Football: Gameday quotables

A sampling of what was overheard after Cal’s loss to USC on Thursday night:


On whether the mistakes were the most disappointing thing about the loss:

“Yes. Absolutely. Mistakes, turnovers – you can’t beat a good football team like SC when you turn the football over five times especially down deep. There’s no question there’s some good things but there are some things that need to be improved – fumbled snaps, ball handling.”


On whether the mistakes can be attributed to a lack of focus:

“I don’t doubt their focus. Maybe sometimes you’re trying too hard. We run the fly sweep with Mike (Calvin) and the ball gets put on the ground. We run that at practice a lot of time and the ball is never on the ground. You just have to trust your fundamentals and go back to work. We have to find a way to put it all together. There are flashes of really good things.”


On why QB Zach Maynard struggled:

“It would be certain plays. I thought the rush was pretty fierce in the first half. I thought he played much better in the second half. He made a lot of plays there. We came out in the second half and moved the ball up and down the field. We just turned the ball over too many times. “


On Maynard adjusting to the speed of Pac-12 football:

“That’s as fast as it’s going to happen. In my eyes, it looked like in the second half he was feeling better with the speed of the game. We just have to be able to eat the ball at times.”


On Maynard’s interceptions:

“Sometimes you try to make too many things happen. The want-to is there. You have to understand to be smart.”


On the defense:

“I thought our defense played well. Stefan McClure stepped up and did a great job. I thought we competed very hard.”


On his confidence in Maynard improving:

“Any young quarterback — which I would put him in that category — with the speed of the game we play in this conference week in and week out is something you need to adjust to. With a guy like him, as competitive as he is and with the composure that he has, I have a lot of confidence he will get it. He will get used to the speed of the game because he can still make a lot of plays. He made a lot of plays in the second half.


“It was a tough day. He’s not the first quarterback to have a tough day. Today was a tough day. We’re going to improve on this. That’s the key, to take those things and learn from them. When you play great teams like these guys, you have to understand not every playy is going to be there. Make good decisions and get rid of the ball.”


On the fake punt:

“It was an option to punt it or run it. If he had the edge clean, then you go for it. It wasn’t clean. He made the determination to run. He should have punted it. With a team as fast as USC is, they can close the gap really quickly on you. I think he made a nice move to get up inside, but they closed the cushion really fast.”


On the team being disappointed:

“Of course. We’ve had a tough three weeks here. Our schedule has been tough. We played two teams that were on quarter system and hadn’t been to school yet. Our guys are right in the middle of midterms, playing Thursday games. We’ve played some good football teams.


“There are some good things. I’m not making excuses by any means. They care about each other, they believe in one another and they’re going to continue to work and they’re going to continue to compete. That’s my true assessment t of where their mindset is.


On team morale:

“Are they disappointed? No question. Is morale down right now? It’s OK to be disappointed but not be discouraged. It’s been tough weeks we’ve had the past few weeks. I have all the confidence in the world that we’ll come back with the work ethic that we need and the competitive energy that we need. There’s a lot of football left.”




On the team’s morale:

“We’re a family. After all these losses, we don’t back down. Our mindset is we can still win out the rest of the season. That’s what we plan to do. Nobody in that locker room has doubts. All of us are on board.”


On his fair catch:

“It was just a bonehead decision. I was on the 16 so I thought I had some ground. I kind of backed up. Right when I was about to catch it, I knew it was a bonehead mistake. You won’t see that happen again.”




On his mistake-filled performance:

”I just have to watch film and see the mistakes I made. I tried to force the ball a couple plays.”


On his interception in the end zone near the end of the first half:

“That hurt. I thought I had the ball high enough over the linebacker. I was trying to get the ball to the back of the end zone to (Marvin Jones). He made a good play on the ball. “


On how he can get better:

“Just take it day by day and in the games, play by play. Jus try to make smart decisions to keep us on the field.”




On what he can do to keep team morale high:

“The biggest thing for me is to keep doing what I do and lead by example. I’m tired of hearing a lot of talk and all the rah-rah stuff. With every loss, I go more into getting myself better. At the end of the day, all we can do is what we do as an individual. Everyone is playing as hard as they possibly can. If I can do my job just a little bit better, it might make it easier on somebody else.


“It’s definitely hard and frustrating and everything like that. You have to keep your head up and get better. That’s what I try to go.”


On whether he’s confident the team won’t get down:

“None of these games have we given up. We’re playing hard .We may make a few mistakes here or there. These past three games haven’t gone our way and we know that. Nobody is giving up. We have six more games left That’d be ridiculous (to give up). That’s not going to happen if we lose the next five games.”


