Football: Washington quotables

A sampling of what was heard outside Cal’s locker room following Saturday’s 31-23 loss at Washington:


On settling for field goals in the red zone:

“When you get in the red zone, you’d like to come away with touchdowns. We had some opportunities down there and it comes down to making plays. In tight games against good opponents in our conference, you have to come away with touchdowns more than field goals, and we didn’t today.”


On how concerned he is about the defense:

“Very concerned. You have to give them a lot of credit. Keith Price does a very nice job of keeping things going with his legs. He has a lot of weapons out there. But you have to play better. We had him a couple times and he slipped away. You have to tackle him. You have to wrap him up, same with the backs. They made more plays than we made. If you don’t do the things you need to do, that’s what happens.”


On the fourth down incomplete pass at the end of the game:

“We scored with it against Colorado. It was open again. We just have to give Keenan a chance to catch the ball. We just overthrew that ball. You give your best player a chance to go up and make a play in the end zone.”


On what changes need to be made defensively:

“We’ll go back and look at it and grade it and see what the issues are and evaluate and make appropriate decisions from there.”


On whether he should have went with C.J. Anderson, a bigger tailback, at the goal line at the end of the game:

“Would C.J. have scored? I don’t know. It’s a thought.”


On why true freshman Brendan Bigelow didn’t play on offense:

“This was a day that we needed some things that he isn’t able to do yet.”


On accepting a Washington holding penalty in the second quarter. Declining would have made it 4th-and-inches rather than 3rd-and-11:

“They would have went for it. Third and 11, I’ll take that over six inches any day. But they happened to convert it.”


On whether he’s surprised by his team’s poor defensive play:

“I would like to say that I didn’t expect this today. It happens so we have to go evaluate it.”



On playing close games against Washington the past two years:

“It’s obviously a great matchup between the two teams. It’s just going to be one of those games that goes either way every time. They happened to get the best of us today.”


On whether any major changes need to be made defensively:

“It’s just execution. We’re lining up in the right coverage and then we give them a penalty and give them a fresh set of downs. We have to make plays on third down. A lot of times we were there but didn’t make plays.”



 On his level of concern:

” There were a couple big plays today that we gave up where the quarterback stepped up in the pocket and threw the ball off the scramble. We just have to have better coverage down the field. We just have to keep working at the things we are doing and try to get better at them.”


On the lack of pass rush on Keith Price’s 70-yard bomb to Chris Polk:

“We would have liked to have gotten there, but obviously we didn’t. He held the ball and made a nice throw over the middle. It was a good job on their part.”


On finishing plays:

“We just have to keep working at it. We preach all the time about finishing, and today was no different. We have to work on finishing our pass rush because the coverage at times is good down field. They protected a lot because of the pressure. We have to be able to cover and win some one-on-one matchups.”


On the play of Cal’s young linebackers:

“They are a progressing young group, a work in progress. Those three or four guys haven’t played at all. They have growing pains week in and week out. We have to have them come on in a hurry.”


On true freshman linebackers Chris McCain and Cecil Whitside:

” Those are guys that we want to get out on the field and work more. It really had more to do with the packages we had out there. They are guys that need to play for us and need to continue to get better to make us be the type of defense we want to be. The outside rush is paramount in this scheme.”


On allowing big plays:

“The big play is the biggest thing we have to go back and identify. Last year, we did a good job not giving up the big play. Today we were snakebit on the big play. A lot of it was more off the quarterback scrambling to throw. This is three out of our first four games where we faced a quarterback that can not only throw the ball but can get out of the pocket. We’re getting some pretty good work at it.”


I just think it’s a different unit than we had last year. We have different guys at different spots. There’s been some things that I’ve been really happy with and other things that I’m not so happy with.


On how much Whiteside and McCain will play moving forward:

“We want to get those guys out there. They give us speed and athleticism on the field. We’re a package oriented defense and they’re going to be par of different packages weekly.”



 On Cal’s final play:

“I felt like I gave him a good ball and it just aired on me all the way to the sideline. I didn’t give him a chance to make a play on the ball. It’s all on me.”

 On leading Cal on its long, final drive:

“We did a good job on the last drive. We did a great job getting the ball all the way down the field. We had to score this time, and it is on me. I made some bad decisions.”



On Washington QB Keith Price, and his elusiveness:

“He’s a good quarterback. A lot of guys should have wrapped up. They played well, but we have to play better.”


