Football: Player quotables

A sampling of what Cal’s players said after Saturday’s 36-21 win over Fresno State:


On the defensive performance:

“We came out with good effort. We came out playing really fast. We knew what to do. Coach Pendergast gave us the keys to the game and we just came out and executed.”


On it being the first step in erasing last season:

“I think it’s a great step because we have a new bond as a team. We’re more accountable for each other and we rely on each other better. We know that we have each other’s back. The team is more together now. This is the team that is the most together that I’ve seen here atCal.”


On noticing the heavyFresno State fan contingent:

“I noticed for a little bit. When we came outFresnofans were pretty loud. Then our fans came later. But that wasn’t really a big deal. It doesn’t matter, home field advantage. It doesn’t really matter for us because we know we can play with anybody, anywhere.” 



On his strip of Fresno St. quarterback David Carr:

“It was a just a contained rush. The quarterback clutched it and I stripped his hand on the second pump ad knocked it out and Trevor Guyton scooped and scored.”


On having that kind of college debut:

“It was great. (Linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson) told me he was going to put me in during obvious pass downs. He just wanted me to get after the quarterback. I did what I could and obviously it was a great play.”




On rating his performance:

“4 1/2, 5 out of 10. There were a lot of mental errors, not very consistent with the ball. First game jitters, we got them all out and we’re going to be ready forColoradonext week.”


On throwing an interception on his first pass:

“I really didn’t think about it. I just shook it off and got ready for the next series.”


On not being satisfied with his performance:

“It’s something I’m conscious of as a quarterback. You always feel like you can do better. We can all do better.”


On leading a touchdown drive after the interception:

“It was very important. I got back to the sidelines and talked to my guys. They all rallied around me. We went back out and drove the ball at will.”


On rushing things at the beginning:

“I rushed the first pass a little bit. The speed is a lot faster than in practice and I haven’t got hit in a long time.”


On the confidence he has in Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones:

“Very confident. We’re all on the same page and Keenan being my brother, we have an instant connection from birth. Me and Marvin have a great connection too from spring ball and through the fall.”


On his long TD pass to Marvin Jones:

“I just felt the pressure and tried to get outside the pocket to get him a ball he could catch and I got the ball to him. He made a great catch.”


On whether he was nervous when the game started:

“I was very nervous. I haven’t played in a year and a half. I was nervous at first. Once I got in the game and threw that first interception, I really had to focus. I wasn’t mad at all. It was real life. I had to keep playing. Everybody makes mistakes.”




On his fumble recovery for a touchdown:

“I was just doing my job and good things happen when you do your job.”


On the last time he scored a TD:

“It was my first one ever and it was nice. It was the best feeling in the world.”


On having the ball pop right to him:

“That’s what we practice. We practice getting the ball and scooping and scoring, so it’s just applying technique.”


On the performance of the freshmen:

“We pride ourselves on the D-line in not having a dropoff when we rotate guys in. The best thing we can do is provide a good example for them. They come in when we need a breather and do the exact same thing. So far, they’ve been doing a real good job and we plan on keeping on doing the same.”



On the penalties against the offensive linemen:

“We definitely have to clean that up next week. Just mental errors. Basically, anytime we had any adversity in this game, I feel like it was on ourselves. We just have to clean that up next week for sure.”


On the feeling they could have scored a lot more points:

“I feel like we could have put twice as much as we put up if we clean up our mental mistakes and play the football we know how to play.”


On it being the first step in avenging last season:

“Coming into this year, we had that in our memory but this is a new season and a new team. This is the closest team I’ve ever been a part of. Getting the win off the bat is real big.”


On if there is an increased hunger after a losing season:

“Hunger was straight from spring, right when we got back from our winter break. Everyone was just tuned in and from then on it’s been the hardest work I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s paying off. We just have to continue doing it.”


On Zach Maynard:

“I have all the confidence in Zach in the world. I know he puts his heart into this game, puts his heart into this team. He’s only going to get better. From the moment he got here, every single day, I’ve seen him getting better.“


On the significance playing at Candlestick Park because he is a San Francisco native:

“Born and raised in San Francisco. I’ve been to many Giants games, a few 49ers games. Just to be on this field is an amazing privilege. I can’t believe it. It’s a dream come true.”


On there being more Fresno State fans:

“I would have like to have seen Cal take the edge in that but we have to play our game. It’s great to have fan support, but the bottom line is about what we do on the field in between the lines. I felt like we did pretty well today but we have a lot to clean up. It’s good to know we have a lot more improvement to do.”




On whether he was extra excited to play against his hometown team:

“I was actually surprisingly calm. I got some advice from an old friend who played here, Zack Follett. I called him last night – he told me to call him. He gave me some good advice. He just told me, with it being Fresno and the hype that everyone is making it out to be, he knew I was going to be excited. That can get you tired. He just told me to stay calm, breathe and wait for the game.

“I just listened to what he said. I stayed calm, I listened to calm music before the game. Usually I listen to some rock or hip hop or something to get me amped up. But I changed up my routine — Sade, some cool jazz.


On it being rare to be so calm before a game:

“I was overly excited for this game. I just wanted to relax. You can really waste your energy before you ever get on the field letting your adrenaline pump through. That’s not what you want to do.”


On it being the first step in erasing last season:

“It was good getting the taste out of your mouth, especially ending on a loss. For me, this is a hometown game. It’s nice. But we have another game and we’re looking forward to that.”


