Nov. 3, 2004
Senior tight end Alex Smith
is featured in the 11th installment of a weekly column of player reports that lets Cardinal Commitment
readers in on the thoughts of Stanford football players.
Wilson and his Stanford teammates are looking to get back on track for a possible bowl berth when Stanford (4-4, 2-3 Pac-10) plays at Arizona State (6-2, 3-2 Pac-10) in a game to be televised live by Fox Sports Net this Saturday, November 6 (4:30 pm, MST; 3:30 pm, PST). The Cardinal, who has lost back-to-back games for the first time this season in its last two outings versus Oregon and at UCLA, needs to win two of its final three regular season contests to reach the six-win mark and become bowl-eligible. Arizona State leads the all-time series over Stanford, 12-8, but the Cardinal has won four of the last five contests played between the squads, including last year's 38-27 win at Stanford Stadium. The only Arizona State victory over the Cardinal in the last five meetings between the teams came the last time the club met at Sun Devil Stadium in 2002 with ASU winning 65-24.
In addition to the Fox Sports Net telecast of the contest, live audio broadcasts can also be heard on the Stanford flagship station KNEW 910-AM, KZSU 90.1 FM and gostanford.com, as well as on the Stanford Football Radio Network (KFIA ... 710 AM, Sacramento ... KPSI 920 AM, Palm Springs ... KUIK 1360 AM, Portland).
CC: After a tough loss on the road at UCLA last Saturday, what's the attitude of the team as it heads back out on the road to take on Arizona State this Saturday?
AS: The guys just want to get back out there and get this game under way. We are a little bit concerned because we didn't execute the way we needed to against UCLA. We plan on having a good week of practice, and we'll get everyone on the same page so that we can go out and register a victory on Saturday.
CC: How important is it to go on the road and post a win over a ranked team like Arizona State?
AS: It's very important. I really feel like that is the type of win that can get everyone on the team back on track and headed towards our goal. Arizona State is a very tough team and Tempe is a hard place to play. I'm eager to get out there and see what we can do.
CC: Can you explain what your role in the Stanford offense is as a tight end?
AS: I'm asked to do pretty much everything. I have to block, pass protect, and go out for routes. I try to do as much as I can in the offense when called upon.
CC: You need one more reception to tie the Stanford career receiving record for tight ends. What are your thoughts on breaking the record?
AS: It's something that I'm not paying too much attention to at this moment in time. I'm more concerned with getting wins in our three upcoming games. But, it will be a great accomplishment if I'm able to achieve it. It would be something that I would be extremely proud of. Down the road, I'll be able to look back and see that it's a great feat but right now it doesn't hold as much importance to me as winning does.
CC: As a senior, do you feel that you have a role as a leader on this team?
AS: I definitely have a leadership role. We have a great senior class, and we're called upon a lot to lead the younger guys. I feel like we've done a good job so far, and hopefully we can step it up even more now and have a strong finish to the season.
CC: Can you speak about the influence that (tight ends coach) George McDonald has had on your play?
AS: He's a great coach and it's too bad that I've only had one year to play for him. He's always helping me out in practice and finding new ways to challenge me. He never lets me be satisfied, and it's been great to have him around. I've learned a lot from him in the short time that he's been here, and I feel like I've improved.
CC: Your father, Edwin, played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos. What has his influence been on your football career?
AS: From the very beginning, he's given me tips and feedback as to what I can work on. He can take things from his experiences and apply them to what I'm doing. Having him in the stands every week is great because he can see me play and critique what I'm doing.
CC: You have black belt in Tai Kwon Do. How does that help you on the football field?
AS: Honestly, I've probably forgotten most of it. But, the footwork and discipline that I learned from it has really helped with my play.
CC: Can you speak about the progress of some of the younger tight ends that are coming up on the squad?
AS: Matt Traverso is playing a lot, and he has definitely shown a lot of promise. Michael Horgan is a sleeper, and he'll probably break my record by the time he leaves Stanford. We have a lot of young and talented tight ends, and I feel like the Stanford tight end tradition will continue long after I'm gone. I'm excited to see them play.