On what the defense has to do moving forward:

“We just have to buckle down. We’re going to have to sit on this loss for a week. That’s probably one of the first feelings after getting the initial loss. We have to come out as hard as we can every single day of that bye week and make sure we can win that Oregon game.”


On whether the defense needs to undergo major changes:

“Whoever it is or whatever it is, it’s not the system. It’s just not doing your job. If everyone does their job and then they score, then you can say something is wrong with the system. But until then, it’s on us.”




On Maynard leading the team on the final drive:

“We do it every day in practice. He kjnows what to do in those type of situations. We already knew he had the potential to lead us down the field. It was great that he did that.


On the confidence level in Maynard:

“We had a lot of confidence in what he could do. He’s always prepared. We knew it wasn’t an issue.”





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.

  • SportsBrah

    This game showed Tedford’s weakness as a coach more than anything. A high school JV coach would know better than to run Isi twice at the goal line.

  • Yoda

    This game showed Cal’s defensive weaknesses more than anything. Missed tackles, bad coverage, no pressure on the QB. That last drive should not have even been necessary.

  • MikeD

    It’s easy to pick at things in hindsight, this one seems like it becomes even easier given some of the questionable decision making. If you *have* to have the score to stay in the game then it seems like you need to sell out if you are going to run. The O-line got their butts handed to them in the trenches, but you still need to put a goal line back in there. How about a run to the right on 2nd down to setup a rollout for ZM on 3rd that gives him more options – one guy at the goalpost, one in the corner, TE underneath at the goal line, and then the option to run it in if he has an open hole. I’d have to think that a scenario like that would be the most difficult to defend, and provides the best chance to find a breakdown in coverage or a hole in the line to run through. To be bullheaded and run middle at the goal line with the game on the line 2x and fail is pretty uncreative. It seems like someone wanted to make a statement and score on the dogs in the same way they scored on us last year.

    That it seems that he didn’t even think to consider a different option than Sofele at the goal line is a head scratcher.

    It seems like we are making a dual threat QB into a pocket passer – round peg, square hole. And his accuracy leaves much to be desired, much. But he is a playmaker and a much much more enjoyable QB to watch than we’ve had available for a few years.

    On D you can scheme away but until we get QB pressure and wrap ups we’re setup for a long season of slice and dice and 500 yd games against us. At least the offense can score so we have a chance to stay in games.

    Long season ahead folks, get comfy

  • Daniel

    I like Maynard & Guyton’s leadership. Taking responsibility after losses is more important than taking credit for wins.

    Go Bears!

  • rollonubears

    i’m liking all the things that were said in the post game conference. you can’t take for granted the 2 forced turnovers. that’s good defense. the offense held onto the ball as well, even though there was a botched snap and a fumble, we retained control. i am so happy to see some shorter passes across the middle this year, in the 10-20 yard range. i’d like to see the TE get involved, at least some. and we’ve gotta utilize CJ more often, especially on first and goal from the 2 for heaven’s sake. i just know sarkesian would have gone for it on 4th and 1, or even done a fake punt. i really think tedford made the right call there, and i would have been ok with it either way. if we are that anxious about being able to stop a 3rd and 11, we are going to have serious issues all year long. in this game, the 3rd and long was really the tale. i went back and watched the replay. that first offsides call really was an offsides, although their center snapped his head so abruptly, you could argue he was trying to draw us offsides, and that’s why i think it should have been a false start. also, #23 was indeed offsides on a later play, lining up with his foot across the line. stupid! but the phantom PI call was a game changer, and that was no PI. very disappointing. so, if we can shore up the 3rd and long, i think we’ll be fine. the only other thing was field position. the coverage was abysmal, and our runbacks were abysmal. we need a playmaker in there at all times. either keenan, marvin or bigelow should be taking punts AND kickoffs at all times. and play the freshmen more!

  • Gdog

    I thought the idea was to stop the other team on third down and make them punt. Why are we accepting holding penalties on fourth and two to give them another chance which they converted and then scored on the drive. To vanilla on Defense. If you DB’s can’t cover anyone then you have to pressure the quarterback. The might get some big plays but you could create a turnover or two, maybe a third down sack. Why just bleed to death from paper cuts?

