Sept. 29, 2001
Cal head coach Tom Holmoe
General comments on the game
"I think at this time and point in our season, it's very important for us to make gains in certain areas and one of the ones we did make a definite gain in today was that we played with a lot of heart. We still did some real dumb things and that prohibited us from winning. But I'm very proud of the team and the way they performed and the way they battled. "
"There are a lot of odds against us and a lot of people not on our side. But these kids believe in each other and that is special. I'm proud of the way we came out and battled for each other. I'm not in the least bit content, I'm not satisfied at all because that was a game that we should have won, but we didn't."
On whether there was a let down on Cal's sidelines in the second half:
"No. Not really. I think the plays that they (Washington) got were a couple of big plays, a couple of big passes. Offensively, we had everything going for us in the first half and then we couldn't continue that in the second half. And it came down to plays. We had to make plays. We had a lot of key, key first downs that we missed, dropped balls, and we have to do that (make plays). When you're playing a team the caliber of Washington, you cannot spit the ball around and drop passes and jump offsides or whatever it might be. You have to play clean and we can't do that now."
On Cal's passing game in the second half:
"We came back to it (our passing game). They (Washington) just made some adjustments. I didn't think they were going to let us keep doing it in the second half. We tested it a couple of times and they were alert and ready so we had to change up a little bit. We actually came back and got a couple of things in the flat. But they were sharper in the second half defending some of the things we had hurt them with early."
On whether fatigue was a factor with the Cal defense in the second half:
"The first half, the defense wasn't on the field much and had some nice short drives that they defended. In the second half, there were some longer drives. We were stout and up-front with the run game and they pounded a little bit in the second half. Anytime you play a team of (Washington's) caliber, it's going to be a physical match and you've got to be standing in the end."
"I think our guys battled. The key was we got the ball back with plenty of time and a timeout (left). That's what we played to do. You don't know how it's going to turn out in the last series. But when we give the offense the ball with a timeout left and plenty of time...The defense gave us what we needed on offense and the offense just didn't get the job done in the end."
Cal Player Quotes
Kyle Boller, Quarterback
"We played pretty well the first half, but the second half.....the third quarter, we just couldn't get it rolling. I think if we had got rolling then, in the last couple of series we had, we would've won the game.
Talking about the defense:
" Our defense played awesome. I don't get to see that much, but what I saw, they played with a lot of heart and made some plays.
On the second half:
"I don't really know what it was. It basically comes down to execution. You have to execute for four quarters, not three-quarters. In each game you're going to hit adversity, and our adversity was in the third quarter. We have to learn how to put a couple of series behind us and move forward, and do what we did in the end....earlier. We're capable of doing that, but I think there's a ghost over Cal or something (laughs). Something preventing us from winning. I think guys played with a lot of heart today, it was just that third quarter. Basically, that was big.
Atari Callen, Cornerback
"When the coach put me in there, it showed that he has confidence in me and that made me step up and play harder and I came back and made a couple of big plays at the end of the game....I didn't let the deep ball get to me. So, when the coaches keep you in after you get beat once, it shows they have confidence in you and your teammates. It pumps you up and makes you feel good so you can come back and make a couple of plays.
Talking about the Offense's last drive:
"Our offense showed that they can move the ball, they can make the long drives. So, we knew if we could stop them, our offense would have a great opportunity to go down there and score. Our job as the defense was to get them the ball back. That's all that we can do.
Washington coach Rick Neuheisel
General comments on the game
"I'm certainly elated with the victory, given the nature of the comeback. We certainly were not on all cylinders. We were firing blanks in the first half. At halftime, we made some great adjustments on defense. Except for Cal's touchdown in what was like a two-minute drill, we played well on defense in the second half."
"I need to talk to my young team so that they bring their full attention in all situations. I did not have them ready to play. It's a great lesson for me. Hopefully I'm not going to forget it soon."
For Cal's strong start in the game
"I want to congratulate Cal. Certainly much has been said about their football program and their coaching staff. I want to compliment their coaching staff and their players for their intensity. They played great. They outcoached us in the first half. I take full responsibility for not getting our team ready. We got whipped."
"It was an avalanche out there. With our first touchdown we kind of got a little life."
"It was a great game plan. Al Borges gives you a lot of different looks. It took us a while to catch up."
On Washington's adjustments
"We kept the fullback (Marcus Fields) from killing us out of the backfield. We did a better job tackling. We made plays on the ball. We were not as sharp as the first two weeks, but we lived to tell about it."
On the last three games with Cal
"It's an amazing deal. I can only imagine what they're thinking on the other side. I point to our character. Not to diminish it on their side, but for us there's been no finger pointing by our guys."
On QB Cody Pickett and the offense
"This was third of the three games this year in terms of grading him. In terms of handling adversity, he was perfect. Instead of going in the tank, he kept fighting. "We're continuing to evolve as an offense. Guys are trying to develop strengths. This plan had to evolve as the game went on because of the intricacies of that they did on defense."
Washington Player Quotes
FL Paul Arnold
On his 62-yard touchdown reception:
"My eyes just got big and I caught it and ran. Just coming out of the huddle I thought it was going to be a big play but I really didn't know until afterwards, but that's just the way all wide receivers are coming out of the huddle."
"We knew that they were going to be in a lot of man coverage, so we knew we had to make the big plays and I was just lucky to be the first."
"I definitely feel good. It was my day and I was ready for it. Every year Cal plays us tough and we always look forward to that game."
"There's just something about Cal. I don't care about the first three games, they are a good football team."
TB Rich Alexis
"That's a great team over there. I don't know what is going on but they just need to come together and gel."
"It's never easy against Cal. We knew Cal was going to come out tough. Fortunately, we just come out better today."
"The offensive line really played great in the second half and opened up some big holes."
"This is a great win. This is my second time playing Cal and each time we've had to come from behind. I don't want to have to keep doing that."
"They were showing the blitz and then backing off the line and we just had to make some adjustments to that."
QB Cody Pickett
"Cal mixed it up a lot. We knew they were going to do it, but when we got out there it took some time to make the adjustments. They had a great defensive scheme. I'm just glad our team played a great second half. They were in our face the first couple of drives but I knew we just needed to get our confidence going."
With the score 21-7:
"I felt good. I knew we needed to stay calm and get some rhythm."