: “It was an incredible experience even though we lost. I felt privileged to be part of such a great tradition. That game created a lifetime memory for me.”
Sunday, Dec. 29
• Sunday started with the team’s media day at The L.A. Hotel, with Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw taking center stage to speak with scribes and television personalities in attendance. The Big Ten Network was on hand to shoot the breeze with several players, including Kevin Hogan, A.J. Tarpley and Ty Montgomery.
• After team meetings and a quick briefing with the Rose Bowl Game television talent at the team hotel, the Cardinal departed for the StubHub Center for another open practice.
In attendance were several dozen children from the West San Gabriel Valley YMCA, who collected autographs and posed for photos with the student-athletes.
Just had the former prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, stop by our O-line meeting room. Just another day at Stanford Football...— Conor McFadden (@CMF61) December 29, 2013
• Several members of the travel party took time out of the day to attend Disney’s landmark Broadway musical Lion King at Pantages Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
• The hospitality suite for the student-athletes features the best of anything and everything you would want as a 20-something year old. Big-screen televisions? Check. Video games? Check. Arcade games? Check. Snacks on top of snacks on top of snacks? Check.
• Sunday’s late-night munchies were catered by Pink’s Hotdogs. If you don’t know, now you know.
• The Rose Bowl was born a year before the flight at Kitty Hawk and was still kicking last year as Endeavor crawled through the streets of Los Angeles on the way to its final resting spot.
Between the Rose's first bloom in 1902 and this year’s 100th game, a plane covered a few hundred feet and a space shuttle covered 122 million miles.
Time and the Granddaddy march on.
Sounds awesome, right? Read the rest by Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times.
• Stanford’s official pep rally will begin Monday at 6:30 p.m. (PT) at the Santa Monica Pier. Those tabbed to get the crowd on their feet include Mark Madsen, Josh Childress and Sam Schwartzstein. The event is free and open to the public, while featuring featuring appearances by each of Stanford’s co-captains.
The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band, spirit leaders and other guest speakers will pump up the crowd before the big game.
• Good reads to get up to speed on the Rose Bowl Game include a piece on Shannon Turley and Stanford’s strength and conditioning program, Ty Montgomery’s happy feet and how quarterback Kevin Hogan is better than you think may think.
• ESPN's Ivan Maisel, who *cough* happens to be a Stanford graduate, penned a marvelous piece on unanimous All-American and all-around good fellow David Yankey. Do yourself a favor and give it a read.
• Anytime is a good time to relive Stanford’s Rose Bowl Game victory from last season.
Stanford finished a 12-2 campaign in 2012 with a 20-14 victory over Wisconsin in the 99th Rose Bowl Game. In a defense-dominated second half, Usua Amanam stopped Wisconsin’s final drive with an interception near midfield with 2:30 to play to seal the program’s first Rose Bowl victory in 40 years.
Stepfan Taylor rushed for 89 yards and an early touchdown, while Kevin Hogan passed for 123 yards, but Stanford won the game with a shutdown effort by its defense, which held Wisconsin scoreless with just 82 yards after halftime.
Kelsey Young took his only carry 16 yards for a score on Stanford’s opening possession, and Taylor scored on the second drive after a big catch by Zach Ertz. Wisconsin kept the Cardinal out of the end zone for the final 51 minutes, but Stanford’s defense didn’t need any more help in the Cardinal’s eighth straight victory to end the campaign
Following Taylor’s 3-yard touchdown run just 8½ minutes in to give the Cardinal a 14-0 lead, Wisconsin briefly got going only to be turned back by Stanford’s defense with a goal line stand from its 1-yard line.
Montee Ball had an 11-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter and, following a Stanford field goal, the Badgers cut the deficit to 17-14 on Jordan Fredrick’s short touchdown catch just 19 seconds before the break. Wisconsin would get no closer as Stanford celebrated in front of 93,359 fans.
