“It was a very physical, tough, hard fought football game. That is a very good football team that is difficult to beat. They won 10 games last year and had a lot of returning starters; they don't make a lot of mistakes. It was a tough physical evenly matched football game that came down to the team that made the fewest mistakes. We made more mistakes down the stretch then they did. They are very well coached, the kids play hard, and are very well disciplined. We'll learn a lot from this game. I'm really proud of the way our guys played. We have what it takes to be a good football team; young players have a habit of doing that. It doesn't get any easier, we have a tough schedule and we need to keep improving."
On QB Jared Goff:
"I thought Tony (Franklin) did a good job managing Jared early, getting him really high percentage throws so he could get settled in. He played really well in the second half. There were the two balls that were tipped right to their players, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame. They went right to a linebacker on the run, and were returned for touchdowns. We have to do a better job finding passing lanes and making sure the ball doesn't get tipped. We'll improve on that as the season goes. It was a heck of a performance by a young kid; to come in and throw for 445 yards in his first game is pretty impressive. He'll continue to get better and better, and take better care of the football. Overall it was a heck of a way to start."
On Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin coaching from the sideline:
"That is something we'll take week to week. We are such a young football team we thought it would be good for him to be down there to talk to kids and get the flows of the game. We'll look at it next week. At some point he'll go back up in the box, it is a lot easier to call the game from the press box. We wanted to make sure we could look our players in the eye and settle them down. We are used to making comebacks. Our teams always play hard; that is a trademark of our teams. What they will learn is that they are never out of the ballgame; we'll pull some rabbits out of a hat. We told them to believe in what they are doing and learn from everything. We had 99 plays, and there is something to learn in every one of them. We'll be a lot better football team next Saturday."
On Cal's run to pass ratio:
"We are disappointed in the way we ran the ball. We need to run the ball better than we did tonight; this team will run it better. We need to do a better job up front blocking. They are very young and part of their maturation is learning how to keep on a block. We were close to popping a couple of plays. We kept waiting for (Brendan) Bigelow or (Daniel) Lasco or Khalfani (Muhammad) to pop one. Northwestern tackled really well, and ran to the football well. We couldn't quite get loose. One of the strengths of Northwestern is their defense line. What we tried to do is take what they gave us. They were consistently putting their safeties in the run game, so we were able to get some passes in over the top."
Jared Goff, QB
On the game against Northwestern:
“Going out there was fun. We played pretty well throughout the game. It was super disappointing at the end to come up short. We played great pretty much the whole game.”
On his thoughts on his performance at quarterback:
“There’s a lot of stuff I can do better. I had a few nice passes and a few good plays, but there’s a lot of stuff I can do better.”
On playing in his first collegiate game:
“There were a few nerves, but I got over it really fast. I got the first completion in and the first touchdown, and (after that) I was over it pretty fast.”
On offensive coordinator Tony Franklin coaching from the sideline:
“It was helpful. He made that decision earlier in the week. It was helpful being able to have him there and talk to me.”
On the offense in the third quarter:
“We didn’t really make too many adjustments. We knew we’d get the post to Chris (Harper). That was really it. We came out and just did what we’ve always been doing. We don’t’ think about the score too much, and it worked out pretty well in the third quarter.”
On learning from the game:
“We definitely played well throughout most of the game. The ending was disappointing, but we have a lot to build on now with how we played. We learned a lot of stuff. Everything that could’ve happened kind of did happen during the game. We learned from it and we’ll come out stronger.”
On the offense:
“I’m really excited for our offense. That was a lot of fun out there. It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, but it’s a very fast tempo. You guys could see in the third quarter how much rhythm we can get. That can happen anytime, and I’m just excited for it.”
Bryce Treggs, WR
On the offense:
“I thought the team did OK. We had too many turnovers and that cost us the game. As far as offensive production, we had around 500 yards so that’s good for an offense, but it wasn’t good enough to win the game.”
