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Football: Postgame quotes

By Jonathan Okanes
Sunday, October 4th, 2009 at 9:52 pm in Last game tidbits.

Here is a sampling of what was said in the interview room following Saturday’s loss to USC:

COACH JEFF TEDFORD

 

On the loss

They played better than us. They stopped the run. They put pressure on the passer. We didn’t execute very well in the passing game. We had some chances to make some plays in the passing game and didn’t do a very good job of it. You can’t be one-dimensional. You’re gong to have to be a total football team in order to be successful.

 

If Cal was one-dimensional against USC

We were zero-dimensional today. We couldn’t run it and we couldn’t throw. We moved the ball OK at times. We got down to the red zone and we turned the ball over in the end zone. Give SC credit. They’re a great football team, no question about it. Their defense is one of the best in the country. You have to give them a lot of credit. But there were chances for us to make plays out there today and we didn’t make them.

 

On the team’s morale

We’re gong to find out. I have confidence in these guys. We’re going to prepare well. I don’t know what’s going to happen against UCLA. All I know is I have a lot of confidence is that we will prepare well and have good attitudes. There’s a lot of football left to be played. We’re still 3-2. There’s no way in the world we’re going to fold out tents. I don’t believe that. We’ll have a great bye week. We’ll get healthy.

 

If USC is that much better than Cal

They are that much better than us if we don’t execute, if we don’t throw and catch the football and protect the passer. We have to make plays.

 

On Kevin Riley’s play

Kevin can play better and we can play better around him.

 

If there will be competition at quarterback during the bye week

Kevin is our starter.

 

On how Cal can improve the passing offense

Keep working at it. Do what we do every day and continue to have faith in each other and just keep working. That’s all you can do. You can’t talk about it. Talk is cheap. We’re going to work to get better.

 

On the field goal attempt at the end of the first half

We wanted to put points on the board. There were 12 seconds left and I didn’t want it to be a situation where somebody caught the ball or we got sacked and we came away without putting points on the board. I thought it was a nice drive. We moved the ball down the field nicely. We just missed it.

 

On whether he should yell at the team

We need to work hard. I’m never going to scream and yell at the guys. I’m never going to do that. They don’t deserve that. They play hard. I get e-mails saying you should chew them out. I’m not going to do that. I’m going tom motivate them and we’re going to work hard to get better and create a positive environment to get some confidence going.

 

 

 

SAFETY BRETT JOHNSON

 

On the team’s morale

Two straight losses is kind of tough but I think we have the right group of guys to get the ship righted. It’s a long season. We still have plenty more Pac-10 games to play and there’s still a lot to get out of the season.

 

On failing to live up to expectations so far

We definitely had a lot of expectations. We just kind of haven’t been able to put it together these past two games. It happens to everybody. Rarely does anybody go undefeated in the Pac-10. We knew it was a hard conference, a hard schedule. We just need to bounce back from these two losses and get the ship righted.

 

On where the team goes from here

Fortunately we’re going into a bye week. It will give us a lot of time to reflect and look in the mirror and see what we need to do individually as well as as a group to perform better. Hopefully it gives us time to make all those adjustments and come out strong against UCLA.

 

On concerns this could be another 2007

There’s always that concern. Like I said earlier, we don’t have the same guys we had on the ‘07 team. The ‘07 team had a lot of different guys with different mentalities. This team has better personalities and guys who won’t let this drive them down.

 

On his belief in the team

We know what we’re capable of. We know what we can do. We have the personnel as well as the game plan to do it. We just have to put them together. We haven’t been able to do that the past two games. We just need to get that done.

 

 

 

QUARTERBACK KEVIN RILEY

 

On whether he’s frustrated

I’m very frustrated. We moved the ball. We have to get it in the end zone. I missed a lot of big opporutniti9es. There’s not less confidence in our offense as a group. We know we can move the ball. We have to finish. That’s all there is to it.

 

On getting the ball in the end zone

That’s just something you have to do. You have to work on your fundamentals to get better. We have to go out and practice this week and work our ass off to get better. That’s all there is to it.

 

On how much of it was USC’s defense

I’ll give them some credit but a lot of it is on us. We had chances. They did a good job when we got down toward the end zone, but a lot of it is on us.

 

On the importance of finishing drives

If you want to win games, you put the ball in the end zone and we’re not doing it right now. We got down inside the 30 I don’t’ know how many times. I happened a lot of times and we couldn’t do anything with it.

 

On whether the interception at the end of the first drive hurt morale

I don’t think so. It was definitely new not the way you want to end a good drive like that, but we knew we could move the ball on them. We just have to find a way to put it in.

 

On his confidence

I’m fine. I just have to play better. You can have all the confidence in the world, but you have to go out and do it.