Saturday, Dec. 28
• An afternoon practice was held at the StubHub Center in front of a number of fans, family and media members. A textbook police escort scooted the team from Carson to Beverly Hills for a tradition unlike any other -- the 58th Beef Bowl at Lawry’s The Prime Rib.
It was the second consecutive Beef Bowl for the Cardinal. When asked what he recalled about his team’s Beef Bowl appearance last year, head coach David Shaw responded, “I remember that Josh Garnett ate way too much.”
For those keep score at home, Garnett took down seven slabs of prime rib during his Beef Bowl debut. Garnett limited himself to one slice in 2013, though senior punter Ben Rhyne attempted to achieve cult status, but ...
Fifth-year senior defensive end Ben Gardner called the Beef Bowl “a lot of fun,” serving “the best prime rib I ever had.”
As practice wrapped up and players began to turn their attention to the highly-anticipated meal, Gardner told the team “You all get to play this week, but this is my bowl game!”
Gardner would go on to devour three pieces of prime rib, one more than Stanford assistant coach Mike Sanford.
The travel party graced the red carpet into the restaurant on Restaurant Row on La Cienega Boulevard amid cheers from the staff as a band played “All Right Now.”
The Beef Bowl began in 1956 and is older than all but the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Sun bowls. It was called “the best tradition” of the college football bowl season by The Sporting News in 2005.
The Beef Bowl “is not about what team eats the most,” said Richard R. Frank, president and chief executive officer of Lawry’s Restaurants Inc. (and a Stanford fan, which he relayed to the crowd during his post-dinner remarks).
From 1963-69, it was a beef eating contest. The event was known as the Beef Scrimmage from 1970-72 in an attempt to stop the eating competition. It returned to the original name in 1973.
Beef Bowl attendees are allowed seconds “and that’s where we try to draw the line, though from time to time there’s been a player or two who’s tried to get around that rule,” Frank said.
• It was back to The L.A. Hotel for a Cardinal contingent featuring Willie Shaw Director of Defense Derek Mason and a load of Stanford defenders.
• Mason on Stanford’s recent football success and recruiting …
“It’s made us viable and relevant. But I think more than anything else, these guys see themselves playing with those guys. They see themselves being the next Richard Sherman. They see themselves being the guy who can be like Mike Thomas or be like Andrew Luck or be like Griff Whalen or like being like Stepfan Taylor. We’ve had guy after guy after guy -- they may not be big name guys -- but we've had enough good players to go on and make names for themselves.”
What percentage of the eligible student athlete population are you guys able to go after?
“One percent. One percent, if that.”
It’s that small?
“Yeah, it's that small.”
• Senior linebacker A.J. Tarpley was short and to the point when describing Michigan State’s offense …
“They’re going to want to run the ball right at us, and that’s what we're going to try and stop.”
• Fifth-year senior nickelback Usua Amanam on being named last season’s Rose Bowl Game MVP …
“It’s just a pleasure to be involved with the Rose Bowl Game once again. I think I always tell all my friends and family, the MVP award is a bit misleading because it takes an entire team to win a game and do what you’re supposed to do. I think last year we played very well, but I don't even think about last year anymore. Our minds are set on this game on January 1, 2014, and I feel like we’ve prepared very well and we’re excited to go out there and show everyone what we can do.”
• Fifth-year senior inside linebacker Shayne Skov on #NerdNation …
“It’s really blown up since we have been here. I think it started out as kind of a football and athletics thing, and to see it really carry on -- we take tremendous pride in hopefully kind of being the prime example and the paradigm of what a student athlete can be in terms of what we do academically and athletically. I think we take that very seriously, but at the same time we enjoy it and we want to embrace that kind of mantra and that attitude.”
• Stanford has the honor of playing in both the first and 100th Rose Bowl Game, though the inaugural contest in 1902 saw the Cardinal fall to Michigan, 49-0.