NORTHWESTERN HEAD COACH PAT FITZGERALD
General Comments: Great team win. We knew this was going to be a very difficult challenge. Time zone, playing at night, they had every advantage. They had every tape on us, we had to figure out how they were going to deploy their personnel. A lot of credit to Cal, they came out and battled but our guys found a way to win in the 4th quarter. We had a lot of guys step up, a few guys get dinged up. They stepped up and picked up the flag and that’s probably what I’m most proud of. I talked back home about our depth and we weren’t perfect today but we had a lot of guys step up who went into the game maybe thinking they weren’t going to play as much as they did. So I’m incredibly proud of them. We have a lot of things we got to fix. We have a long trip and we’ll do our injury check once we arrive, and try to get some rest and get ready for a difficult opener at home.
On Green and Mark: Mark’s been dinged up as of late, and we were just trying to be really smart with him. We’ll see how things progress as we move forward, but as we sit here at the end of the game, he came out of it pretty well.
Let’s go back a year. Trey was coming off a pretty rough injury in training camp. That’s a huge testament to Trey. He fought through it and he’s had a terrific camp, he’s been outstanding. We expected to play all 5 tailbacks today and I think all 5 got reps.
On Colter leaving the game: We had to make a few adjustments, but both guys take a lot of reps in practice. I think the staff does a terrific job of getting both guys prepared and a terrific job by Trevor (Siemian). He did some things he’d probably like to have back, but still, going into the game probably not expecting to be the starter and then being thrust into the starting role. I thought he handled it pretty well. I had no idea if Kain was coming back into the game. Siemian is ready to go. We’ve had starter 1A and 1B for a couple years. Although he didn’t go out there on the 1st play, he still operates like he’s the starter. He gets a ton of reps.
On Collin Ellis: Collin’s been through a lot of adversity in his life. To see him crying on the field after the game is pretty tough for me to watch. I’m really happy for him. He’s a special young man and to see the way he played today was really special for him, for the team too. I’m sure his mom’s looking at him, his dad’s looking down on him from heaven.
On the BearRaid: I’m glad we only have to play it once. A little bit of that is on our offense, we couldn’t get out of our way in the 3rd quarter. We’re far from a finished product and you always know that going into the opener. We gave up too many yards, we gave up too many explosion plays.
On accusations of faking injuries: If anyone were to question the integrity of myself, our program, or our players, I question theirs. If our guys get dinged up, they’re instructed to go down. I have a hard time with that. They’re instructed to go down, not hobble off to the sideline.
On lack of tape: Their defense had a huge advantage on us. We had to look at tape of Coach Buh from two or three years ago at Nevada, on how they were going to defend us. For our offense to put up 70 plays and 500 yards, I’ll take that effort from our offensive staff and our young men, every week. We’ll have more information as we move forward.
Trevor Siemian, QB On having to play after starting QB Kain Colter got injured: “I wasn’t expecting to go in that quickly. Coach McCall told me about the third series he was going to try to work me in, but Kain got dinged up and I had to run out there. When they said Kain was done, with the concussion thing, that’s when I knew the keys were mine so I took it from there.”
On how offense changed with Siemian instead of Colter at QB: “It’s the same offense, but we just tweak it a little bit because I don’t run around as much as Kain. The option game is probably not as big a part of our offense, but it’s tailored to whoever is in there. The option isn’t as strong when I’m in there.”
On Treyvon Green’s performance: “The guy played his tail off. He had a really good camp, so for him to come out here and play that way – I’m really happy for him to see it pay off.”
Collin Ellis, QB On starting the season with a hot start: “It’s always a good confidence booster when you go out and have a good day. I had a lot of fun today.
On whether he had been working a lot on picks: “The coaches always preach, ‘Tips lead to picks.’ When they’re there, you’ve got to snag them and take a run.”
On if the players are tired after being on the field for 99 plays: “Cal was giving us some quick looks, and a few times we were running around like, ‘What’s going on?” but that’s the way we practice. We were getting tired.”
“We go against that offense every day in practice. Our practice is very up-tempo, so we get gassed in practice too. Cal runs it as quick as anybody. It’s good for us because we see it all the time, but it’s tough no matter what.”
On if the Bear Raid offense was as expected: “Yes, but the coaches came in with a great game plan and when we started executing it, that’s when we started making plays.”