The Only Question that Matters
As Matt Rennie pointed out a little while ago, the only question that matters this week: How can team that failed to slow down an undermanned, inexperienced, middle-of-the-pack Sun Belt team match up with a speedy Pac-10 team that just racked up 66 points in a conference road game?
Maryland likely isn’t as bad as what everyone saw in the 24-14 loss at MTSU. And California likely isn’t as good as what everyone saw in the 66-3 victory at WSU. But here are some interesting quotes from both Cal and Washington State after that game. The Cougars were really taken aback by the speed and strength of Cal. (Just guessing the speed and strength of Cal is a little better than that of MTSU.)
California Head Coach Jeff Tedford
On the game... “We came in pretty focused and ready to play. There’s a lot of areas to continue to improve on. I thought the defense played very well today, coming up with turnovers.”
“It was nice to see Jahvid (Best) and the running game continue to do well, but we have to be more balanced.”
On the offense...
“We bogged down on a few series’ and we have to do better than that. I don’t care if we are backed up on the three‐ yard line. If we’re going to be a championship team we’ve got to punch it off the goal line and put drives together. We can’t just use bad field position as an excuse.”
On jumping out to a big lead...
“You worry about people getting in their comfort zone, but I thought our team really didn’t do that today. I don’t think it had anything to do with guys not playing hard or getting in a comfort zone or being overconfident, I thought they played hard the whole time.”
“Obviously it’s nice to get out to a lead, but then you really need to try and continue to keep momentum and keep the pressure on.”
On the running game...
“The offensive line did a nice job and anytime you get Jahvid (Best) in a footrace, there’s very few of those he is going to lose.” “The first play of the game was very well blocked and he found the crease.”
California Quarterback Kevin Riley
On the fast start... “You could see it on their players once we started putting more and more points on the board, they kind of just flattened.”
California Running Back Shane Vereen
On playing a conference opponent so early...
“I think we handled it pretty well. I think we came out firing. We got on top of them pretty quick, which is what we really want to do.”
California Running Back Jahvid Best On backfield combination...
“Before the game we always talk about what we expect out of each other. I told him I expected another big play from him and he said the same to me. It’s kind of like a good rivalry, we just keep pushing each other to be the best players we can be.”
WSU Coach Paul Wulff On the game
“Their jump start helped obviously, but you know what, I thought our guys kept competing and the bottom line was that we were outmanned, they are a lot bigger, a lot stronger and a lot faster.”
“Their X’s were a lot better than our O’s; we just couldn’t match up with them physically, period.”
“In that first half, we had a lot of receivers open, we were not hitting them, so we have work to do to make that better.”
“We have 11 games in front of us, this is a full season, we are going to get better, they are trying to get better, their attitude is right. Believe it or not there was improvement on some plays.
Expectations for the week...
“We just have to continue to keep practicing hard and cleaning up our execution. We have a lot of young kids playing but we would have guys who were not lining up right and we would miss a block, it’s called consistency and we do not have that right now.”
WSU Coach Chris Ball On the game...
“We knew they were fast, but the only way to imitate the speed is to have your ones on ones. But that is hard to do right now, we are a little banged up.”
“The first play I think we were really caught off guard with their strength and speed”
“Honestly, the coaches got us ready for a lot of what they were doing, we have to watch film to see what happened. A lot of it was run plays, powers and leads and we just did not get the running back down.”
“The speed of the game is different than the scout team obviously, but that is something that we need to work on in practice.”
Gary Rogers on the game...
“They are going to score and we have to just match them. I think our defense did a good job, they did give up points, but we have to help them out and put points on the board too. It is a team thing and when we don’t put up points and they do, it’s going to be a loss.”
On the quarterback change... “That was a coach’s decision and I stuck behind them and they felt that they wanted to get Kevin some reps and Marshall as well.”
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