On whether this loss was tougher because of all the mistakes:

“All of these losses are exactly the same. We know talent-wise we’re up there with everybody in the Pac-12. That’s what makes it hard. We know we can compete. When we get on the field, we’re not coming out on top. That’s the most frustrating thing.”



On why he was so effective against USC receiver Robert Woods:

“I knew that I had D.J. (Campbell) over the top. That gives you a little relief when you know you have help over the top.”


On whether his performance will boost his confidence:

“I’m always going to be pretty confident in my God-given abilities. I just go out there and just take it play by play. It’s a lot different from high school so you’re not as confident. You always have to have faith in yourself that you can make a play. The coaches have faith in me. They are believing in me.”


On the difficult situations the offense put the defense in:

“It’s a tough one the way the defense was playing and some of the situations we were in, but we rallied together. We have to get more turnovers. We have to get off the field on third down. Everyone can pick it up.”


On how playing a lot againstOregonhelped against USC:

“It helped a lot. I was really more prepared for the speed of the game. I knew what to expect — the intensity, the speed of the 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.

  • eric

    As expected. No responsibility at the coaching level.

    Nothing to see here, folks. Just ignore the train wreck.

  • rollonubears

    you leave it up to the kicker on 4th and 7? wow. i was really hoping he’d say they missed the sign and there was no call for a fake. how do you let your kicker even think of running in that situation? man that’s dumb.

  • CalBearsNW

    Ok, as much as it pain me to say this – time to channel some Mack Brown… we played like $h!t!! This was as bad of a game as I’ve seen in YEARS. 5 turnovers in a single game is ridiculous, 4 of them from the QB is even worse. Why is it that Maynard keep overlooking wide open recievers and only throw to Marvin and his brother? Repeatly he locks into a receivers and force the throw and got the INT and there’s always some other dude that’s wide open!!!

    That performance was Ayoob like… :*(

  • GC

    This game loss was totally on Tedford’s shoulders-period. He should admit it.

  • John

    I can’t stand reading sports writers stating leaving Zack as the starter after this meltdown is the proper thing to do. Just watch any SEC game and see what happens to the QB that does what Zack did. Gets yanked at half time is what happens. Then the understudy either swims or sinks. JT has as his first responsibility to do everything possible to put the team in a position to win. Zack just isn’t ready for big boy football. His fundamentals are not sound and he makes bad decisions. What the F else do you need before you give the next guy a shot!

  • Bbear

    Disaster. When is Sandy going to take some accountability and make some changes? There will be nobody at these upcoming home games…..will that be enough of a message?

  • bear4life

    Tedford needs to take the blame for one not pulling Maynard after the second quarter or even before that. Quarterback guru ya right. bridgford is a pro style quarterback which Tedford is known for and to keep with what we are all seeing is plan injustice.

  • Calduke

    Two Thursday night, nationally televised, games gave the Bears great recruiting exposure.
    Are the recruits jumping on the bandwagon??

  • Jake

    @ Calduke- What are you smoking? They would be jumping OFF the bandwagon after how Tedford had the Bears playing the last 2 weeks. Why would you want to come play for a coach who has no control over the team and cannot keep a team competitive? You can get just as much exposure playing in smaller conferences now with stupid ESPN1,2,3,U, etc.

  • David

    Treggs and Thompson clearly stated that they see this years failures as an opportunity for them to make an early impact.

  • Larry

    Tedford and his band are still playing on the deck while the Titanic is sinking.

  • go8ears

    Jake – I think calduke meant it sarcastically.
    David – Can you cite or link the source where Treggs or Thompson said that? That’d be awesome if what you say are indeed true. Thanks.

  • Larry

    McClure seems to be used to the speed of the game after 2 starts and he played in high school last year. Tedford please don’t blow smoke up my ____! Maynard is not good and looks to be getting worse over the past 3 games. From my measly fan perspective, I’d open up the competition again and work Bridgford in slowly to see if Maynard can respond to the challenge, if he can’t, bench him. If Allen gets mad and transfers, he was never a Golden Bear to begin with.

  • David

    Amen Larry. Give Bridgford a shot. If he can’t get it done, give Hinder a shot. If he can’t get it done, give Boehm a shot. It’s painfully obvious that Maynard is not getting it done.

  • robert

    Calling out Anger a bit? What about Genyk? Special teams are pathetic. Blocked PATS, horrible rugby kicks with a stud punter, the pathetic fake, terrible returns etc…
    First it was Alamar and now Genyk. The constant? Tedford. It’s on him.

