The focus of Tuesday’s media luncheon was understandably how Cal will deal with what everyone knows is an inferior opponent. Eastern Washington is one of the better teams in the FCS (ranked No. 18 nationally), but they don’t seem to have much of a prayer on the road against the Bears.
I won’t delve too much into it here, because my notebook for tomorrow is focused on it. Here’s the link that is already on our website. Safe to say Cal’s players said all the right things and dont’ appear like they will overlook the Eagles.
To their credit, Eastern Washington has played against a handful of FBS teams in recent years. In fact, they went on the road to play both Colorado and Texas last season, and only lost to Colorado by a touchdown.
Much of the discussion also focused on last Saturday’s game, as we relived Jahvid Best’s fireworks, Kevin Riley’s four-touchdown performance and Marvin Jones catches. I already posted Jeff Tedford’s transcript from today, so I will move on to what some of the players had to say:
LEFT TACKLE MIKE TEPPER:
On playing in his first game since the ’07 season: “It was amazing. I was pretty excited. I’ll be honest, I was kind of nervous. I haven’t had those kind of butterflies in awhile. You get those butterflies when you play your first couple of games. It was really weird.”
On what he expected from himself: “I knew I did well in practice and in camp, but can I play in a game really well? I kind of had to see if I still had it.”
When he finally got comfortable? “I had to play a full game before I got comfortable. That’s one of my biggest flaws is that I get comfortable in a game and then I’ll make a little mistake that will really end up hurting our team.”
For the complete audio of what Kevin Riley had to say today, click here.
LINEBACKER DEVIN BISHOP:
On not starting but still playing a lot: “However I can help the team out, that’s the way to go and i’m going to follow 100 percent. I had no problem with it at all. I got in and still did alright.”
LINEBACKER JARRED PRICE:
On making the transition from JC ball: “The transition was kind of difficult because at Blinn (College)I didnt’ really do anything but put my hands in the ground. Up here, you have to drop into coverage. There is alot more you have to do.”
On his sack celebration: “However I’m feeling at that point in time, whatever celebration comes to mind, that’s what I do. I don’t rehearse it, it just happens.”
On the attitude of the defensive line: “Our coaches have installed the no-loaf mentality, hustling after the ball. See ball, get ball — real basic.”
On the team’s linebackers: “Our linebacking corps is pretty solid. They may not be as tall as everybody was last year. I think they’re a little faster than last year’s group.
LINEBACKER MYCHAL KENDRICKS:
On continuing Cal’s legacy of linebackers: “There were linebackers that left and that was a big hole, but it had to happen sometime. People leave and people step up in their place. It was our time and we had to rise to the occassion. It worked out.”
INJURY UPDATE: Reserve tight end Spencer Ladner has been diagnosed with a strained left knee and is expected to miss a minimum of three weeks. Ladner suffered the injury during Saturday’s game.