Post-Game Interviews: ASU, Part II

Injured T Allen Smith supports the Card defense!

Part II of our post-ASU game quotes from an obviously very disappointed Cardinal locker room. The Bootleg's Daniel Novinson toughed it out in a less than comfortable environment filled with frustration and considerable soul-searching by the Stanford players and staff.

Bootleg Post-Game Interviews: ASU, Part II

DT Levirt Griffin (#99):

Griffin: "We got to the quarterback, got some pressure, but we just need to finish better overall, I think, as a defense." 

On the surrendering of big plays... 

Griffin: "I don't know if I can pinpoint one thing, but it definitely was a momentum shift." 

On going down to play USC next Saturday... 

Griffin: "Definitely going to get ready for them this week, get a good week preparation." 

On the difference this week... 

Griffin: "We had a few little breakdowns that turned into plays. I would say it's 'the little things'." 

On what the line can work on...

Griffin: "We all can get better at technique. Little things. Assignments."


G Alex Fletcher (#60): 

On the difference in the run game between this week and past weeks... 

Fletcher: "When you get in a position where you get down early, you put yourself in a position where you have to pass. And that's what it came down to today. But we didn't execute well on our run-blocking. We couldn't really get things started, and when we did, we put ourselves in positions with penalties and things like that, where we just set ourselves back." 

On whether it was ASU showing different looks... 

Fletcher: You know, ASU showed us looks, but I wouldn't put it on ASU, I would put it on us." 

On whether the loss of tackle Allen Smith was a major factor... 

Fletcher: "You know what, last week, Allen Smith played three plays, and we played very well. And when you're part of an offensive line, I've been part of an offensive line three years now, starting... It's not one person, it's five guys. You have to get five guys on the same page and five guys playing well together. If you have two good players, if you have three good players, you need to get all five guys going and you're only as good as your weakest link. Yes, Allen's a good player, but we played pretty well, ran the ball pretty well. That's it." 

On whether the problem was "mental"... 

Fletcher: "You know, it is mental, but you put yourself in a position when you're down, you have to pass the ball. What are you going to do, run the clock out? We put ourselves in that position and that's it." 

On how the pass-protect fared...

Fletcher: "When you pass the ball as many times as we did... I thought we pass-protected well. I have to see it on film. They brought a lot of twists, they brought a lot of blitzes, brought the safeties a couple of times. It was kind of just get back on your heels and see what you see because they were bringing guys at us." 

On playing USC next week... 

Fletcher: "If we come out and play the way we did the time against Oregon, the time against UCLA, the time against San Jose State, we'll be fine. Those guys are human, those get slow starts, those guys have problems and when we get out there, we're going to go and fight, and that's all we can ask of each other."


DT & Co-Captain Chris Horn (#95):  

On the defensive problems... 

Horn: "Some were assignments, some were missed tackles. Little things, nothing big, stuff we can definitely correct." 

On the positives of an improved pass rush... 

Horn: "Yeah, we did put some pressure on the quarterback. That was one of our goals this week and we definitely accomplished that. But those big plays killed us." 

On the rest of the season... 

Horn: "The leaders have to step up and show everybody we have got to come back from this. It's four games into the season, we've got eight more. We've got a lot of games, and it's not over yet." 

On the first half... 

Horn: "Yeah, we played well. Yeah, they're a good team. We stopped the run real well. We made them throw the ball. Once they threw the ball, we brought some blitzes and were able to get some sacks. The turnover [Sims' INT] was big."

On whether the scheme was to stuff the box...

Horn: "We were more concerned individually, just plugging our gap." 

On whether the second-half collapse was fatigue... 

Horn: "I don't think it's fatigue. I think it's little mental breakdowns. Those little mental breakdowns are killing us. To allow a 70-yard run, mental breakdown. Somebody was supposed to be outside and they weren't, so they hit it. The pass, the same way. Miss a tackle, and no one was there, so little things."


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