Post-Game Quotes: Stanford 45, Notre Dame
Stanford/ND Post game with Toby Gerhart, Andrew Luck, and Richard Sherman
RB Toby Gerhart (#7) on the
"We had to score. We had six
minutes, five minutes, we wanted to end the game with the ball in our hands and
when we had an opportunity like that we did not want to be denied. It was a good
drive all around. The offensive line got after them, I was dying. I couldn't
breathe, but we finished in the end zone and that's what we wanted to do, make
it tough on them and the defense stepped up on the last play and we came out
Gerhart on his surprise
touchdown toss to Ryan Whalen…
"We had been practicing it once a
week. One time a week I get a shot at it and I kind of just threw up a prayer.
In practice it's always wide open and in the game they had a guy whose back was
turned and it was fourth down and I just kind of threw it up there and he (Ryan
Whalen) made a great play!"
Gerhart on his previous
"I think I was 1-2 in high
school. I threw one for a touchdown and one I just threw out of bounds because
the guy was covered. I threw it way out of bounds, like into the stands, because
the guy was covered."
Toby Gerhart on today's
performance and his Heisman candidacy…
"It's a team game. It was a good
all around game. It was one that people want to see. It was high-scoring, the
defense stepped up, and the offense stepped up in the second half. I played well
enough to win the game, help my team win. I don't know, it's not up to me, it's
up to everyone else to invite me or whatever so I just went out and tried to
help the team win"
QB Andrew Luck (#12) on Toby
Gerhart and the Heisman race…
"Toby's way too much of a great
guy and too humble to say anything about himself, but how can you not at least
invite him to that (NYC). He put his team on his back, he's the man. He makes
everybody in the locker room behind us a better player. He makes my life a whole
lot easier. The things he does, how fast he is for being his size. That one play
where he ran over the safety kept the drive going. It's unreal, it's hard to
describe in words. I think he deserves it."
Andrew Luck on Gerhart's
reaction to the halfback pass play-call…
"I didn't see one [a
reaction]. We practice it a lot during the week and I was like 'that's an
interesting call', but I liked it. It was ballsy. I'm sure he was confident.
Whalen made a heck of a catch, like I'm sure Toby will say, but I didn't see his
Toby Gerhart on Notre Dame
possibly allowing him to score on Stanford's last drive…
"I think so. I think they wanted
to get the ball back and have one more opportunity. They all just kind of
stepped out of the way. It was kind of anti-climactic."
Andrew Luck on the two-point
conversion to TE Jim Dray…
"It was a play-action. We had run
so much power down by the goal line - we were trying to get them to
bite on the power and then kick it out into the flat or in the corner behind the
flat to the tight end or to Owen. Jim was just sort of running a clear-out to
pick some guys or get some other guys open but they played it well and Jim just
ran so I looked back to the backside and threw it up. I have a lot of confidence
in Jim Dray making plays. He had a great catch on a third down earlier in the
game. He did his job and I put the ball in a good enough place for him to make
Toby Gerhart on
post-game celebration on the field…
"It was mayhem. It was a good way
to go out. It was the last game for a lot of these guys and to celebrate a win
with your teammates with all the students and the fans. I don't know what to
say. I'm still excited and I was getting shaken and I couldn't hear
anybody talking - it was just crazy! That's the way it should be, that's
the way to finish a regular season and that's something I'll always
CB Richard Sherman
(#9) on the defense growth and development this year…
"Yeah, it is an incredible
feeling. As a defense you always learn as the season goes on, you get more
comfortable with the scheme. With the offense you can do it every time
- you can practice plays, but on defense until the other team comes out,
you can't really get the same look you'll get in the game. As the season
progressed I think we got better and better and personally, I think I got better
with my technique and had a lot tighter coverage. Today I gave up a pick
opportunity and could have made some plays, but didn't."
Sherman on the transformation
from 1-11 in 2006 to a 8-4 record in 2009...
"Toby and I came in together and
he was here every day and those were rough times. Any time you go 1-11
and you come from high school not knowing what to expect with a team that went
5-7 the year before. You don't know what to expect. That's rough, but you try to
build on that and every year we have won more and more games. I've been
confident in my fellow players and we've all grown as a team. The senior
leadership has been great and even the seniors before helped build this base for
what we have now, this 8-4 season, I give all the thanks to the people who came
Sherman on Golden Tate and
"I mean, Jimmy throws a great
ball. You have to give him all the credit in the world and you also have to give
credit to Golden Tate because he goes up and makes the tough grabs you have to
make. Jimmy's a great quarterback. He's obviously NFL- caliber and he's going to
make it to the league and he's probably going to get picked up high this year if
he chooses to go - and so will Golden. They’re great athletes and when you
have great athletes on the field, you try to contain them. You try to do what
you can to stop them, but it's always difficult."
