Oct. 29, 2004
This is the tenth installment of a weekly column that takes you inside the minds of Stanford's assistant football coaches. Each week we will converse with an assistant coach to provide an inside look at a particular area of the team. This week we continue our second round of conversations with coaches as we sit down with assistant head coach/defensive tackles coach/ associate recruiting coordinator Dave Tipton.
by Janelle Kwietkauski
JK: Can you talk about the play of the defensive tackles so far this season as a group?
DT: We are getting better each week. Our best week was against Oregon (last week). I am very pleased with our aggressiveness. We are trying to come out and dominate play. We try to create havoc on the line of scrimmage. We want to knock them back. I think we are doing a good job, overall.
JK: Can you comment on the play of JulianJenkins, who currently leads the team in sacks and fumble recoveries?
DT: Julian had 10 tackles this past week. The move to the three-man front has been really good for him. There are real differences between a three-man front and a four-man line. On a four-man line, he's on the edge all the time. Now, he's up over the tackle. We use both a "bang" technique and a "slant and angle" technique so the offensive lineman isn't sure if we are hitting him or moving inside or outside. A guy like Julian benefits from being really strong, athletic and quick. Julian has really made a lot of progress and become a dynamic player.
JK: Can you talk about the play of BabatundeOshinowo, who has been solid up front?
DT: A really good friend of mine whom I used to coach at Oregon State with, Dan Ferrigno, came out to the parking lot after the (Oregon) game and said "We couldn't block (Oshinowo). We didn't have an answer for 96." That (the Oregon game) was the best game Babatunde has played since he has been here. He's very physical and relentless. He has all the tools of a great player. I thought he really unleashed those tools last week against Oregon. I'm very pleased. He set the bar high (with his play against Oregon). I would like to see him play like that every week.
JK: ScottScharff is also having a solid season. Can you comment on his play?
DT: Scott is deserving of such a good year. He's worked very hard. He's a heck of an athlete. I remember this fall during two-a-days, he got kicked or hit somehow, and he had two of his teeth knocked out. He had blood coming down the side of his mouth and everyone was looking on the grass for his teeth. He wouldn't miss a rep though. He went down to the doctor between practices and came out again for afternoon practice too. He has a lot of toughness. He has a big heart and a great work ethic. He has a really good motor. He's solid up front and really strong. He runs hard to the ball and makes plays all over the field.
JK: Can you talk about the play of WillSvitek, who is also playing well this year?
DT: Will had some health problems a couple days before our first game. Slowly but surely, he is getting back to full speed. He's getting stronger, and he's getting more confidence. He's a big strong guy that has added weight, which has helped his strength. I think he will really perform well over the rest of this season.
JK: You are also the assistant head coach. Can you talk about the play of the team as a whole from this vantage point?
DT: Sometimes our youth shows up. We are 4-3 but just 14 points away from being undefeated. It's been quite a year. The players are put in situations where we need to learn how to finish. This team has set high goals for itself. Some of those goals are still very much out there for us. We have to be able to finish strong over these next four games, which will all be tough. This team is a team that believes in itself. It's a very tight knit group. They have worked very hard. I'm very pleased with this team. They are fun guys to be around. I think we have a chance to finish strong, and we need to do that. They are great kids. This is still a young team that is growing and maturing all the time. We have a chance to do some exciting things in the last four games of the season.
JK: Stanford is playing UCLA this week. What are your expectations for the game?
DT: UCLA has an identical record (4-3) as us. They are young on defense and very explosive on offense. They have put up some big numbers on everyone. Defensively, we certainly have our work cut out for us. Our guys have always played well in that venue. The Rose Bowl is a fun place to play. We have a lot of players with Southern California connections that will be looking forward to getting down there. The UCLA-Stanford matchup has always been a great one. We will give it our best effort.