Cal Players Speak
Here are some quotes from Cal's players from their news conferences. I talked to QB Kevin Riley on the phone myself and will put some of that interview up soon:
LB Zack Follett
[On 3-4 defense] I think we really have the athletes that fit this scheme well. It also presents a challenge to opposing offenses trying to figure out what we’re going to do. It puts them in an uncomfortable situation and makes them commit unforced errors, which helps us capitalize on it.
[On how the defensive line is adjusting to the 3-4] They’ve been doing a great job with everything. They are the biggest key to this defense – if you don’t have a front three that can get the job done then it’s going to allow teams to just run the ball [the entire game]. [But] our guys held Washington State to 1.6 yards per carry last week and [Michigan State’s] Javon Ringer to under 100 yards, so I give a lot of credit to them and what they’ve been doing.
[On taking pride as a defense to stopping the run] I think going into that first game [Michigan State] was going to test our 3-4 and how it would hold up to their power [running game]. And I think we showed we could do that. The defensive line has been working hard on their pass rush skills and they have gotten a lot better. Once they feel a little more comfortable about what they’re doing, they’ll be able to get to the quarterback.
[On preparing for a long trip to the East Coast] Coach Tedford is going to take care of everything, make sure we go to bed at the right times. It’s going to be an early game for us, so we definitely are going to do something to get our bodies ready for it and I’m excited for it. I think it’s a big game for California as a whole to have this East Coast-West Coast game for pride.
WR Sean Young
[On preparing for the time difference] I don’t think it will be too much of a challenge. I think we will rise to the occasion. We’re getting our body clocks right and we’ll be well rested throughout the week. It will be a good experience.
[His thoughts of recording his first career TD at Washington State] It was kind of weird. I was looking at the referee to see if I really scored. I didn’t celebrate at first to make sure there were no penalty flags on the ground. It didn’t register right away until I ran back to the sideline and thought this is what I’ve always been waiting for. I told my dad and myself that it was going to happen. I was expecting it and I was dreaming it. It was a signature moment to have come this far and to have been through so much, and I always wanted to say before I ended my career that I got to score at least once. Just to have that happen, it was all worth it to come back and really give everything I had to make it happen. I called my dad after the game and told him that [touchdown] was for you.
FB Will Ta’ufo’ou
[On the relationship of the running backs] All of the running backs in our group have a close relationship and we have a lot of fun together. It’s a special group. Coach [Ron] Gould is fun to be around and he has his little jokes. I think the atmosphere is real special.
[On being a lead blocker for Jahvid Best] I think the best thing is that when he runs through that hole, he’s not going to get caught.
[On the progression of Best and Shane Vereen] They’ve been developing a lot throughout camp and these two games. They still have a lot to learn, which is good, because there is always room for improvement. They have all of the physical tools. It’s learning more about the mental part of the game and understanding what’s going on with the offense.
QB Kevin Riley
[On the offensive line] They’re doing awesome. They’re making huge holes and they’re doing they’re job. They are prepared every game and I feel they will continue to do that.
[On the importance of Will Ta’ufo’ou] He’s probably the one that makes the play go or doesn’t. He has the iso(lation) block on the lineman or backer and he’s doing his job getting in their way, making them take a different course and even in practice you can see him making plays. He’s just unbelievable.
[On traveling to Maryland] I’ve never gone across the country to play, so we’ll see how it goes. We practiced in camp at 8:00 a.m. a couple of times, but it’s more of a mental thing – we just have to be mentally prepared. We have to come out ready to play. This is a chance for people around the country to see us play. There aren’t a lot of chances for people in the east to see West Coast teams play, so this gives them an opportunity to see what Pac-10 football and Cal are all about.
DL Tyson Alualu
[Thoughts on the defensive line] It’s great to have a coach like Tosh Lupoi – [just] learning from him and the techniques he teaches us and how he explains the drills, it makes so much sense and the fact that he played here and he was a great player makes me want to work even harder.
[On Maryland] We are going to start game planning and working our butts off this week. Our scout offensive line does a great job every week preparing us for our opponents. We are not going to take anyone lightly. We’ve watched a little film on Maryland, and they look like a great team, especially their running back. We want to go there and give our best.
[On 3-4 defense] I’ve said this before, I love this defense. Especially because we have All-American linebackers – Zack [Follett], Anthony [Felder] and Worrell [Williams]. I wouldn’t want any other linebackers in America [on this team].
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