Citizen Staff Writer
Ask University of Arizona football coach Mike Stoops about how to defend a zone blitz, but don’t ask him about the effect the team’s 4-1 start is having on the community.
“I am not on campus very much walking around,” Stoops said. “There are a lot of people wondering what we are going to do. I don’t know about the vibe around town. For me it is here, go to the practice field and home.
“I’m sure people are excited about what we are doing. Probably cautiously optimistic would be a good way of putting it.”
You have a good read on things, coach.
It’s a girl
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh spent the beginning of this week in the waiting room, not the film room.
His wife, Sarah, gave birth to a baby girl at 3 a.m. Tuesday.
“Everything is going well,” Stanford defensive coordinator Ron Lynn said.
Win or else
Stanford banked on having success this year. If it doesn’t, the price will be costly.
The Stanford administration’s slogan for season tickets this year was, “We guarantee you’ll like it or your money back.”
The refunds have to be requested by the Nov. 15 Cardinal home game against USC. Stanford is 3-3 this year and playing much better than last season.
Reunion of sorts
Harbaugh was a no-nonsense, steady quarterback while at Michigan in the 1980s.
He moved the chains and helped Michigan to a Rose Bowl under then-coach Bo Schembechler.
Stoops, while a defensive back at Iowa, went up against some Wolverine teams.
“I remember Bo Schembechler,” Stoops said. “I played against him. That tells you how old I am.”
It was as players that Stoops and Harbaugh started to learn what it would take to be a coach.
“He is a tough, hard-nosed guy,” Stoops said of Harbaugh. “We come from similar backgrounds. I think our styles of play are very similar and what our message is to our players.”
Harbaugh’s Michigan teams won two of the three matchups against Stoops’ Hawkeyes.
Last week, Washington defended tight end Rob Gronkowski as if it was convinced he couldn’t beat the Huskies.
After Gronkowski scored three touchdowns in the 48-14 win over Washington, Stanford won’t make the same mistake.
“I don’t know if it is impossible, but he is as tough as you can get,” Lynn said. “I don’t know many guys who match up physically with what he does.”
Gronkowski, who is being compared to Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez by the Cardinal staff, has eight catches since recovering from mononucleosis. Five of those are for touchdowns.
“He is a big son of a gun,” Lynn said. “He is a huge (player) going up against usually smaller guys.”