The game was scheduled three years ago when Troy Taylor was the Head Football Coach at Sacramento State. By the time the game was played, Taylor was the Head Coach at Stanford with Andy Thompson on Hornets’ sideline after serving as Taylor’s defensive coordinator. The first-year coach got the better of his mentor in an upset win over the FBS opponent for a 22nd straight regular season win. Thompson reflects on the upset and how his team recovered from an early deficit with the game possibly getting out of hand. The Hornets excelled in all three phases of the game to come away with a 30-23 victory in the first meeting between the schools since 2010. Thompson and the Hornets must keep the game in perspective as they ramp up for the Big Sky Conference opener at Idaho.
The Dave Lewis Show
Sac State's Andy Thompson after upset of Stanford in college football
"I have a lot to learn. Everyday, I learn something new...There weren't nearly as many interviews or a lot more cameras but behind the scenes everyday, I try to stay in a routine because you are responsible for more things. That's been the biggest challenge--making sure I'm the head coach and that I'm here for everybody in the program and not just one side of the ball as I was before. It's been very rewarding to be around so many great people that are trying to help you. Our staff has been awesome. We've hired some new guys that are great. The guys that were here--we've formed a bond we share that is very strong. And just working for a guy like Mark Orr, who's been there to help me through everything as the Athletic Director. I don't feel like I'm doing this alone.
On getting to play with the Kings, Ford's hometown team: "It's amazing to have everything come back full circle. To be back in Sacramento it's crazy because as a professional, you don't exactly where you're gonna play. I've played in Greece; I've played down in L.A. For me to be back is such a super rare situation...I'm super blessed and grateful I can end up back in my hometown."
"Where it hit me the most was our intro running onto the field. The corner of the end zone and the tunnel we came out of--it was like deja vu because I remember vividly running out of that tunnel being introduced for my first start in Vegas. My first game was the first game of the Vegas franchise and I was the starting quarterback for that game. When I came out of that tunnel, it was 'Dalton Sneed for the Vegas Knight Hawks.' Now, I was standing in this tunnel and they were about to call us out...It's amazing how life works and comes full circle. I was a part of that team and it felt like in a blink of an eye I was back there in that tunnel standing in the same spot thinking 'Wow'. The only words I had for it were "Wow, I'm about to run out of this tunnel and play for a national championship."
On working with Gary Radnich: "There's something he said when I first started that resonated with me and still does even today. He said if you want to make a niche in this market and if you want to be a presence in this market, you do something where you walk up to somebody and go 'name something that somebody did that you remembered.' And If they rattle off stuff then you've done your job."
"I won the starting job over a real good player who was the starting quaterback the year before. And I was playing my old school, Bella Vista High School, in our very first game. On my first pass, I threw an interception. One of the assistant coaches on the staff...wanted to pull me to get me out of the game and put the other quarterback in the there. In fact, I was standing there as he told (Head Coach) Max Miller to go with the other quarterback. I'll never forget it. It was a turning point in my life. Max never even looked at him and said, "Troy's our quarterback. I went back in and we had an unbelievable year. It really changed my life.