Post-Game Rally Interviews: USC

Tavita Pritchard soaks it in!

The Bootleg is proud to present some prime quotes from the unprecedented, impromptu Stanford fan celebration outside Maples Pavilion late Saturday night. The Bootleg's Daniel Novinson was on the scene getting the sensational story straight from the Cardinal's mouth, including Mark Bradford, Tavita Pritchard, Evan Moore, Alex Fletcher, Anthony Kimble, Pannel Egboh, Taylor Skaufel, & Coach Harbaugh

Bootleg Post-Game Rally Interviews: USC

WR Richard Sherman (#9)

The Bootleg: Richard Sherman, take me through that last play, that touchdown to Mark.

Sherman: "It was just pure excitement. I mean nobody knew what happened until the referee put his hands up. And then it was just crazy. I was just going over there screaming, everybody was going over there screaming, and the whole stadium was silent."

TB: Alright, you guys get that final pick, what's your first thought?

Sherman: "Party! Party, party, party! Everyone was going crazy, we rushed the field. They left before they even shook our hands, I mean there was nothing else to do."

TB: Do you feel like your offense kind of wore them down in the fourth quarter?

Sherman: "I definitely did. I definitely felt like we wore them down a little bit. I mean, we had one of the best fourth quarters we've had all season, so it was definitely exciting."

TB: Now, I know you think you can play with anybody, but when in this game did you really think you had a shot at beating USC?

Sherman: "Probably around the first quarter. I mean they weren't doing anything that spectacular, and our coaches had said it all week, they weren't that great of a team. They're real good, but they just have talent. They don't do anything that's that amazing."

TB: Talk about Tavita. You as a receiver, you get balls from T.C., you get balls from Tavita, what's the difference?

Sherman: "I mean, Tavita's just a little more mobile, so you got to be ready to move at all times. That's pretty much the only difference, they're both pretty accurate."

TB: How much does this change the future of the program? Thinking about recruits, thinking about coach Harbaugh, thinking about the future years here.

Sherman: "I feel like it will definitely change it. People will be a little more attracted seeing the things that we can do, people coming down will definitely help.

WR Evan Moore (#8)

The Bootleg: Evan Moore, so the final horn sounds, you just beat USC, what's your first thought?

Moore: "Honestly, my first thought is that I grew up in Southern California and it's been my dream to go back and beat them and my thought was we did it, we finally did it. That was my thought, honestly. Nothing real deep, just we finally did it. Just a great feeling."

TB: You've had a tough career here. It's been a tough four, five, six years here. How much does this change your whole Stanford career?

Moore: "It does. So often you hear stories of people that played college football, 'oh, we beat this team that time' and we've never even beat a ranked team since I've been here. This gives you that win. You can always look back and go, 'Hey, remember that time we beat 'SC in the Coliseum?' It's a memory that kind of cements it really. Really, it's unbelievable."

TB: Who do you think was an unsung hero? We saw Tavita shine, we saw that offense shine. Who do you feel is somebody that we didn't recognize, but really stood out today?

Moore: "Honestly, he shined and you guys probably thought he stood out, but I'm going to say it again though: Mark Bradford. Mark Bradford, he's battled through so much adversity, whether it's been injuries or family issues, and he's back out there and getting exactly what he deserves, because Mark's a great player and deserves everything that's coming to him."

TB: And how great does it feel -- I apologize for the student body, I know it hasn't been great the past couple of years - how great does it feel to come back tonight and feel like you're finally being appreciated for everything that you're doing?

Moore: "I mean, a game like that not only turns around your sport within your school, but also recruiting. The future of this program is going to go like this [shoots his hand upward] just because of one win. I don't even know what it means yet, we'll find out over the next couple of weeks though.

TB: When's the last time you had such a good day?

Moore: "There is no one recent memory as good as this. Football-related, nothing. Nothing."

DE Pannel Egboh (#91)

The Bootleg: Okay, so the final horn sounds, you get that last interception, you just beat USC. What's your first thought?

PE:  "I don't even know how to describe it. It's unbelievable. I didn't even think the game was over. I thought we had another quarter of play left. It was like the greatest feeling ever."