 

On whether it’s surprising they’ve gone two games without a touchdown

We have athletes all over the field. I think that’s the hardest part, not getting the ball in the end zone with the players we have. `

 

 

 

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR BOB GREGORY

 

On problems early

I think we pressed and played a little bit tight early. We missed some tackles because we were trying so hard. We left our feet early and put our heads down. But I think we calmed down a little bit.

We just calmed down and they got in the flow of the game a little bit. They settled down and played hard.

 

 

 

NOSE TACKLE DERRICK HILL

 

On where the team goes from here

After two losses, we have to go hard. We don’t want to have a scare like we did a few years ago.

 

On if his belief in the team is shaken

We’ve put too much work in to let two games throw us off. To sit here and say our hope is down is not going to happen. It’s only going to make us stronger. Adversity is the best thing for a team. You see what you build from it. I’m looking forward to building off this adversity.

 

On the concern of a repeat of 2007

More than anything, we’re a family now. That’s one thing I can honestly say with all my heart is this team is a family. Everybody is going to keep their head up. If someone has their head down, that’s what leadership is for. We don ‘t want to make it like it was two years ago. We want to make sure we stop it right where it’s at right now.

 

 

WIDE RECEIVER JEREMY ROSS

 

On the passing game

We all just have to execute. If everyone focuses on doing their job, I think we’ll be successful passing. That’s what it comes down to, everyone focusing on their task. Once we do that, the passing game will start clicking.

 

On whether it’s a surprise they haven’t scored a touchdown in two games

It’s real surprising. We have a great offense. We have a lot of speed and a lot of guys who can make big plays.

 

On the frustration of not being able to keep defenses honest

It’s frustrating. Jahvid is a great player and has a lot of speed and makes big plays. He’s a big part of this offense. When we can’t get him going, it is frustrating.

 

On whether his belief in the team is shaken

It’s not shaken at all. We are still confident. We still believe in ourselves, even with two losses. We know what we’re capable of doing. We know what we need to do to get back on track. Just tighten up some loose ends and prepare a little bit more and I feel like we’ll be fine.

 

 

 

TAILBACK JAHVID BEST

 

On whether USC had too much speed on defense

They weren’t that much faster. We felt like we had control at some points of the game. It just wasn’t happening for us. We’d make one mistake and we’d kill the drive.

 

On whether he would have like to been more involved

Yes and no. I can’t argue with the coach’s decision. Whatever I get, I have to make do with it.

 

On the interception that ended the first drive

It did bother us, but the good thing we got out of that is we could move the ball pretty quickly. So we felt pretty confidently about that.

 

 

 

 

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  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I will pray for this team. They sound like good kids. I hope your fans will also pray for them. Not to be ranked at all, not to have a chance at the Rose Bowl, not to have a good QB, not to have confidence that your team can score a TD etc etc isn’t something that is easy to accept graciously and with class. I am not trying to rub it in.

  • HOUSE

    Yes the players are stand up people, they are not selfish in anyway shape or form. Tedford has done a great job not just coaching football players, but stand up citizens.

    As for praying for us because we are not ranked or have a shot at the rose bowl, that’s a little much dont you think. Only 25 ranked teams and 1 rose bowl slot, were in the majority right now, not the minority. Shouldn’t we be praying for USC, because they have all the pressure on them now?

  • George Watson

    Well, I for one won’t be leaving. I’ve been a CAL fan and around since Craig Morton – through Mike White, etc. – and what I’m advocating for here is change for the better. Oh I will chart the team the rest of the season, follow it on its downward spiral, hope that they will at least play against odds, but I won’t desert. Nope, not for anything. The “ship” may be sinking and it may suck right now, but it’s my “ship.” So farewell, you sunshine soldiers and fairweather fans. If that’s all you got, take it, fold it in five corners and stick it in the Trojan where the sun don’t shine.

  • Eric

    I think all true Cal fans will support the team, even if supporting the team means banging on the drum of finding a new head coach. I am definitely of the belief that until Tedford goes, Cal will not win a Pac-10 title.

    As for the other Pac-10 teams, I think true Cal fans very much would like to see parity in the league, if nothing else because more parity generally results in recruiting parity. Thus, I am rooting for Oregon to run the table, which will get it into the Rose Bowl, bring respect to the Pac-10 as being the one conference that has true depth from team 1 to team 9 (WSU is hopeless this year), and will assist Boise State getting into the national championship game. And I am hoping every other Pac-10 team finds a way to beat each other so that there are multiple two-loss teams. I predict U$C will lose at least one more game. Other Pac-10 teams will take advantage of all of the stuff our coaching staff gave away.