  • BillyrGoBears

    All you naysayers are making me crazy!!! Saturday was a great football game! Have you ever been to Husky Stadium? I have twice and when the crowd is large, as it was on Saturday, the opposing offense can never hear themselves think! Maynard played very well for his first time in a very hostile environment. Isi got over 100 yards. Keenen and Marvin were nothing short of amazing! The defense certainly made some mistakes but oh well. You can’t blame the coaches for everything! I much prefer Tedford and what he has brought to Cal than a pompous ass Chip Kelly or the sideline maniac known as Mike Stoops. Be thankful for what we have and quit beating on the kids and our coaches……

  • Jim

    hmmm … so we didn’t score.
    I recall a game in 2004 with 1st and goal against USC.
    Rose Bowl on the line.
    We score, we win. Aaron was the QB.
    We didn’t score. We lost.

    A little perspective, guys, please.

  • discdude

    I’m tending to agree with Rollon here…far too much is being made about taking that penalty when all it called for was good execution on 3rd and 11. The pass coverage and lack of pressure is where the problem lies. The play calling at the end is on Tedford, but again it was really about poor execution (the line was manhandled there). I would have used CJ on at least first down, then called some type of play action or rollout for Maynard, he’s very accurate when rolling out, actually.

    And wow, I had the same thought on Miller, I don’t know if that’s play calling or him not playing well. He couldn’t get past the line on 1st down at goal line and seemed very frustrated, I don’t know if that was poor effort or just that UW was pushing him around all day. This is pretty much his career at Cal, he has had great games and then sorta disappears. He can and should be a huge part of this offense (think back to how important solid TE play was to SC, they always had someone killing it). And Calvin too, they finally called his number late in the game, with all the attention on Jones and Allen, he’s open a lot. I think the play creativity level is up this year, but when you figure that on every pass play at least 3 if not 4 defenders are keyed on Jones and Allen, there’s a lot you can do with the other WR, TE, FB, and RB. I thought Sarkisian’s call to Polk was genius, it’s too bad it worked to perfection, but it was a great frickin call because they knew Polk could burn DJ Holt if the safety wasn’t back there. Anyone who watches football should appreciate that play call. BTW, on another Bear board, some are saying Price isn’t that good…wow, what game were you watching? I saw all 4 Locker games and Price is a much more accurate passer. Say what you will about the Cal defense, the guy put the ball where it had to be when he needed to. In order to stop that, you have to get pressure.

    Can’t win em all (this season)…let’s steal one from the Ducks.

  • 79alumni

    Try to have perspective .. the fact that CAL was “IN” this game says alot. At the beginning of this season, CAL was barely ahead of WSU in the rankings. The team is much improved, but CAL is NOT – LSU, Oklahoma, A&M, etc .. not right now .. but I see a good chance vs. Oregon, maybe even better chance vs. USC and there’s always a chance vs. Stanford, it’s the BIG Game! Go Bears .. Next 2 games will set the stage for the season.

  • 1brsfan

    I agree with many of the comments. One thing that is different with this year’s team is that they battle back. Last year’s team would have folded after being down 21-10 and it would have turned into a blow out. The offense is definitely better than last year’s so hopefully that means more wins than last year. The defense has taken a step back but hopefully will make adjustments.

  • discdude

    Agree 79, it ain’t the end of the world to lose on the road in Seattle against a fairly evenly matched team. This team is better than last year’s team in some aspects, certainly more offensive weapons. They have 10 days to make some defensive adjustments and see if they can derail the Duck train. If not, I never expected a win in Autzen this year, but the next 2 against USC and Utah? Those are winnable games that very well could determine the season. But they will need to play well, make good play calls, and get good execution. There are no easy games in the P12 this year, even WSU and OSU will still present some challenges.

  • shaka

    What happened to promising DB Avery Walls?

  • C98

    He changed his name to Avery Sebastian. He’s playing.

  • DubD

    all in all, it’s hard to ignore the lack of Pass Coverage. The secondary has been dreadful. The rush D has actually been very good. They bottled up both Rodney Stewart and Chris Polk when they were rushing. The linebackers struggled on reading play action pass and screens which is where those guys really hurt Cal. The Defensive line has actually done a pretty good job. They have had to deal with back to back mobile QB’s in Hansen and Price. They made plays in the pocket, avoiding the initial rush and then made big completions down field. Those plays were on the secondary not finishing they assignment coverages.
    Aside from the last series on the goal line, the offense looked a million/kagillion times better than it had with Riley under center. I take that as a good thing. Should they have tried to run Anderson? Maybe. Was Maynards pass horrible on fourth down? yes. But from 20 to 20, this team moved the ball affectively up and down the field. That is a huge improvement on the countless 3 and out’s Riley lead the team to.
    For the most part, this is a inexperienced young team, at least their impact players are that. We all need to keep that in perspective. We need to happy if the Bears are able to win 7 games and get to a bowl game.
    Everyone of importance outside of Marvin Jones will be returning next year. That will be the Bears big window to either sink or swim……and with that, goes Tedford’s future.