TB: When's the last time you felt this good about yourself?

PE:  "It's been a long time. Definitely not college. Maybe the Washington game last year, but this is by far the greatest win I've ever been a part of."

TB: I know you come into a game thinking you can play with anyone, but USC's an unreal team. When in this game did you really know you could play with USC?

PE:  "After the first snap. After I made contact with the offensive tackle and was like, he's human just like I am, he puts his pants on just like I do. From the first whistle, I knew we could beat this team."

TB: Let me ask you about that line. All-American, All-American, All-American. It's like they start five All-Americans. Did you think they lived up to the hype?

PE: "Their line was solid. I'm not going to talk down their line, but our D line really got after them and we obviously put a lot of pressure on their quarterback, made him throw some picks. We definitely as a D line played a good game. I'm not going to take away any credit from them because they played hard."

TB: Who do you think were some unsung heroes on the defense? Who really made the D click today, or was it just a team effort?

PE: "It was a team effort, but I'm going to have to give a shout out to Chris Horn, because on that blocked extra point I had, he was responsible for knocking the man back and allowing me to make the block. And that won the game. So he's definitely an unsung hero."

TB: How big was it to come back tonight and get this reception?

PE: "I haven't seen this ever since I've been here. It's just great to see that our fans support us and it's just a beautiful thing. We've just got to start winning more for you guys, and be expecting this."

WR Mark Bradford (#4)

On the final touchdown...

"It was the same play before and after the time out and it was the same play that we ran three snaps before where Evan caught it out of bounds. Before the timeout, it was to the right, but after they just moved me to the left. If they overload the right, then it's coming to me, and I saw I had single coverage, so I knew I was getting the ball."

On his emotions...

"It's bittersweet. It's my birthday at midnight [Sunday, October 7], and with my father passing, and with it being in my hometown it just means so much more. I dedicated the game to my father, and when you dedicate a game to someone, you know you've got to win."

G Alex Fletcher (#60):

The Bootleg: How good does this feel? This has got to feel amazing.

Fletcher: "Man, it's just unbelievable. It just keeps getting better, to come out and see all these fans support us, it's awesome."

TB:  Did you have any idea you were going to get a reception like this coming back?

Fletcher: "Not at all. I was just taking it one play at a time during the game and trying to finish. It was nice."

TB:  You guys beat USC. What was your first thought?

Fletcher: I don't know. I don't have a thought. It's just surreal right now.

TB:  40-point underdogs, I know you believe for every game, but seriously, did you come into this game thinking you had a shot?

Fletcher: "You know what? I did. I knew we had a shot. I always talk to Chris Marinelli and the right side and I was like 'we're better than anyone in the country on the right side and we got to prove that' and then we proved that today."

RB Anthony Kimble (#5)

TB:  I know you always feel you can play with anybody, but take me through when you really knew in this game you could hang with USC?

Kimble: It was definitely our defense that stopped USC time and time again, especially in that second half. It was just a whole team effort from defense to offense to special teams, especially in the second half. But it was a great game, a great team win.

TB:  Talk about Tavita.

Kimble: "For a first start in the Coliseum to come out like that, that's just unreal. It was great, man. He really showed what he can do and he's going to be a great player for a long time. He was real poised, real calm and came out and did great tonight."

TB:  What about your running game today? You had a bunch of nice runs and looked like you wore down that USC defense a bit.

Kimble: "I felt like they wore down, they definitely didn't come expecting what we brought to the table tonight. I thought they felt like we were just going to roll over, but we came out, played a whole game and didn't quit, and got the 'W' at the end."

TB:  What about that fourth quarter? 17 points. Did you feel the tables kind of started to turn?

Kimble: "Yeah. We came out, finally got some things going on offense. Receivers made plays down the field and we pulled it out. It was a great win."

TB:  All right, last question for you, that touchdown pass, just take me through it.

Kimble: "Tavita to Mark. I saw it go in the air and I saw Mark go up and get it and honestly, I went into shock. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if it was a touchdown or not. I saw the referee put his hands up and it was just a great play. Tavita made a great throw, Mark made a great catch."

