Football: USC quotables


 On why he didn’t replace QB Kevin Riley in the second half:

“He gives us the best chance to win.”


On if he felt his team was well-prepared:

“I thought we had a good week. You have to give SC a lot of credit. They got after us pretty well.”



“We really couldn’t slow them down on offense. They pretty much went up and down the field. In both phases of the game, offense and defense, they beat us soundly in the first half.”


On whether Kevin Riley gives Cal the best chance to win the rest of the season:



On whether having a big deficit is a good time to play the backup quarterback:

“We needed to do what we needed to do to move the ball and put some points on the board. At that point, we needed to have our guys competing hard and put some points on the board.”


On if he wanted Riley and the first team offense to experience something positive:

“They don’t want to end at halftime like that. They wanted to get out there and keep fighting.”


On whether USC did anything defensively that surprised them:

“They did in the first half. They did some things that they hadn’t done that early in the game to get pressure on the quarterback.


On dropped passes:

“We had some chance to make some plays. We have to catch the football. He hits guys right in the hands where we could have made big plays and get us out of a hole. Somebody has to make a play somewhere.

“Everybody has to do their part. It’s very easy to point at the quarterback. People have to make plays where there is time to make plays.”


On USC’s offense:

“There’s no questions it’s the best offense we’ve played. They can do it all. They’re very, very talented on offense.”


On safety Chris Conte:

“Chris played very hard, there’s no question about it. He left it all on the field. Right now, he’s spent in the locker room. He gave it all he had and played very well.”


On how his team will respond:

“I have a lot of faith in this team. This is one game. Obviously, the first half was a first half that we’ve never dealt with like that. There’s character on this team. I believe the leadership will surface next week and we’ll get back to work and get ready for another opportunity next week.”



 On whether USC surprised them at all:

“They did a lot of the same things that we practiced. We didn’t make some adjustments on the field that we probably should have from an alignment standpoint. You have to give them credit. They did a nice job. Or guys didn’t make a whole lot of plays today.”


On if his players were shellshocked:

“I really didn’t sense that. We had some mistakes out there, obviously. But I felt like we were ready to play. I thought we had a good week. I felt like the guys were locked in. I felt like we just didn’t’ make any plays early to give us a lot of juice on defense. Then it just kind of snowballed from there.”




On falling behind by so much so quickly:

“They made a couple plays and we didn’t. They got the start that we wanted. They jumped us quick. We tried to get going from there. We had one drive going and that pick just ruined that drive and gave them opportunity to get more points on the board. We couldn’t really get going.”


On the offensive problems:

“They made some plays but I think a lot of what we did is on us. You have to credit them because they put us in the situation to make it on us. Fourteen points is not what we expected at all.”


On his interception right before halftime:

“I was thinking about throwing it in the dirt, which I should have. It was just a bad play from t he get-go. I needed to throw it in the ground.”


On if the players were shellshocked at the beginning:

“People felt fine. We got down 14-0 but we weren’t really worried because we’ve been in that situation before. It just kept on hitting us. They got the two touchdowns off turnovers that really put us in a hole that we could never climb out of.”


On what was said at halftime:

“Have some heart and pride. You’re down 42-0, you have to go out there and play. You can’t put your tail between your legs and go out there and do what you did in the first half. You have to show you have heart in you. We came out there and did play with some heart and competed.”


On whether he thought he might get replaced:

“No. I was throwing the ball pretty well besides those two interceptions. Those were bad plays that definitely hurt us. There were some balls in the first half that were playable. I was throwing the ball pretty well. Those were two bad plays that can’t happen.


On how the team will respond:

“I think we’ll be good. We just have to go out and practice. Everybody has to compete against each other. We just have to execute.”


On being 1-2 in the Pac-10:

“You look at some of the teams in the Pac-10, there are some teams that are 1-2 and they are good teams. There’s no talking it off. We have to be ready for another strong opponent.”




On his dropped pass that was reviewed by instant replay:

“I really don’t know what happened. I know I came down with it. Ninety-nine percent of the time I make that play. But they ruled it incomplete.”


On the effect it would have had if the dropped passes were caught:

“You never know. We’re not perfect. We’re going to drop some passes. We could have made plays on those, but we have to move on. You just have to move on to the next one.”


On how the team will respond:

“I think we will respond great. We always do. We always go back to square one and practice hard.”



 On USC wide receiver Robert Woods:

“He’s talented and fast. I did the best I could. Having a career high tackles in this game isn’t really the best thing. I would have rather had d-lineman or linebackers making most of those tackles. It’s not the best sign when I’m making most of the tackles because it means they’re getting into the secondary.”


On the problems with the defense:

“Really, it was our fault. All the big plays that we had were the defense’s fault. We just have to go back and look at the film and correct the mistakes. We know we’ll bounce back against Arizona State.”


On how the team will respond:

“I think we’re going to come back with a rough week of practice. We’ll work hard and bounce back.  I think our defense will have a great game against Arizona State.”

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.