Football: Postgame quotes




On the final few minutes:

It was very exciting. It was a great college football environment. The fans were into it. It was awesome. The place was rocking. I can’t tell you how proud I am of our kids.


On Cal’s defense

The defense played unbelievable. That’s a potent offense. We shut the run down and did a great job. I can’t be prouder of those guys.


On the missed extra point near the end of the game

It just goes to show you all the details. … an extra point is very important. My blood pressure went way up.


On whether he considered taking a knee even though Arizona had two timeouts left

We couldn’t. They had two timeouts left. We had to run. We had to make a first down.


On Arizona’s run defense

You have to give Arizona a lot of credit. Shane ran hard. He broke a lot of tackles. He played extremely hard today. Shane was a workhorse today, no question.


On conservative play-calling down the stretch

We were going to stay safe. We were going to run the football. Actually, we were going to try to get the football in the center of the field right there but the play broke outside. You can’t tell a guy to fall down in that case. He might score on that. We hadn’t played very smart. We threw two balls down by the end zone for interceptions. We weren’t going to take a chance.


On Giorgio Tavecchio’s saving tackle

Great tackle. We practice that every week. He’s maybe the worst guy at it. He did a nice job. Practice pays off.


On Kevin Riley’s interceptions

He was trying to force it. The first one, we never throw to that guy in that route progression. He saw a guy running wide open but didn’t have his feet set and underthrew the ball. The next one, they brought a blitz off the edge and he was trying to throw the ball away. The middle of the field was open, but he threw it too high and let the safety peel back in. He was trying to throw it away all the way.


On Jahvid Best being an honorary captain

I had a meeting with him yesterday and asked him to go out to be an honorary captain because I thought it would be great for the fans to see him and kind of give their appreciation to him for our last home game. I thought it was very important for the fans to see he was doing well. He was up for that.


On playing for a field goal instead of a touchdown

There was no way we wanted to come away from there without points and go ahead. Anything can happen when you get down there. We weren’t going to take that chance. We were going to run some plays where we felt like we could possibly break it and get into the end zone or make a first down. But we were setting ourselves up to go ahead right there.


On the importance of the victory

It’s really important. You hate to walk around all week long with a knot in your stomach. I don’t think the players walk around with a knot in their stomach, but I sure do. But I think it’s great for the players to be able to go into the Big Game, as well as Stanford is playing, to go in with a win and a win that was like that. That win wasn’t easy. That win was hard fought. It’s going to be a battle next week.





On his interceptions

Those two interceptions were bad. The first one was actually worse. Second one, I was just throwing it over his head for a throwaway. Their safety did a good job of coming off his man right away. The smart play was to just throw it out of bounds. I didn’t think there was going to be anybody there. The guy did a good job of peeling off his man and recognizing early. I definitely have to play smarter.


On having Jahvid Best on the sideline

It definitely means a lot. It was great seeing him out there. He was supporting everybody. He’s part of this team. It’s just good to have him back. It was good to see him out there.


On the reaction to the missed extra point near the end of the game

Everybody is celebrating on the sideline, and I’m like, ‘Guys, we’re only up by eight.’ Our defense stepped up today. People had confidence that our defense was going to do the job.


On his block during a 9-yard run by Shane Vereen

That was probably the best play of the day for me. Originally, I was standing there waving my arms, saying, ‘Shane, throw me the ball.’ I saw him come back. The guy didn’t even see me, so it was an easy shot.


On the significance of the win

It’s huge. Arizona is a good team. Coach Tedford read us some quotes where they were kind of looking past us. It was great to step up and show them who we are.


On Nick Foles’ illegal forward pass

I’m glad that quarterback didn’t know you could throw it twice. I learned that last year. Last year, I caught a pass against Stanford. I didn’t know.


On the implications of his mistakes

Third quarter we had opportunities and I just took us out of them. It’s just something you can’t do, take your team out of a scoring situation. I have to be smarter when I’m throwing the ball away. That’s uncharacteristic of me. When it happens, you just have to forget about it and move on.





On Nick Foles’ illegal forward pass

I didn’t really know the rule, but I just had that feeling that you can do that. I didn’t know for sure. I saw Tyson (Alualu) hit it and he caught it. I thought he was going to run and he pulled up and threw it. Something didn’t feel right.


On the defense’s performance

As a defense, we had a lot of fun doing it. We were being really vocal out there. Everybody was jumping around. We were one unit out there. We felt unstoppable. We were getting a lot of three and outs. Everything was just clicking. That is something we want to continue for the rest of the year.


On defensive problems in recent weeks

We just felt like we weren’t performing to our ability. It was big to get a performance like that. It really brought a lot of confidence that is going to help us next week.






On the defense’s performance

I think we had an excellent game plan going in. We have a lot of belief in our coaches. We kind of had a different game plan that was special for them. I think it worked amazing.


On how the game plan was different for Arizona

Just knowing their personnel, the routes they run, their concepts, their formations – we had a lot of things to match that.


On defending the deep pass

That was definitely an emphasis this past week within the secondary. That’s just something we worked on with a lot of DB drills. We put in the work and it just really worked out. We stepped it up.