Richard Sherman on the
defense's fourth quarter stops…
"Basically we looked each other
in the eyes and said, “Man Up!” We looked at our d-line, our linebackers, our
defensive backs, "Man Up!" We know #7 (Gerhart) is going to take us to the
promised land. All jokes aside, he'll take us. He'll take us on his back and I
have a front seat, so all we have to do is make some stops. That's exactly what
Luck on the sense of
accomplishment he feels after finishing the regular season with a big
"I'm very happy. I'm just glad to
be a part of this team. I think
we've come a long way offensively from the start of this year. We've started to
figure out how to win close games and finish the tight ones. It's a lot of fun
and I feel very comfortable."
Gerhart on breaking
the 2001 team's record for total points…
"I think we're just a
dangerous offense. All year long, week-in and week-out Coach Shaw
always says that we stop ourselves. It's hard for us to "get stopped". And
whenever we do get stopped, we do it to ourselves. Penalties, turnovers things
like that. We just stuck to our system and got better each week. Our offense is
dangerous. You got Luck, dangerous receivers, an awesome offensive line, the
Tunnel Workers Union, and we have the capability to put up points every week. As
the season progressed, we got better and better and kept putting up points and
this is something that, as I said, we'll all remember. We'll all go down in the
history books temporarily, I'm sure we'll get better and better and break it
(the single-season scoring record) next year but for our moment of glory, this
is something we'll all remember."
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Post-Game Q and A
"That is 'finishing'. That is
'finishing'. Our players played a great second half and just played their hearts
out the whole game. So many individual performances that were outstanding,
starting with Toby, Andrew, Ryan Whalen, Jimmy Dray - incredible,
incredible job, just not being denied. Chris Marinelli, playing a on a high
ankle sprain the whole game, usually you're out for six weeks with those
things, but so many guys…Michael Thomas, Delano Howell throwing his body around,
Nathan Whitaker - you can imagine the emotions Nate was feeling all game
and to step up there and play brilliantly, placing kicks, kicking the ball into
the end zone, just so many guys like that."
On Toby's play...
"Well he's made that statement
the entire year. He sure did it tonight. It was incredible to watch. A
phenomenal football player, one of the best I've ever been around."
On beating ND, USC, and
Oregon down the stretch run…
"Yeah, it was some kind of
stretch to have on your schedule. I though our players did a great job, just
handling success, handling adversity, rising from adversity, handling rewarding
times, they just kept plugging away and I think it all starts with the seniors,
those guys who have been around here for a long time and have seen it all and
have seen all of Stanford Football for the last five years. It's really been
their fire, their desire to win, that has fueled this team."
On Marinelli playing through
"He wasn't able to practice until
Thursday and he just gutted it out, toughed it out, never said a word about it,
just said he was fine, ready to go. But, I mean, anybody who has had a high
ankle sprain can tell you that's a tough thing to play on."
On potentially icing the game
by further running the clock on the final scoring drive…
"Yeah, we did, we talked about
it. It was definitely a prudent option, taking a knee on first, taking a knee on
second and trying to run it in on third with very little time left in the game
and, if we didn't get it on third, then kicking it on fourth. We talked about
it, but decided to just put the foot on the gas and go.
On not running out the clock
in that situation…
When it doesn't work you're able
to second-guess that too, but this time it worked. That was definitely a prudent
option to take the knee and all that, but a lot of things can happen on a field
goal, it just takes a little bit of a muffed hold and those don't work all the
time and aren't fool-proof. I know everybody thinks the other option is the
fool-proof one until it isn't - then you say "Why didn't you do the other?"
Just proud of our guys, we don't lose any confidence in our defense, put
a TD up there…I don't think I need to say anything else to explain it.
On his post-game interaction
with Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis…
"Just the customary. Said
congratulations and great game."
On the defense making
critical fourth quarter stands…
"The second half I thought we
played better defensively. Not the way we want to play…we have some work to do
but fortunately we have some bowl practices. We've never had that before around
here. That's like 15-20 practices where you can get better. That's a great
advantage teams have had over us. That's like another spring ball 'plus'."