TB:  Final horn sounds, you just beat USC. What's your first thought?

Kimble: "We just made history. We just made history."

QB Tavita Pritchard (#14)

TB:  When did you know you had a chance today?

Pritchard: "I think we knew we had a chance all week. Being a football player, being a competitor, you always have to believe you have a chance. I think we knew it all along."

Take us through that last touchdown pass to Mark.

Pritchard: "Oh man. They were overplaying Evan a little bit, so I saw Mark on the backside and he was single-covered. And I know he's a great receiver, a great athlete, and I knew he was going to make a great play on the ball."

You had a tough first half. Take me through just staying calm, staying focused, believing in yourself.

Pritchard: "It took me a little while to get acclimated to the game, and after the first half, I started doing better and just got more comfortable."

How does this feel?

Pritchard: "This is awesome, man. I haven't anything like this since I've been here. It's incredible. I can't even explain it."

How does it feel to be part of one of the biggest upsets in college history?

Pritchard:  "It feels great. We prepared all week, some of us prepared our whole lives. It just feels great to be able to do something like this."

Tavita, what are you going to do tonight?

Pritchard: "I don't even know man. Celebrate with my teammates!"

SS Taylor Skaufel (#40)

TB: Taylor, Front page of ESPN.com, front page of NewYorkTimes.com, SI.com…

Skaufel: "Wow, that's ridiculous. I just can't even fathom how big it is right now. That's just ridiculous!"

TB: You were on the field for the final pick. We pick off that ball, Bo falls down, what's your first thought?

Skaufel: "My first thought was, what did we just do? Then I realized, we just beat 'SC. We beat the number two team of the country, probably one of the biggest upsets of all time. I was jumping all around. Bo had that pick. I was jumping all over Bo, hugging everybody I saw. Everybody was just going crazy, well, the 'SC fans were dead silent, but everyone on the sidelines was going crazy."

TB: What was the mood in the locker room after the game?

Skaufel: "Everybody was going around hugging each other, just saying good game. I think I got a hug from every single one of the coaches. We did this chant in the locker room, like "Whose house? C-House." ["C" for Cardinal.] I don't know, everybody was just in the best mood that I've ever seen them. It was awesome."

TB: I know as a football player you are coming into a game thinking, heck, we can play with SC, we can play with anybody, but when in this game did you really know, wow, we can really play with these guys?

Skaufel: "You know, it was just holding them on defense. Going into the half 9-0, at that point, everyone was like yeah, we really can take them. Because we weren't giving up anything on defense and the offense ended up coming up huge in the second half, just a phenomenal job. So we were just like, guys we can do this. Everyone believed, the whole sideline, the whole second half, you could just tell, was like 'Oh, we're going to get this.' And that fourth down and ten that Tavita ended up throwing to Mark to win the game, I think everyone on the sideline knew it was going to happen. I'm just so glad it did."

TB: What happened on that sideline when he completes it to Mark?

Skaufel: "I don't know if you've ever seen a videotape, a lot of times when there's a big touchdown and everyone just jumps up at the same time. I'm pretty sure that's what happened. The whole sideline jumped. I couldn't believe it, I was just running around, everybody was running around. It was almost more chaotic than happy. It was just… basically indescribable."

TB: Couple of tactical things. I felt like first half, they were running it a little bit, the second half, not so much. Was there an adjustment to stuff the box and say Booty's going to beat us if Booty's going to beat us, but they're not going to run over us?

Skaufel: "To tell you the truth, we really didn't have too many halftime adjustments. We had maybe one. I don't even remember it too much, it was just like blitz a linebacker on someone. I mean, it wasn't anything too big. Our gameplan in this game was pretty basic. We just went out in our 'base' package and played football. And we ended up coming up with the victory and doing really well, it was awesome."

TB: So you were just playing 'base' the whole game, it wasn't anything special?

Skaufel: I mean, of course there were some blitzes in there, but to tell you the truth, it was just 'base' for the most of the game. I mean, we had a nickel package for some long distance downs, but it was just base defense most of the day."

TB: How big was it to go into halftime with that goal-line stand, that fourth-down stuff?