On Arizona’s final drive

We just had to do what we were doing all game. We were up so that took a little bit of the pressure off. There’s always a chance. They had a long way to go. We were just confident and fired up. We were ready for whatever and got it done.


On Nick Foles’ illegal forward pass

I didn’t know if it was illegal. I thought it might be when I saw him do that. We just tried to keep playing. That was huge for us. It worked out well for us.


On the defense being on the field a lot during the second half

Guys were huffing and puffing a little bit. It’s like, ‘hey, suck it up.’ We have to go. We have to get three-and-out. We can be off the field in three plays. That’s kind of the mood we had when we went out there. We had to step it up, and we did every time.


On having Jahvid Best on the sidelines

It was nice. We actually haven’t seen too much of Jahvid this past week. It was real nice having him out there. I actually didn’t know he would be out there. I was shaking hands and I turned and Jahvid was there. That’s cool. It was nice just to have him on the sidelines. Jahvid is a fighter. He’s going to be with us whether he’s with us or not.


On the mood of the defense after taking an 18-16 lead

As a defense, as soon as we went up 18-16, we just said it’s over. They’re not scoring again. We just had confidence as a defense.





On the mood of the defense on Arizona’s final drive

The defense’s mentality is if the game is close for a last two-minute drive, we want to be on the field. We like to know that it’s on us. We came out and performed well.



Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Pete Carroll

    The funny thing about Tavecchio’s tackle was his celebration afterward. If he hadn’t been kicking off so poorly they wouldn’t have been in that situation.

  • rollonubears

    yeah. but he’s gotten a little better as the year has gone on, and he booted so many field goals, he was essentially the reason we won the game. maybe his performance will help him relax and boot them deeper, but we need an stud kicker who wants to play as a freshman. shouldn’t be too hard to find that. we got lucky at times, but overall, i think it was a really impressive win. i’m kind of glad the big game actually means something for a change. for 15 years, it’s been fairly one-sided. them, then us. it should be a fantastic game. go bears. by the way, i thought i hated stanfurd the most, but i was so happy for them over the weekend, and so happy for the u$c beatdown. awesome.

  • MikeD

    watched a kid from Santa Margarita high school in the OC 2 weeks ago vs Mater Dei. Left footed kicker, #6 John Reisinger. He went to the goal line with each kick. He drilled a no-question-about-it 48 yd FG as well. Was very impressed and mentioned to the people sitting next to me that the Bears could use him right now. He played WR as well, great hands, avging 15 yds/catch.

  • Kevin

    I’m just a little bit concerned about Stanford’s return game against our extremely poor (for how many years in a row now??) kickoff coverage. I feel like they might return more than one kick for a TD.

  • BearItAll

    Pete Carroll – The Tavecchio tackle was actually made on a kick-off where he got the ball to the goal line, it was (yet another) kick return coverage break down that led to Giorgio being the only one between the UA player and the TD… Giorgio played pretty well on Saturday, compared to his previous body of work this season…

    If he keeps improving those kick-offs and can consistently get them to the 0-5 yd line, I’ll be happy…

    He’s still young (and pretty small) and has talent, it just needs to be groomed (not sure if that will happen with Alamar, but thats besides the point).

    Nice quotes though, thanks JO! A W is a W, and I’ll definitely take one over UA heading into the Big Game…

    Go Bears let’s beat the fUrd!

  • Calduke

    Regarding placekickers; Cal gave a scholarship to an outstanding kicker from Oc who is a freshman now.
    Giving a scholarship to a kicker is special and I expected this kicker to end the frustration for the next 4 years, but, where is he now?
    He hurt his arm(??) and has disappeared.

    The kickoffs are so negative for Cal; second only to the pass coverage.

  • BearItAll

    A Cal kicker is Pac-10 Special Teams POTW!!!!

    Giorgio takes home the honor this week, who’dathunkit????

  • Steve W

    In my view, the horrid downfield coverage of Cal’s kick-off team is THE most glaring deficiency on the team this year. Arizona was starting most, if not all, of its drives on the 40-yard-line or better on the kick-offs. I can’t tell from the television coverage if the guys aren’t filling the lanes properly or they are just slow of foot getting to the ball, or both. You can’t tell me the Bears don’t have the athletes to get to the returner and consistently make some stops around the 20 to 25-yard-line, even with Georgio’s weak kick-offs that are usually caught about the 5 to 10-yard line. Can’t remember the name of the special teams coach, but he should be putting the team’s best guys – starters included – on that kick-off team for the Big Game. Otherwise, it might cost a victory on Saturday.

  • Jan K Oski

    Gents, The problem on kickoffs is that Giorgio is hitting line drives. That’s why he was able to get the ball to the goal line with much applause from us. There’s no way any coverage team can make up for that. This still falls on Alamar who must go. I hope the major donors don’t let Sandy start for a few minutes while they chant, “Pink Slip Alamar! “

  • BearItAll

    Alamar is probably our largest coaching deficiency right now… There is the talent to get consistent special teams play, but it just seems guys are out of place all the time… Hopefully this is addressed, along with our sub-par OL play this year…

    Either way, excited for a good Big Game on Saturday and hoping for the win!

    Go Bears!