Football: Friday update/Oregon quotables

Most weeks, the Bears are available to the media the day after a game. But the schedule was tweaked after the Thursday game and the team won’t be available now until Sunday (they have a rare Saturday off).

For now, here is a sampling of what was overheard outside Cal’s locker room following the game last night:


On whether Oregon’s team speed was the difference in the game:

“It turned out to be that way. They made a couple of big runs around the edge, obviously. We couldn’t cover them in the secondary. The quarterback threw the ball really well. They have some speed and made some big plays. The first half was all good and then they dialed up some stuff in the second half that kind of got after us in man to man coverage and they made some big plays.”


On whether Oregon picked on CB Stefan McClure:

“It looked like they went to that side a few times. It wasn’t every time.”


On Oregon’s drive to begin the second half:

“It’s still early right there. But it was pretty methodical. They mixed it up and converted some third downs. They made some plays in the passing game. From there, they really made plays in the secondary in the pass game.”


On settling for field goals in the red zone again:

“We have to make sure that we’re playing better down there. We put ourselves in some long yardage situations down there. It ends up hurting us in the long run.”


On why QB Zach Maynard was off:

“He wasn’t able to set his feet at times. He missed some guys early because his feet were not set. Each time out it’s a different challenge. When he’s on the field, he’s out there competing. Each time out is a learning experience. We’ll go to the tape and take a look at it and see where we can improve and where we can help him as coaches.

“We all share a responsibility in this. We need to coach better and put them in position to be successful. Everybody is responsible for it.”


On the mood at halftime:

“We were looking forward to going out and competing hard in the second half. Then they got on a roll and we couldn’t respond. Once they get going like that, you have to be able to respond to them, and we couldn’t do it.”


On if Oregon’s offense is better than last year’s:

“(Darron Thomas) threw the ball better. They had a good plan. They really exploited us in the secondary. They protected the passer. Thomas threw the ball real well. He threw the ball on the money at certain times. We had some tight coverage in certain areas and their receivers made some plays. They are very fast. They made some plays and he threw the ball really well.”


On Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas:

“He does a good job of catching the football. He can do a lot of things for them. He’s a pretty gifted guy.”


On whether getting touchdowns instead of field goals early would have changed the game:

“I thought in the first half, we were moving it pretty much up and down. We were having a lot of success offensively. We have to come away with touchdowns down there. When you’re going to get into a game like this where they have the potential to score points, you want to come away with touchdowns. It’s the second game in a row we came away with field goals instead of touchdowns.”


 On if he was frustrated with his performance:

“It was very frustrating for me. I was a little off on my throws. The ball was coming out of my hand a little weird at times. I should have converted on third down a lot more. I should have made a lot more throws.”


On why he was off:

“I wasn’t setting my feet right. My feet were going faster than my arm.”


On the mood at halftime:

“We were feeling good. We had to keep the momentum going. The defense was playing well.”


On whether getting touchdowns instead of field goals would have set a different tone:

“It would have been a lot different game. We would have had a little cushion and a lot more momentum if we would have kept scoring.”




On Maynard’s performance:

“Everybody has their bad days. He got a little rattled out there. The good thing is he had a chance to redeem himself next week.”




On the difference in the second half:

“They hit some big runs in the second half. They came out the first series and nickel and dimed us a little bit. The bottom line is they made a couple plays and we didn’t. We gave up too many explosive plays in the running game to give ourselves a chance.”


On Oregon’s drive to begin the second half:

“We wanted to get a stop there. That was obviously very important. They came out and moved the ball down and converted. That kind of gave them some juice.”


On Oregon’s success on the perimeter:

“We were trying to stop the perimeter. They’re an offense that hits you inside, outside, off tackle and on the perimeter. Their back (LaMichael James) can hit all those areas of the field. They got outside us a couple times and we didn’t get off blocks to make plays.”


On Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas:

“His play has picked up more in the past couple weeks. Obviously, we know what kind of player he is. He made some critical plays tonight that allowed them to keep drives alive.”


On CB Stefan McClure:

“He’s going to learn. He got in and competed. I think the game was obviously not too big for him.”


On why LB Cecil Whiteside didn’t play:

“We went into the game with (Chris) McCain and (Dave) Wilkerson and (Mychal) Kendricks playing more on the edges because we wanted to get our longer speed guys on the outside.”




On the difference in the second half:

“They made some good adjustments to us. They did a good job of attacking some of our weaknesses. They made some plays and beat us one on one.”


On the mood at halftime:

“We definitely felt good. We were stopping them. We were making plays. It’s hard to get away from that.”


On De’Anthony Thomas:


“We have a lot of respect for all of those guys. He had a really, really good game.”



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.