On the mistakes:

“We made a lot of mistakes today. It’s our first game. I expected that. We should learn from that and get ready.”


On the play of the freshmen defensive players:

“We had some freshmen in there making some plays. I’m really proud of them. We have some babies out there. They’re not used to this game. Now they’ve been exposed so we’re going to expect more from them.”


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.

  • calgrizzlybear

    babies lol

  • Rollonubears

    All this stuff was great to hear. I think those bus trips together all over norcal really helped with the whole bonding thing. If so, I hope they keep it up. These guys are flat out entertaining, and I hope more people go out and see them.

  • rollonubears

    “it’s lovely” – keenan allen


    god, i love these guys.

    Go Effin Bears!!!

  • Calduke

    Any clue as to the Utah game time?

  • Calduke

    Utah site shows Cal/Utah start time to be 12:00, noon.

  • rollonubears

    It’s great to see Cal doing highlights of the game on youtube. I hope this is something they’ll continue to do every week. Gives me a little fix every day, as I get antsy for the next game. Seems like a nice ad opportunity for them, too, with the bank of the west logo there the whole time. A tad annoying, but whatever. Also nice to see the highlights from another angle. No doubt this is from Cal’s internal game film footage.


  • ThisisCal

    I was really disappointed by how few Cal fans showed up for the game at Candlestick. What’s the deal? Let’s support our Bears. I’m going to Colorado to make some noise. I think this team has a lot of potential.

  • Cal N’ Roses

    What a great way to start the season–from a “Oh no” to a “Oh wow” and breath of fresh air. Our tailgate was next to a bunch of FSU fans and they were normal people who were passionate about supporting their team. The fear of FSU fans and the ‘Stick were way overblown. Come on Cal fans, we only need 35,000 strong to fill AT&T. This team is putting out max effort and deserves a similar will not quit, will not die attitude from Cal fans.

  • BlueNGold

    ThisIsCal- it was a disappointment to see the low turnout for the game generaly, especially the Cal fans that stayed away, but the AD has to bear some of the responsibility for selecting a decrepit stadium as a venue for two essentially local games and then not organizing some transit options for people who might have gone had it not been for the bad parking situation there. Hopefully one learns from mistakes/ bad judgment.

  • Jan K Oski

    BlueNGold, I think it is the fault of the whole University for allowing those tree-huggers to delay the inevitable. The AD hands were tied and they had to go with what venue would take the game at the 11th hour. Still, I doubt Cal would have had a better venue. Davis stopped any talk about an Oakland Coliseum game. This is really a lesson for us all that we shouldn’t tolerate radicals from the left or right or old men in keeping the rest of us from the simple enjoyments and rights of our Founding Fathers.

  • ThisisCal

    BNG – I agree that it wasn’t ideal, but that’s really not an excuse. Both muni and caltrain are options as well as cabs from SF proper. Plus, the 49ers manage to fill the stadium. All in all, a very disappointing turnout. Hoping for more when we get to AT&T.

  • jabes

    It was the first game of the year. I knew I would hate the stadium and the commute. I’ve only been farther from the Cal team in Knoxville and LA.

    All that said and done, the rush of seeing the team come on the field for the first time since Polk scored that TD to end last year’s season, it was totally worth it. If you are fan, you should have been there, period.

    Obviously this was the best of a bad situation for the ATO. As bad as it was, there would be legitimate complaints if the season ticket package with seat selection at AT&T included the available seating at the Stick.

    I do think, however, the ATO is not doing enough to motivate season ticket purchases at AT&T. I would like to see a crash campaign now, seating priority next year elevated by purchase of a season ticket this year. That would serve us better than another Groupon!

  • David

    ThisIsCal – Agreed. People need to stop crying and wimpering, and make it to the games. The players notice, for crying out loud, no pun intended.

  • Shaka

    Got to love the great team chemistry, the talent is evident but the kicking game is sphincter tightening. Time for a little zen-like “be the ball.” Fan turnout is going to be an issue this year with all the mercenary schemes (mandatory Bear Backer donation, e.g.)on top of the already inflated ticket price. Those of us out of state couldn’t even get the KGO internet audio feed without doing a work around as in going to the Fresno State site. I’d like to see some new creative fan loyalty programs and something like the very cool android app put out by none other than the U. of Colorado.
    GO BEARS!!

  • rollonubears

    $40 cheap seats just doesn’t make sense. that’s why just about everyone i know didn’t go. they goofed on the prices. it was a holiday weekend, too, which is tough, but had the tickets been modestly priced, they’d have packed the place in. when i went to cal, you used to get a 2 free ticket coupons for that first game. decent crowds would gather, even for holmoe’s bears.

  • milo

    The game over Labor Day has been problematic since going to the 12 game schedule, even at Memorial. Many people have standing family plans that don’t include football.

  • H8sRed

    Also factor in that the A’s, Giants and Robber Barons were all at home on Saturday, meaning that die hard sports fans had to make a choice. Without that competition, I would imagine 5-10k more would have shown up at the Stick.

    But the biggest problem, as has been discussed, was ticket pricing. Even students were asked to shell out $20 per seat. Don’t students usually pay about $50 for a whole season?

  • rollonubears

    i forgot about the giants/d’backs. that was a huge series. now that they have almost completely blown their shot at the playoffs, we should see more cal fans out there supporting. these are tough times for most folks.