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Friedgen: Cal Does What We Do, Only Better

After the game Saturday, Ralph Friedgen was neither angry nor emotional. He was embarrassed. At Tuesday’s press conference, he still seemed a little shaken from the loss, to be honest. Lou Holtz used to pump every opponent up like it was the second coming of the 1985 Chicago Bears. Ralph’s praise for Cal was sincere. He called them one of the best teams he will have played since being at Maryland. He also said Cal does a lot of the things Maryland does, only better. Here are some of his quotes from that press conference:

“Offense watched tape as a unit and defense watched tape as a unit. We had a lot of things there but didn’t take advantage of it and didn’t execute. Did not take advantage of what was there. I wanted our players to see that. We have to get things corrected along those lines. I mentioned over the teleconference that we had some communication issues. They were much better Monday night and they were much better attuned to things.

I don’t think we were as focused as we need to be. We dropped some passes, we missed some passes, we missed some blocks we missed some assignments. What we need to be is more consistent. We would have a really good play then come back and someone would blow their assignment. Some of it is getting used to a new offense, some of it is young players.

(the challenge of defending MTSU’s offense)
You get into a no huddle offense. They would look over to the sideline to get the play and they would try to freeze the defense. We were changing defenses as they were signaling them in. To do that, you have to be able to make audible calls. When we did it, we did it well and were very effective, but there were sometimes where we didn’t call it fast enough so not everyone was on the same page defensively.

They threw the ball very quickly. They attacked us with screens and with three-step drops. It was very difficult to get to them. Those were things we have to do different. When they make adjustments, they go unbalanced, we have to make adjustments and be able to communicate that also with the secondary. We have some great kids, some are introverts back there and it’s not easy for them to come out and be vocal, and they have to do that. I talked to a couple yesterday and I was very pleased with how they came out.

The two teams we played have thrown the ball very quickly. Anytime you blitz, especially when you zone blitzing, I don’t think we blitzed as much as we normally would because of what they were doing against us. We obviously would like to blitz more and get more pressure, especially on third down. When we have gotten pressure, we missed the sack. We missed two sacks Saturday we missed two against Delaware. Once we get there we have to make the play.

(On Cal’s team)
They do a lot of things we’re doing right now, they are just doing them better. You see a lot of 21 personnel. They play with a fullback, tailback and two wide receivers and a tight end, but they get into a lot of one-back sets with Jahvid Best, they use him a lot like Reggie Bush. You see him in the backfield, you see him go in motion. They will throw him the ball on screens, they will try to get him isolated on a linebacker and go deep, so he is not just a running back, he can be a wide receiver. They will move him around and get him matched up on the best guy they possibly can. They have speed at wide receiver and also tight end that causes a lot of problems also. They do a lot with fullbacks still in the game, it’s not just going to be two backs in the backfield. He could be out as a wide receiver. That’s a little different from what we normally see around here.

(approach with his players)
The meeting yesterday, I thought it was very important to be very positive with our players. Our players were feeling this loss just as much as our coaches were. I told them after the game that I didn’t do a very good job getting them prepared. I feel that way even though I knew what we were going into. I watched Virginia play there last year and they were very lucky to win that game. I knew they had speed and skill people. I knew if we weren’t at our best we would have a good opportunity to be beaten. It’s like seeing a train wreck and you can’t do anything about it, that is what was frustrating. I’m hoping our kids will have a little more faith and belief in me.”

A lot of things in life, when you are down, you still have an opportunity to come back. It’s one game, I talked to them on Friday about some of the games we let get away last year. I felt we had a chance to win three other games last year and didn’t. It is going to take character, not only by our players but also by our coaches. We have to focus. We can’t do anything about what happened last week, but we sure as hell can do something about what will happen in the future.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 10, 2008; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Football  | Tags: Ralph Friedgen  
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So they lose to horrible teams better then Maryland does? Doubtful.

Posted by: Broken Clipboard | September 10, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry if I was super short with my comment but...

You are playing Delaware and Middle Tennessee with quarterbacks who obviously are not comfortable with the RUN RUN RUN....the Maryland line MUST be bigger/better then the opposition. Oh and once you run well...RUN SOME MORE. Let your QBs get up to speed.

Posted by: Broken Clipboard | September 10, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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