  • George Watson

    I, too, would like to see the Ducks plant the Trojans into the stadium turf on Halloween. (PS I think WSU is better off than CAL, since nobody has/had expectations of them. The Bears fell from a much greater height of expectation – and that hurts more.)

  • Dan

    I don’t think Sandy Barbour would let Tedford go this year unless we lost every game the rest of the way (which right now, feels possible- not probable, but possible). The team would have to lose most of the rest of the games, ala 2007, and then have a very subpar perfromance next year. If that happens, she would not have a choice. Sandy Barbour has done a tremendous job, but she did give Ben Braun several bad, losing seasons before finally pulling the trigger. By the time she did that, she was at a point where she had no choice. I think that is what we would see regarding Tedford. We will not see a Florida/Ron Zook scenario- by the way, despite the fact that Ron Zook is probably one the 5 premier recruiters in the nation, he just isn’t a great, or very good, coach. Back to Tedford, I am not screaming for his firing, but there is a LOT to criticize, and I have have seen issues going back 4 years. It has just all come to a head now in the worst case scenario. Even if Barbour has to make the very tough, painful decision at some point (no matter how poorly the team has done), that will be only half of the solution. She HAS to get a slam dunk replacement. Chris Petersen’s name has been thrown around a bit on here- he would be a slam dunk, no brainer. Can’t really think of any other genius move right now in the Sarkisian mold. By the way, Chris Petersen is a no doubt, slam dunk, no brainer only if he is bring Justin Wilcox along and a good chunk of that stuff- and would hopefully keep Ron Gould and Tosh Lupoi. Well, there then- I have waaay too much time on my hands with waaaaaaaay too much Cal Bear analysis.

  • George Watson

    I’d be really happy if Tedford changed and made his way into 21st century college football coaching, but just don’t think it can happen. The guy is who he is, does what he does, and doesn’t change. (Talk about reading press clippings and placards: Jeff, you are definitely NOT God.) I think the guy is basically conservative in respect of football and, until he changes – which is probably just this side of hell freezing over – we got nada. I think the Zook analogy is really good: good players at Illinois, high expectations at the beginning of the season. Players play definitely below capacity and seasons are mediocre at best. Good guy and all that, but will do nothing in the Big 10. (FLA upgraded getting rid of Zook. They soared well beyond that with Meyer.) I still think Petersen wouldn’t come to CAL.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    What happened to Jan Oski’s swan song post? Where did GoldenBear’s post go? JO – I think it is perfectly fair for your readers and the fans of this team to voice their displeasure. They support this blog in good times and they should be allowed to during the bad times. Look I want to say I know how it feels to have lost in such an embarrassing, totally lopsided contest in not just one but two games in a row. However to say I understand it would be lying. I did see and hear from a lot of disgruntled High end donors on Saturday night and I did notice how many fans left the game with their eyes turned to the ground when they walked past me talking with one of our USC coaches. I even prayed for your coach on Sunday morning as instructed by my friend. If you beat pucla I think your fans will loosen up a bit. So let the disgruntled post on here. It’s only fair.

  • BluenGold

    MikeD- Are you out there? I downloaded Greasemonkey and the user script for IE but the script does not seem to be working. I cannot get it to open so it works with GM. Can you help or offer any suggestions? I really hope so, because otherwise I am going to have to stop logging on here. I can’t stand moron posting here any longer.

  • BluenGold

    Hi Jake,

    I hope so too. It downloaded just fine, but when I tried to load the user script onto Greasemonkey, I got an error message about no domain name or something. It is very frustrating to have to keep reading the garbage that moron keeps posting while knowing that so many others have been able to block it.

  • Pug

    The UCLA game poses another challenge for Tedford. I believe he has never won a road game in Los Angeles? Is that correct?

    If so, he better figure out how to win one in two weeks.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Pug

    If your team loses to pucla (and unfortunately it will) what would it matter? He is locked into a contract until 2015. You will have to have at least 15 million reasons to let go of him. Norm Chow will put together anoffesnive game plan that will exploit every single one of your weaknesses. Watch how Embree and their tight ends will be open all day long. I also look for Carroll to strtch the field at least once.

  • covinared

    Moren: When you state that you pray for a team you have disparaged incessantly, you are lying in the name of

  • covinared

    your god and taking his name in vain. You are using your religeon to mock your god’s children and cause them distress. Clearly, if your god has power over your afterlife, you will answer for this and may spend your enternity alone with vengent Cal fans in hell. If you are sincere, please spend your prayer chits on someone other than those who make millions coaching or playing football, or those who get free Cal educations to play football.

  • Larry

    My post got deleted too, but I expected it to be deleted.

  • MikeD

    BluenGold – post something on the script site and I’ll work to support you there