Pac-12 football: Stanford, ASU players compliment Utes
Los Angeles • His 34 wins in three seasons are evidence that he knows football, but@CoachDavidShaw also has some sage thoughts on social media.
Shaw said he and his staff not only monitor their players’ Twitter feeds, but that he stresses the importance of keeping some aspects of their life out of the digital realm. For their sanity’s sake.
Social media has been "the best and worst thing for a lot of young people," he said Thursday in the lobby of Paramount Theater, as reporters tweeted his thoughts. "There’s such potential for so much damage to be inflicted on other people, so much damage to be self-inflicted, by what is done and said on social media."
He’s not only worried about the Cardinal program getting a black eye, but about the overall negativity in the world. Why go on Twitter to have a personal conversation or to share minor gripes, Shaw wonders?
"Let’s not let the world in on every single thing that goes on in your life," he said. "I try to remind [players] sometimes. I have to tell them: Myself included, our day-to-day lives are not that interesting. Nobody needs to know what I’m doing every 10 minutes."
L.A.’s new kings
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley said he saw few Los Angeles residents wearing blue when he arrived a few years back. That’s partly what compelled him to become a Bruin.
"Everybody can go to Alabama and just be another player," he said. "I wanted to be a part of something special."
He’s on the verge of doing just that — with Heisman buzz surrounding himself and linebacker/running back teammates Myles Jack — but head coach Jim Mora said Thursday that his staff tries to emphasize that they’ve done nothing yet.
Exhibit A: They’re 0-3 against Stanford. Exhibit B: They haven’t won a Pac-12 championship.
Incognito in Seattle
New Washington coach Chris Petersen said he never felt like he had to leave Boise State — "the grass isn’t always greener," he reasoned — but eventually felt like "growing and stretching myself a little bit."
To do that, he had to expose himself to the likes of Pac-12 media.
But, ironically, the notoriously spotlight-averse Petersen said he’s actually more under the radar when he walks the streets of Seattle than when he was in Boise, where everybody knew his face.
Graham’s O is cracking good
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham said his offensive line is more physical, his skill players are faster, and his team’s as close-knit as he’s been around.
Altogether, "This is the best offensive team I’ve ever coached."
On the other side of the ball, though, the Sun Devils lose nine starters. It was no surprise that of all Pac-12 teams, they were the only one without a representative from the defense.
Utah taught Stanford a lesson
Stanford safety Jordan Richards said last year’s loss to Utah showed the Cardinal that "days off" are not an option. Competing for a championship involves "being 1-0 on every Saturday."
Ivy League of the West and all, Stanford should’ve already known that. But they simply failed to make tackles as Utah hit them with a flurry of first-half swing passes.
"That should be 2-, 3-, 4-yard gains, and when you miss a tackle it becomes nine, 10, 12, 13, and the chains just move down the field," he said.
Wilson has Elite company
While both served as counselors at the prestigious Elite 11 camp for the nation’s top prep quarterbacks in Oregon earlier this month, Travis Wilson and Oregon State’s Sean Mannion became fast friends.
The 6-foot-5 Mannion said he’d already met Wilson after games, he was taken aback to see up-close how much shorter he was than Wilson, listed at 6-foot-6.
Asked to describe Wilson’s game, Mannion said:
"He’s a real good runner, real good athlete, and he’s got a strong arm, too. I only see him getting better and better from this point on."
Douglas has high praise for Utes
Asked about the competitiveness of the Pac-12 South with USC on the rise and UCLA among the favorites to reach the first-ever college football playoff, Arizona State offensive lineman Jamil Douglas inserted the Utes into the discussion.
"Like you said, you’ve got UCLA, USC, us, and don’t count Utah out," he said. "They’re good as well."
Douglas noted that Utah beat Stanford, who beat the Sun Devils in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and he credited Kyle Whittingham’s defense.