  • rollonubears

    we have to win one of the next two. losing by a little happened a lot last year, and look what it got us.

  • Mike Heath

    On the radio broadcast Starkey complained that the Bears seemed to run the ball 80-90 percent of the time on first down. I’m not sure if that is accurate, but they do seem to run the ball almost everytime on first down. I think it got us into trouble in the fourth quarter when we were faced with a lot of third and long situations. Washington knew it was coming and they stuffed it.

    We need to less predictable of first down.

  • Lady Bear

    Maynard is definitely the best QB we have had since Aaron Rodgers, notwithstanding his accuracy issues. But what is going on with recruiting where we can’t get a decent QB out of high school? What does it say about our HS QB recruits that Maynard just cruised in from Buffalo and immediately won the #1 QB spot, even though we have other QBs we recruited from HS who have supposedly been “learning our system” for much longer? Why is it that other Pac schools are able to recruit the Jake Lockers, Keith Prices, Andrew Lucks, Darron Thomases, etc., and these guys just jump right in and play well as freshmen & sophomores? I don’t know if this is a coaching problem or a recruiting problem or what; it just seems like other Pac teams are getting much more out of their HS QB recruits than we are!

  • Oski 88

    Issue with CJ Anderson at the goal line- he was 7 rushes for 9 yards total on the game – a 1.28 yard average per carry. Isi was 6 YPC at the last drive. Moving to CJ was not such a cut and dried option – it was not like they did not get him opportunities in this game to show what he could do.

    THe fade is fine as a first or second down option to Allen. But as the 4th down option, it is a bit risky. A roll out with one or two options in the end-zone would have been a better 4th down play.

    And, just so we don’t get out of hand – we needed 8 points to bring it to OT. What were the odds we could get the extra 2 when we could not score from the 2 yard line in 4 tries?

    The game was lost earlier when we had 4 opportunities in the red zone and came away with 9 points.

  • Dawgfan

    I wanted to say that you guys have a set of very good receivers. Keenan Allen is a stud. Your d line and linebackers are legit. Best of luck the eat of the way and beat the hell out of the ducks

  • NorCal Scott

    I agree with the statement last years team would have folded at 21-10. And I’d suspect that would have started with Riley.

    Down at the goal line Tedford needed a power run package that featured Kapp FB, CJ Anderson TB in the power I, and spread the WR’s out. Call the pass on 1st down on play action to keep everyone honest. Then come back on 2nd with a run in the strong side B gap, and then if necessary fake strong side run and QB bootleg the other way. Something other than two failed weakass attempts up the middle. The OL got blown back on both runs.

  • Saltherring

    Coming from a Husky fan, the above comments represent a classy bunch of fans who live and die with their team, the Cal Bears. Your team has a helluva front seven and possibly the best pair of WRs we will see this year. Your QB is a huge improvement over last year and Jeff Tedford is always a class guy. Good luck the rest of the season and see you next year! Oh, and do the entire PAC-12 a huge favor and shut the mouths of those imbecilic, classless Duck fans.

  • gobears49

    The best Cal QB since Rodgers was Longshore, before he got hurt. Since Tedford arrived, he probably has had more QB talent at his disposal than most other college coaches have and clearly the most Elite 11 QB’s (the three currently behind Maynard — Brigford, Mansion and Hinder) — are all Elite 11 QB’s.

    Cal surely leads the nation in Elite 11 QB’s since Tedford arrived. One day I’ll do a mathematical analysis of that. And true freshman Kyle Boehm, while not an Elite 11 QB, is supposed to be a stud, and I thought he looked very good when I attended a game at the school he attended, Archbishop Mitty. Next year we have Zack Kline coming in, the #6 ranked Elite 11 QB, who one of the assistants on the recent Elite 11 two hour show stated that Kline probably had more talent than the other 23 top national QB’s also featured on the show. So Cal has had and will have excellent QB talent. Let’s hope Tedford, now devoting some of his time working with the QB’s, will make that QB talent shine.

  • Jskie

    Husky fan here,

    I’ll trade you Nick Montana for 2 Freshman D-lineman. You guys are soo stocked! It’s rediculous how good your tackles are. Tedford is a classy guy. Nobody can cover those 2 receivers. Incredible vision after the catch. Good luck Bears! You’ve always been my second favorite team in the PAC.