    In addition every announcer has noticed how Maynard throws so much better out of the pocket!!! Tedford? He drops him back time after time.

    This coaching staff stinks!!! Tedford is stubborn and it results in very talented players not improving. This is now becoming exactly like Slick Rick down in fucla!!!!!!

    Terrible, terrible job with quarterbacks now going on 5 years Tedford!!!!! Only ucla has had worse QB play in the Pac the last 5 years. Even Washington State has developed a QB.

  • Bbear

    One more thing (besides Tedford must go), why were the entire bleachers on the other side of the field filled with USC fans? It’s our home field, why not have season ticket holders on that side as well (at least 30 yrd line to 30 yrd line)? Embarassing

  • Calduke


    Thank you.

  • Calduke

    Is it just wishful thinking


    did Bigelow look confident on the kick-off returns.

  • Kevin Thomas

    For all those who blame Maynard for the fumbled snaps, it sure looked like the center put at least two of those snaps on the groundor near it, and maybe all three.

    In defense of the center, though, it must be difficult to have the play call changed at the line of scrimmage, and then have to change from a snap into the QB’s hands under your butt to a longer, lower snap to the QB in the shotgun, and sometimes back again, all in one play. Coaches ought to cut down on the QB decisions to call audibles. Have him run the play that was originally called 75% of the time. Maynard right now is worried about everything.

    When Cal takes over on offense, on 1st and 10, there is a long huddle to call the play, and then Maynard comes up to the line and changes the play to a run for Sofele into the line, stopped for no gain. Every damn time. Or so it seemed. Can someone explain this strategy?

  • bobsac

    It was surprising that the coaches waited so long to put Bridgford in against Oregon. It was astonishing that they didn’t put Bridgford in for the 2d half against USC with the team down 20-0. This is not anti-Maynard. When down 20-0 & the starter (if not an established Andrew Luck or Matt Barkley) is having a bad game, put in the next guy & see if that changes things. The stubborn refusal to try something different to try & turn a bad game around looks strange. Really, if Prsident Lincoln could change generals to turn the Civil War around, surely the Cal coaches can make a change during a game at QB.

  • Larry

    Friday’s Times sports section had a picture on the front sports page that summed up Maynard. His eyes look like they are wide open, almost panic stricken as the football is passing through his hands on the way to the fumble. It gives off the feeling of the QB being so worried about the U$C defense that he can’t even concentrate on the basics like getting the snap. It wasn’t the Center’s fault. It looks like we lost ANOTHER QB to mental stress.

  • Kent Wilson

    C’mon guys…are you not paying attention? The one thing you can say aobut Tedford is that he is consistent. For those wanting to see if Tedford will bench Maynoard…don’t count on it. This is the same coach he stayed with Ayoob’s dreadfull play for 9 or 10 games before benching the ineffective QB…Tedford stayed with Longshore though most of his Junior year, despite stronger performances from his backup (Kevin Riley). And remember, he Tedford’s greatest pupil (Aaron Rogers) did not earn the starting job to open the season, despite Tedford current claims the “he know” that Rogers was a great QB when he came to Cal.

    There’s is no denying that Kyle Boller flourished under Tedford…and that Aaron Rogers also excelled under Tedford…but Tedford’s coaching credibility has been shattered with the performances of Ayoob, Longshore, Riley and now Maynard. In the cases of Ayoob, Longshore and Riley, its undeniable that they never improved as Cal QBs. Will see with Maynard…but with Tedford track record over the past 7 years…it’s likely we’ve seen the best of Maynard already.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    Kent and Larry,

    I agree. Tedord will confine to go with Maynard until we are out of bowl contention. Then he’ll still stick with him to get ready for next year.

    I know blocking

  • Takeoffthatredshirt


    I agree. Tedord will continue to go with Maynard until we are out of bowl contention. Then he’ll still stick with him to get ready for next year. It’s frustrating Tedford can point to his stats and say he had more yards than Barkley.

    I know strategy and blocking schemes change with a substitution at QB, but his refusal to bench Maynard in that game showed a level of coaching stubbornness that indicates deep problems. I don’t care how crappy a backup is, when someone is playing that badly he has to come out. I’m sick of our QB being untouchable – any other position player – or any other player in any sport and almost any coach – would have been benched with a performance like that. 

  • miked

    > but Tedford’s coaching credibility has been shattered with the performances of Ayoob, Longshore, Riley and now Maynard.

    don’t leave Mansion or Sweeney off that list

    Every quarterback – every dang one – since Longshore was injured, including Longshore post injury, has been horrific in their execution of the game

  • Kevin Thomas

    Everyone here seems to forget that Tedford had one other very successful quarterback at Cal besides Rodgers and Boller: Steve Levy

    Two big wins in the Big Game against Stanford and the Bowl game, and great quarterback play.

