Sept. 2, 2003
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his press conference heading into Cal's game vs. Colorado State. The Bears host the Rams on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
On Colorado State's offense
"Obviously the key is stopping (QB Bradlee) Van Pelt. He is deceivingly fast and is very strong. So, any time you're playing a team that is running the option and you need one guy to tackle their one guys, it's going to be tough. If you're going up against someone like an Ell Roberson (Kansas State), who is very quick, and then you play against someone like Van Pelt, who is not only very fast but very strong and can run through you like a fullback can, then that is obviously a concern. He has also become an efficient passer. Coupled with a receiver like (Chris) Pittman, who can get down the field, the two will pose a lot of problems on offense."
On Colorado State's defense
"Defensively, they are a good team. They gave up some big plays last week, so I am sure that they will address that and not let that happen again. Sonny Lubick has a great program, and I am sure that they'll iron out those issues. They play very hard and intense on D."
On Kansas State's option compared to Colorado State's
"They are a little bit more power-oriented, doing a lot more wing stuff. K-State kind of found an option play that worked and kept on running it. Colorado State is similar in the sense that they can run the option forcing the opposition to flood the alleys, leaving you one-on-one outside to play their receivers. We will have to do a good job of switching things up so that we have all phases covered on the option and when they pull it back and throw it."
On Cal's goal line offense
"We'll work on it the same way we do every week. I was kind of in a bind Saturday because I was questioning myself about not running a quarterback sneak in the K-State game. So, I was wrestling in my mind the idea of what to do. I had been kicking myself all week wondering if I made the right decision, but last Saturday showed why we don't run the sneak. But they were very stiff in there. Our guys know that when we get down there, we have to do a better job of knocking people off the ball."
On taking field goals
"When you get inside the 1-yard line, it is too close to take a field goal. I have full confidence in my guys that we'll punch it in for a touchdown. Against Kansas State, we went for the touchdown because we were on the road and a touchdown would have added some momentum. This past week, we kicked a field goal, the second time we were down there, because it was a different situation. The game was closer - 2-0. I think for the offensive mindset, its better to go for the touchdown. I know that my offensive players would rather try to put it in."
On team conditioning
"I have been pleased with our conditioning. There is always a fine line between pushing them too hard to where they are not fresh to play or to back off a certain amount of time. I think (strength & conditioning) coach (John) Krasinski has done a great job in getting the team ready. You know they are up at 7 p.m., making weights bounce off the ground. They work hard at being in shape. "
On the personality of the Rams
"They are at the top of the conference every year. When I was at Fresno State, we would have very good games with them and sometimes, they'll come in and bury you. They were very big and physical up front. I do know that they are very well coached. They have a good program and players, and are always in a bowl game. They are a program that has had their share of shootouts - if you get in a situation where you have them down, it is not going to phase them at all. They are a team that is very resilient and has poise. And with Van Pelt, you are never out of the game."
More on Van Pelt's strength
"Van Pelt is stronger than any other quarterback I've seen run the ball - he runs high and strong, he doesn't even have to put his pads down to bounce off of people. It seems that he gets better as he gets hit. He is a very tough guy. He stands out as being as physical a quarterback as anyone I have ever seen."
On practicing for the option
"It's tough to simulate a guy like that at practice. The hardest thing to do when preparing for the option is trying to simulate the speed and fluidity of it in practice."