Skaufel: That fourth-down stuff, that was super important. I think that completely swung the whole momentum of the game, because if they had gone in with a touchdown at the half, I think that would have given them a whole lot of momentum, but with us stopping them and them scoring no points when they were in the red zone, I think that completely shifted the momentum to us and it carried out to the second half."

TB: What about a couple of guys, maybe some unsung heroes, defensive guys that made it work?

Skaufel: "On the defense, it's really about everybody. Everybody has to do their assignment. Because if you have one broken assignment, that's when it's boom, 80 yards. Everyone, I mean you could tell the d-linemen, you could tell they were getting penetration in the backfield and so they were doing amazing. 'Goose' [NT Gustav Rydstedt], Pannel Egboh. Linebackers were doing a great job stopping the run. I mean we were doing a great job stopping the run with our front seven, which really helped out a lot. Clinton Snyder. And then our DBs came up big. I think four different DBs had a pick, we had four picks in the game. Bo McNally. Austin Yancy had a 'pick-six' for a touchdown, which was incredible. That was ridiculous. But everyone contributed in this game, and that's what was really awesome."

TB: When is the last time, I don't know if you can remember being this proud of something you accomplished.

Skaufel: "I don't know to tell you the truth. Winning a Little League World Series in sixth grade was pretty cool, but upsetting the number two team in college football, especially my freshman year. Wow. I don't know if I can compare anything to this right now."

TB: Just as a recruit, you went through this all last year -- I think a big reason Stanford hasn't been doing so well the past couple of years is because we don't have enough of the players who are going to beat USC, going to beat UCLA, going to beat Oregon every single week -- so having just gone through recruiting, how big is it, how much can it change a program, a win like this?

Skaufel: "I think it's huge. I remember Coach Harbaugh saying we're going to have people calling. Because people want to go to a program that is going in the right direction and I think that this win really showed that Stanford Football is going in the right direction. It's not going to be the old Stanford football that a lot of people talk about, that loses a lot and stuff, but I really think we're going in a positive direction. Hopefully, this year, we'll go to a bowl game. That's what we're all hoping for, what we're playing for right now. But yeah, I think this win will definitely bring us some big recruits, which is awesome."

TB: So heading into next week, the goal is very much six wins, the goal is very much a bowl game?

Skaufel: "Yeah. That's what everybody wants. It's always been our goal since the beginning of the season to go to a bowl game. There's no reason to shoot for anything less. So let's do it, let's go."

Head Coach Jim Harbaugh

Rally Speech:

Harbaugh: "Thank you. Thank you. I got to tell you, we're riding on the bus and I told the players, I know there's some kind of gathering here, we got off the bus and a lot of the guys commented 'yeah there's probably a few of the parents', but this is unbelievable! Thank you so much. I'll tell you, I've never been so proud to be associated with Stanford as I was today for two reasons. The 'SC student body and 'SC crowd, they were behind their team, but you should have seen our people. You should have seen our students, our band. You guys are the best and we love you. The second thing, and this goes to our players, who are all here, I know a lot of you may have experienced this, but so many times in life, you got people telling you 'you can't,' you've got people telling you no. One hundred times 'no', 100 times you can't. Today, today our players said 'yes'! We beat USC! (Crowd chants: "Whose house? OUR house!")

With reporters afterward:

Harbaugh: "How does it feel? It feels great. It feels great. This reception by our students, I can't tell you how much it means. It feels so great to come back and see our students and I love them. They make me proud to be associated with Stanford."

Was the win or this reception better?

Harbaugh: "They are both great. They are both great. This is the icing on top of the cake here."

Did you ever think that this soon in your career here at Stanford you could pull off one of the greatest upsets in the history of college football?

Harbaugh: Well, I'll tell you what, it was a group of players today. They were told they couldn't, they were told there's no possible way, they were told 'no' 1,000 times but they said 'yes'. Yes they can."

You've got to take some credit for this, no?

Harbaugh: "No, no, it all goes to the players."

"Thank you! I'm a senior, you have no idea how much this means to me." - sign posted on a freshman football player's door


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