Approximately 8,500 people crowded into Tournament Park on the California Institute of Technology campus to witness the first Rose Bowl Game. The best in the West versus the best in the East had been brought together by tournament officials to attract more national attention to their pageant.
What spectators got was a flat-out massacre by the “point-a-minute” Wolverines, who had outscored opponents 501-0 during the regular season.
Coached by Fielding H. Yost, an assistant at Stanford the year before, Michigan outplayed Stanford in every aspect of the game. For the Wolverines, fullback Neil Snow rushed for five touchdowns and Ev Sweeley punted for almost 900 yards and kicked four field goals.
In a violent game, Stanford guard William Roosevelt, a second cousin of President Teddy Roosevelt, played an astonishing 15 minutes with a broken leg before having to leave the game with fractured ribs in addition to the leg injury.
The game ended with eight minutes remaining on the clock after the two team captains agreed to finally halt the Michigan onslaught.
Following the game, the Rose Bowl Game was discontinued until the first day of 1916, when Washington State defeated Brown, 14-3.
• Looking for more connections between Stanford and Michigan State?
Former Michigan State letterwinner Tyrone Willingham compiled a 44-36-1 record (.549) in seven seasons at Stanford (1996-2001), including four bowl appearances.
Willingham graduated from Michigan State in 1977 with a degree in physical education. A walk-on in both football and baseball at Michigan State, Willingham earned three letters in each sport. He compiled a 3-1 record in four starts at quarterback in 1973, taking over for an injured Charlie Baggett. As a senior in 1976, Willingham led the Spartans in both kickoff (19.7 yards) and punt (6.2 yards) returns.
In 1977, Willingham was awarded the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor as Michigan State’s outstanding scholar-athlete.
He broke into the college coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Michigan State under Darryl Rogers in 1977. Willingham returned to his alma mater in 1980 and spent three years (1980-82) as defensive secondary and special teams coach under Frank “Muddy” Waters.
• Attendance at Saturday's open practice was impressive; Sunday's 3 p.m. practice will not include any coach or player media availability afterwards.
• Quotes and comments from the 2013 season …
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham • Dec. 7
“They dominated the game. Beat us in every way you can ... They’re a championship team.”
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly • Nov. 26
“Jordan Richards is one of my favorite players in college football. I think he’s probably one of the most underrated players in the country at his position. He does so many things well.”
Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich • Nov. 7
“You look at their defense, they have a ton of really talented, really experienced guys. There’s multiple places on their defense where it’s a senior backed up by a senior, and you just don’t see that very often. It’s a bunch of guys that contribute ... It’s a huge challenge.”
Greg Bishop • New York Times • Oct. 20
“As Stanford became a mainstay in the upper echelon of college football, it won with strength, its style more potatoes than sushi, more Big Ten than Pac-12.”
UCLA head coach Jim Mora • Oct. 16
“We have a ton of respect for them. I love the way they play the game. I have a tremendous amount of respect for David Shaw and what he’s done there, and I love the way that team plays football ... They play the game the right way.”
Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian • Sept. 30
“They’re a veteran group, guys who have played a lot of football. They’re disciplined; they’ve been in the scheme for quite some time now so they know the nuances of the scheme. They play it extremely well. They’re obviously talented, big, physical guys up front.”
Washington State head coach Mike Leach • Sept. 24
“They’re really strong. I thought they were stronger (than us). The biggest thing you notice about Stanford is their size and strength ... I think they’re one of the top programs in the country.”
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham • Sept. 19
“They’re very unique, very innovative offensively. People a lot of times get excited about the spread no huddles. They’re equally dynamic in their schemes. One of the best-coached teams that I’ve watched on film.”
Stewart Mandel • SI.com • Sept. 22
“Kevin Hogan is more developed as a passer with a more explosive set of receivers. In turn, Stanford boasts a more complete attack.”
Friday, Dec. 27
• Andrew Luck Director of Offense Mike Bloomgren was joined by Tyler Gaffney, Ty Montgomery, Ryan Hewitt, Kevin Hogan and David Yankey at The L.A. Hotel for a Rose Bowl Game press conference.