On Toby's touchdown
"Pretty much all year we've been
practicing that. Sometimes it's looked good, sometimes it hasn't. Coach Willie
Taggart suggested it and we went with it. It as covered well – it was a
perfectly thrown ball. I think Toby was kind of just throwing it up and putting
it over the defender's head and then Ryan made an incredible play and
fortunately we got the interference call as well - but Ryan picked it
On the possibility of a run
option on that play…
"It's a straight pass. It's a run
if it's covered. But it's not an ideal run because people are
On Toby Gerhart's Heisman
"I think he's said it all…he's
really said it all with the way he's played. He's been about it - he
hasn't talked about it. He's just gone out week after week and been 'about
On whether he will talk with
Toby about #7 heading to the NFL…
Yeah, we'll talk about it. He's
such a great player. I assume he'd be a high pick, but we'll talk about it. I do
expect to be accompanying him to the Heisman Trophy presentation in New
On this 2009 season…
"Really proud of our guys
mostly...They've fueled this. It was their fire that fueled this. I
am proud of them. 8-4 is a heck of a season and we've got another game to
On taking over a 1-11
"When I first met them, the
positive that I noticed was that they were a group that was tired of getting
their butts kicked and I knew we could work with that. That was the starting
On possible bowl
"They all sound terrific to
Notre Dame Coach Charlie
On the loss…
"It was a microcosm of our
season. You know when we're up 38-30 and then they come down and score and then
they go for two to tie. You figure, “Here we go again.” Then we move the ball
some and then get stopped on that rd & 1. They move the ball
down there and were forced to do something and then we go, “What are we doing
letting them score?” I figured it was the only way to get us an opportunity to
get it down there and score. We get it down to the 30 yard-line with an
opportunity to get it to the end zone, but with the way things were going today,
crazier things have happened and we just played short…It's just the way this
year has been."
On Jimmy Clausen and Golden
"The both of them are just
awesome. They put in phenomenal performances. Everyone was wondering if we were
going to show up or not and they did. They certainly answered the bell."
"They had some long drives in the
game. We'd punt them down there, get them down there at the 12 one time…At
the end of the day, they were very efficient on offense and good enough to beat
On Toby Gerhart…
"He's a big physical runner.
Everyone thinks he just runs North-South but they run him to the edge a lot on a
toss or a toss-sweep. When he gets to the edge, you're in trouble."
On the Irish Special
"They made a game-changing play
there. When we were down 7-0, they got us the ball there on the 16-yard line and
set up our first score. We weren't going to let Owusu beat us on kickoff
returns. We realized they might get some field position, probably a little more
than we wanted them to get. But we were rolling, trying to get them to the
30-yard line, just not to give them a potential game-changing play."
On ending the
"I feel really bad for the
outgoing players. I think too many times we forget that these guys are kids.
There's a bunch of 22-, 23-year-old young men right there, finishing out their
careers, losing the last four games. They feel miserable and I feel miserable
Notre Dame QB Jimmy
On losing a close game to
"It's difficult. We were talking
in there, and it's just close games. To be honest with you, we didn't finish.
For whatever reason, I've been trying to find the answer all season long,
especially these past few weeks…It's hard, I'm sorry. It's frustrating. It seems
that every time we lost a game by a touchdown or less. I'm a real competitive
athlete – you know it's just really tough.
On potentially coming back to
"To be honest I haven't sat down
with anyone. The season is over now, I'm going to sit down with Coach Weis, my
family, and you know, take it from there."
Coach Weis’ message to the
players after the game…
"You know, we're just going to
keep that in the locker room, but you know, he just told us he's really proud of
us and the way every single time that we're down that we are fighting back,
never giving up. I give Coach Weis and all the coaches a lot of credit for
sticking with us through thick and thin. It's just tough not being able to
finish those games and get those W’s. Like I've told you all many times, the
reason why I stepped on campus was because of Coach Weis. To be honest, I
wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for him. I've got to thank him, his
family, Charlie Jr. for everything they've done for me."
On potentially going to a
"I'm going to talk with the rest
of the captains. Obviously we want to go to a bowl game; it's like a vacation.
But we've got to talk it over with the captains, the rest of the team, and take
it from there. We have a meeting on Monday with the captains the leadership
committee, and then a team meeting, so we'll see from there."
On the black eye…
"You guys have talked about it
for a week or so. You see my eye right now, but to be honest - I'm just
really disappointed and sorry for those seniors. The last game of their careers
and we couldn’t finish it off."
On the black eye's impact on
"No, not at all. I was out there,
you all saw me practicing. We just went on with our business. We had a real good
week of preparation."
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