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Jim Harbaugh Press Conference

Jim Harbaugh – Stanford head coach

“Well everything has been as advertised, better than advertised really. My son Jay was down here with Oregon State and gave high reviews. From that aspect, from the time we were welcomed off the plane, to how we’ve been treated by all of the Sun Bowl personnel and everywhere we’ve been has been better than advertised.”

“There’s a lot of dynamics but that one (Gerhart versus Oklahoma defense) specifically is going to be tough for us. Oklahoma is as solid a football team that we’ve played – there are no weak spots. When you start talking about our run game versus their run defense it’s quite apparent to us that this is a game where we’re going to out scheme our opponent. Their first two, three steps into the gaps are very, very explosive. Very impressive front seven.”

“As we’ve looked at it we’re going to have to play our best game of the season. There’s no way to fall back on out scheming, out finessing, out tricking; it’s going to have to be, really, our best game of the season in terms of how we fit in the run game, how we pass protect, how we run routes, how we get out of breaks (and) where we throw the ball. The location is going to be critical, it’s a ball-hawking defense they’re very opportunistic. They just do everything right defensively.”

Is Luck definitely out and if he is, does it change offense?

“No it doesn’t change our offense or what we do. We have a lot of confidence in Tavita Pritchard and total confidence and trust in the ways he is going to perform and play. It hasn’t changed our approach at all. We’ll find out on Andrew; he’s getting the pins out today (Dec.28). We’ll see what he can do this Thursday.”

It’s in his right hand.

“I think the reason it happened in our family is because of our dad Jack Harbaugh. Coach (Bob) Stoops would probably say the same thing. We respected our dads so much and watched them every day and watch how they lived their lives. There’s just something obviously there that we wanted to emulate. Even after a lot of tough losses and times he (Jack Harbaugh) would just come home and go straight to his room and we wouldn’t see him till the next day, but somehow he woke up with a smile the next day and attacked each day with an enthusiasm unknown to man. (There was) something about his life that we wanted to emulate.”

“Try to do as many things right as we possibly can as it relates to building a hard-nosed, tough football team. Being about the team, number one, first and foremost. The team, the team, the team. Having each other’s back. If there is one thing one man can give another man; it’s having his back. There’s thousands of little things, all the things that most people don’t think are significant are really the things that add up to make all the difference in the end.”

“I really don’t consider myself an expert, at all, in that regard. We’re the guys trying to research it. We’re trying to implement a plan and put that on the line on Thursday and see if we know what the heck we’re doing or not. When you’re a player you’re just going things day by day. To us this is our most important game of the season and we hope we play up to that level.”

“The production hasn’t been what we want. We haven’t been a dominant defense, we have not fought the way we want to fight on defense and play with the confidence that we’d like to consistently. That’s definitely an area that we have to play better, we have to shore up.”

“We’ll find out. We’re going to have to play with great hustle. We’ve got to play physical. This is physical team we’re playing against; we have to rise up to that level. There’s a ton of challenges on a lot of levels playing the Oklahoma Sooners. Our guys, I don’t anticipate that they’ll be intimidated in any way and they’ll be ready to kick it off. We’ll be able to tell a lot early in this football game.”

“I have no idea. He is really wired with some gifts of God. God really blessed him in so many ways. … He carries himself in this very humble manner. I think deep down he knows he’s a stud, he knows what he brings to our football team but you never hear him say it. He always shows and talks about his teammates. He is the real deal as a person, a student and as an athlete.”

“Like a second dad; giant of a man as a person and as a coach. He’s done so many things for thousands of players that played under him and hundreds of the coaches that played under him. A footprint was left by Bo Schembechler that few men that have walked this Earth have done.”

“You know I never thought of it that way. I mean, I know we got four losses and there were a couple we shoulda, coulda won; that stuff but we didn’t. We try to learn as much as we can from them and improve the things that caused us to lose those games and take the positives and build on those. All of those things have gone into who we are right now. Going forward after Thursday, we’re only going to be as good as the game that we played in the Sun Bowl. It’s all or nothing, we’re ready to roll the dice on that.”

“One thing was eliminate some of the self doubt the team had the prior years; the negative thoughts. Play with more confidence and eliminate the negative, what’s going to happen kind of stuff. Play in the moment. It took a lot of work to get there, a lot of practice and work by the players. They deserve all the credit.”

Courtesy: Sun Bowl

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