    Levy was a former high school quarterback, who Tedford didn’t think was good enough to play the position at Cal, so Levy was allowed to play fullback to keep a spot on the team. When all the other QB’s were not available, Levy got the call, and responded. Think what might have been, if Levy was QB for a season or two?

    He threw a great beer mug too. For that stunt, Levy was benched for the entire year after he had won the Bowl game. If Pappy or Pete Elliot had such stringent rules about a player’s conduct in bars, we would have never seen QB Joe Kapp at Cal either.

  • Steve W

    Steve Levy had Marshawn Lynch to hand the ball off to. There is not a running back o this year’s team that is even close to the talent of Lynch. Which means that Cal must live or die by its quarterback play this season. I’m going to predict it now: this team is not going to win another game this year. The regression of Tedford over the past four years simply defies explanation.

  • Calduke

    Opening odds are Cal favored by 1-1/2 points

  • EastCoastCalFanatic

    Right now, as much as I hate to say it…

    Jeff Tedford = Andy Reid

    Two coaches who’ve clearly overstayed their welcome. And their teams are suffering for it.

  • 66Bear

    I agree with most everything most everybody has said. This is the most discouraging loss I recall seeing in the last 50 years of following Bears’ football. If memory serves me correctly, Coach Tedford benched Aaron Rodgers in the 2003 USC game (the last we won), and replaced him with a less talented senior quarterback because of Rodgers’ turnover issues in the first half. And Coach Tedford used to constantly preach about the necessity of winning the turnover battle and would not suffer the turnover prone players. Now we’ve got a turnover machine at quarterback who is has been the designated the irreplaceable player, notwithstanding the impact on the team. I can only imagine what Jones and Calvin and Sofele are thinking, not to mention the stalwart defense that is left holding the bag. For reasons not clear to me–although I speculate that Sandy Barbour’s hands are all over this–Coach Tedford seems to have walked away from the principles that made him a great coach. Sad day for the Bears. 🙁

  • steve

    Yikes settle down. Everyone knew the team was going to be bad this year. And the year is not over. Maynard is not settled. Maybe he should have been pulled, maybe he needs to take his lumps. Are you really going to blame tedford when the elite 11 QBs that he HASNT been working with are can’t beat out maynard? Maybe tedford has maynard go under center so much because it’s better for the kid to play that style… Maybe bridgford needs to prove himself in practice before he jumps right in. It has only been 3 losses – 1 a top 10 team and the other was to a team that is probably underrated, the other to a top 25 team. When we lose to OSU and UCLA THEN we call for blood!

    I am interested to see how the team does against Utah.

  • Jethro

    Maynard is the same Maynard he has always been. Tedford calls him “young,” but he is a redshirt junior in his 3rd season of D1 college ball. He will not change.

    So the choice is try to make him something he is not (dropback QB), play to his strengths (roll out, option-reads, bootleg, etc.), or try someone else. I suggest Option 2 – playing to his strengths. If he gets injured running the ball, well then you are back to Option 3. Option 1 is a recipe for failure.

    I was just glad to see Cal use Maynard’s legs for their one TD – an option-read from about 3 yards out. Where was that play on 1st and goal at the 2 against Washington?

  • BlueNGold

    I hear that Kyle Boller is being installed as starting QB for the Raiders in place of the injured Jason Campbell. I hope he does well and makes good use of the opportunity. Should be interesting to watch.

  • DB

    Maynard is fine except he makes bad decisions, has a weak arm and is wildly inaccurate. Otherwise, he’s fine.

    How bad must Bridgford be? Really?

  • BlueNGold

    Maynard seems to have no idea about not staring down receivers so as to give away the play to the defense. On Thurs night he seemed to be looking right at the defenders to whom the interceptions were thrown. One has to wonder if that is something the coaches can teach him to change, or if its just the way he has always played and will probably continue to do so?

  • bear4life

    The theme here is we need a change and some how it needs to get to the top. I don’t think Sandy has the balls so where do we go ,Media the President of the United States who we can’t trust so who. Tedford start Bridgford and bench Maynard maybe that will put some fire under his ass if Bridgford falls but what we are seeing on the field is just getting worst and you will see more empty seats game by game. Next year it will be a slap in the face if we open the season on national TV and are stadium is half full. I’m a hug Bear fan but it sickens me to pay and watch this coaching staff. WE NEED CHANGE