Jarek Lancaster’s safety dance proved premature. He came running out of the Oregon State end zone, hands united above his head, looking for anyone to high five. Then came the whistle and the ball was placed at the OSU 1-yard line.
Lancaster, among others, was stunned. And there still has been no explanation as to why Lancaster (and Trent Murphy) were denied the two points.
“We watched the film. I don’t know how it wasn’t,” said Lancaster. “But I’m not going to question it. He [the official] was very certain they were down on the  yard-line. It was a sack, I’ll take it. Anytime we can start a game with a sack is nice. But I was hoping for two points. I was running around with my signal up.”
The play in question came on the first offensive drive of the game for Oregon State – too early for a red flag.
“You never know what’s going to happen later on,” Lancaster said. “It wasn’t challenge-worthy.”
The Stanford campus can be humbling. Even though ESPN’s College GameDay is coming to town and there is a palpable buzz on the Farm, there are bigger things at work, said head coach David Shaw.
“There are spots on campus where businesses are being created,” Shaw said. “I talked to a doctor on campus working toward curing cancer. Stanford vs. Oregon is not high on his list. He’s going to be at the game. But he’s got a lot to do between now and then.”
Drawing on experience
Shaw said he’s digging deep into his bag of coaching experience in order to prep for this week’s game against the Ducks.
“I spent four years at Baltimore playing against a Mike Nolan defense and a Rex Ryan defense. I’m talking about the off season and you are trying to get through a spring practice against Rex. Every single play is a blitz. He called that a base defense. You learned how to diagnose your own offense against the worst possible looks.”
Not his game
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was asked if he's ever wanted to run the type of offense that Oregon puts on the field instead of the pro-style offense.
“Not really,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve been sort of happy with being in this offense. I don’t think my skill set would be too suited for what Darron [Thomas] is doing up there.”
Grass vs. turf?
It doesn’t matter what surface Oregon is playing on, the Ducks are fast, according to Shaw.
“They are fast everywhere,” he said. “We can play on sand and they are fast. I’m not trying to do the thing where you hype up the competition. Grass, turf, it doesn’t matter. You are all playing on the same surface ... it’s not like we’re on turf and they are on grass. It’s about playing good team defense and corralling them.”
BCS … blah, blah, blah
Shaw got the requisite weekly question about what he thinks about his team’s place (No. 4) in the latest BCS standings. And Shaw gave his requisite we-don’t-care answer.
“It’s a TV show,” he said. “It’s an entertaining TV show. I had it on … at the same time, it has no bearing on what we do on Saturday. They could put us at three, they could put us at two, they could put us at 10. We still have to play Oregon. It doesn’t matter.”
Injured linebacker Shayne Skov continues to mentor the young linebackers who replaced him following a season-ending knee injury against Arizona. This week, his advice to players is to let the excitement build and not get too amped up midweek.
Easier said than done. During his meeting with reporters, Lancaster looked like a 13-year-old boy on a post-Halloween sugar high.
“I’m ready to go right now,” Lancaster said. “I’m trying to stay even-keeled, but it’s impossible. It’s a pretty special game.”