If you’ve been following us for a while, you probably know we try to keep things short and sweet. gridirongirl’s newest blogger, Stacy Ortiz-Luis and I traveled to Los Angeles to cover Media Day, a great experience to say the least. With several hours of interviewing material, there was a whole lot of fun material to talk about, but it’s still summer after all, so we’ll just stick to some highlights.
1. Oregon has been tabbed to win the -12 Title in a pre-season media poll.
2. The PAC-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott, urged PAC-12 fans to drop Direct TV and switch to a cable provider that offers the PAC-12 network. This urging comes after a long, unsuccessful attempt to reach an agreement with Direct TV.
3. When asked about the starting QB position, WSU Coach Leach stated, “If we were to play today? If we were to play in a couple of months, I don’t know, but today, Connor Halliday would be the quarterback.”
4. Cal Coach Dykes responded to criticism by Alabama Coach Saban in regards to up-tempo offenses. “When you spread the field out more there is more space and less of an inclination for somebody to fall on somebody else and I think you could make the argument that traditional style, smash mouth football is much more of a health detriment to student athletes than playing spread or up-tempo football, and I think we all need to make sure we get our facts straight before we start making any assumptions.”
5. Washington Coach, Steve Sarkisian talked about last year’s 7-6 record not being indicative of how good the team really was. In regards to Austin Jenkin’s recent legal trouble, Coach Sarkisian stated he’d be with the team at Fall Camp. He feels Jenkins has handled himself well throughout the ordeal. He added that he isn’t naive to think he doesn’t have 105 sons between the ages of 18 and 22 that aren’t going to make mistakes at times.
6. Oregon State Coach Riley discussed Weaknesses and Strengths moving into the season. He feels the loss of key players and the interior of the defense is the biggest weakness at this point. The strength: Brandin Cooks and Rashaad Reynolds.
7. Changes to Oregon’s 2014 passing game are still a bit of a mystery. When asked about an increase in the pass game, Coach Helfrich said “We want to score. We don’t care about the method. If Ifo has a pick six, I’m all for that. If we throw it or run it or kick it, I don’t care.”
8. When asked about the new Tackling Rules being emphasized this year, Stanford OL, Shayne Skov talked about his own play staying the same. He talked about the players being properly trained and not wanting to injure other players. When asked who is favorite target was last season, he said, ” I think it’s a team sport,so as a line backer the correct answer would be anybody that’s got the ball because otherwise I’m just wasting energy hitting people who aren’t going to make an impact on the play.”
9. Colorado WR, Paul Richardson, discussed being sidelined last year and what he learned from that experience. He said it was a humbling experience, but during the off-season, he’s focused on getting stronger, gaining weight and getting healthy to prepare for fall camp.
10. Not making it to a Bowl game seems to have affected Utah pretty deeply. Coach Whittingham talked about it being the first time in several years the team did not play in a bowl game. He added that players were texting him saying how disappointed they were and how they never wanted that to happen again. In terms of weaknesses moving forward, Coach Whittingham said the Cornerback position needs attention as does Place Kicker, Punter and Long Snapper.
11. Arizona WR, Terrence Miller was asked about WR Austin Hill being out with an injury. He stated “It means everybody else has to step up. I have to take a bigger leader role in the room and the younger guys in the receiving room have to step up. He’s a big part of our receiver room, but we’ve got to make up for it.”
12. In regards to the loss of Robert Woods to the NFL, USC Wide Receiver Marquise Lee dubbed WR Nelson Agholor being the solid replacement. He stated, “I think I can look over and see him being Rob.”
13. gg blogger, Stacy Ortiz-Luis made PAC-12.com headlines when she asked ASU QB Taylor Kelly about his drag racing hobby and how his coaches feel about it. As he tried answer very cautiously about how he’s now focused on football, Coach Graham interrupted and humorously replied, “Bothers me a lot”, while the crowd erupted in laughter.
14. In regards to UCLA’s Freshman Quarterback, Brett Hundley, Coach Mora said, “Brett has all the tools to be a great player. He’s not a great player yet.”. He went on to describe his strengths and weaknesses, but believes he will make progress and has all he needs to be a great player at this level, and the next.
That’s a wrap! Stay tuned for more specific highlights from Oregon and UCLA! There’s plenty to talk about trust me!