Stanford OC Mike Bloomgren showed up to his pre-Rose Bowl press conference wearing Google Glass. That's a first. And it's awesome.— Jordan Littman (@JordanLittman) December 27, 2013
• Bloomgren paid homage to Stanford’s #NerdNation by wearing Google Glass during the presser.
Stanford OC Mike Bloomgren is wearing Google Glass to their Rose Bowl press conference. Because why not.— Jessica Benson (@jessbenson_3) December 27, 2013
• The Cardinal is holding its practices in Carson at the StubHub Center, a sports complex located on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Stanford is housed in the locker room designated for the Los Angeles Galaxy, which plays home games at the StubHub Center.
• Friday’s practice was held under sunny skies on a Southern California day with a temperature of 83 degrees. Stanford went with helmets, shoulder pad shells and shorts.
• The Cardinal offered a bit of perspective on getting back into the flow of practice …
“It feels great to get back on the field and prepare for the Rose Bowl. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, and it starts today.”
- Fifth-year senior outside linebacker Trent Murphy
“We’re a competitive bunch, and we’ve been chomping at the bit to get back onto the field. Anytime you get the chance to spend some free time and have some fun, it’s nice. But today we knocked a little bit of rust off and we’re doing what we do best.”
- Fifth-year senior inside linebacker Jarek Lancaster
“It was great to go home and spend time with the family during the holiday season, but it feels just as good to be back here on the field.”
- Sophomore offensive lineman Joshua Garnett
“It’s good to be back, and good to get back on the grass. I thought these guys came out and put in a good day’s work. Our minds are right, and the game plan is starting to come into focus.”
- Willie Shaw Director of Defense Derek Mason
• Later in the evening, student-athletes were entertained with a comedy show at Hollywood Improv while other members of the travel party enjoyed dinner at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Children enjoyed an ice cream social at the hotel.
• Erik Griffin of 'Workaholics' fame was among the comedians to perform at Hollywood Improv.
Thursday, Dec. 26
• Six charter buses departed Maples Pavilion at 7 a.m. (PT) en route for San Jose International Airport. After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, the travel party took a 25-minute cruise to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, its home for the week.
• The hotel is located in the heart of Century City and the backyard of nearby Fox Studios. Up the hill from the hotel is Fox Plaza, also known as Nakatomi Plaza for ‘Die Hard’ fans. Other motion pictures in which the building is featured include ‘Speed’, ‘Fight Club’, ‘Leathal Weapon 2’ and ‘Tommy Boy.’
• The travel party made its way to Disneyland, officially tagged “The Happiest Place on Earth.” The welcome party at Disneyland was the first official function for both Stanford and Michigan State, which arrived to town one day earlier.
• David Shaw and Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio held a press conference in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle under clear blue skies with a light breeze blowing through the park. The press conference was kick-started with remarks from Disneyland Resort president and Stanford graduate Michael Colglazie.
• Following the ceremony, Stanford experienced popular Disneyland attractions such as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, along with a visit to Cars Land at Disney California Adventure Park to ride Radiator Springs Racers.
• The team buses for both Stanford and Michigan State were parked in the same Disneyland lot.
Assistant coach Randy Hart, who will be making his ninth Rose Bowl appearance, claimed to be the first person on the bus slated to depart for the hotel at 6 p.m.
“I’ve been here since 4:30. There were so many people at Disneyland, you had to wait in line just to walk around,” Hart quipped.
Hart’s early arrival afforded him the chance to catch Dantonio and exchange pleasantries before the Michigan State caravan departed the grounds.
Dantonio served as a graduate assistant at Purdue in 1981 when Hart was coaching the defensive line for the Boilermakers. Hart also coached the defensive line at Ohio State (1982-87), where he was followed to Columbus by Dantonio, who was a graduate assistant for the Buckeyes from 1983-84.