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Cal-USC Postgame Quotes
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  09/27/2003

Sept. 27, 2003

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California Head Coach Jeff Tedford

General Comments:
"I'm so proud of our kids. They have great belief in themselves and great belief in the program. It was a great team effort because it went back and forth. The defense created some turnovers for us, some we were able to capitalize on and some we weren't. The overtime was a rollercoaster. It's just so great to see the look in our kids' eyes that they never have a doubt. They play their tails off for as long as it takes. It was a great victory for our young men."

"Anytime you can have success against a team like USC (it's a great accomplishment). They're a tremendous football team and it means a lot to this football program to have that kind of victory in our home stadium on national television. It's a tremendous feather in our kids' cap."

On the winning field goal:
"We tried to make adjustments and move up closer. Mike Williams really gets in the air. The 51 yard (blocked field goal) didn't surprise me much because sometimes coming out, you don't get the height on it. The one in overtime did surprise me. But we talked to Tyler (Frederickson) and told him 'Those short field goals are just chip shots; you don't have to drive it. Let's get under it and get some height on the ball'. He had great confidence going into that last kick. I looked him in the eye and he said 'Coach, let's do it.' I'm very happy for Tyler to come through."

On Aaron Rodgers:
"Aaron (Rodgers) was banged up a little bit. Coming out at halftime, I didn't see it in his eyes that he felt good. I asked him 'What's wrong?' and he said 'I'm really banged up.' I said 'You tell me when you feel like you can't get it done.' After the interception for the touchdown, I went over to him and said 'Do you want to take a couple of series off?' and he said 'Yes.' We put Reggie (Robertson) in and Reggie did a nice job for us."

"(Aaron) will be fine. It was one of those games for a young 19 year old kid. When you play USC, you get battered around pretty good. I know he's disappointed not to be able to finish the football game. But he'll be back; he's our starting quarterback."

"He wasn't himself. He was limping around. I think he felt like he couldn't perform to his ability given his condition. Reggie's done a great job for us. There's not a lot of slack when Reggie comes in for us. We have tremendous confidence in Reggie."

California Players

Jonathan Makonnen, WR
"I was waiting the whole game to make a play for our team, and to give us a chance to win. Normally I'm supposed to run outside, but Reggie led me away from the defender and gave me a chance to make a play."

"We didn't die. We just went out there and gave it our all."

On USC taking CAL lightly:
"I think that's what they do every year. I think they always take us lightly. They really don't respect us. They're a talented team but they were lackadaisical out there."

Daymeion Hughes, CB
"My coach put a lot of pressure on me all week. I'm just as big and fast as them (USC Receivers) so I had no reason to be afraid of them."

Tyler Fredrickson, P/PK
"It's one of those games where you're thankful to God for the opportunity to go out and get a second, third, and fourth chance."

"Our defense was huge at the end. Our team hung in there and we never doubted. I'm so proud of our guys and it's good to see smiles on our Coaches faces. This is an amazing opportunity and I thank God for it all."

USC Head Coach Pete Carroll

GENERAL COMMENTS
"I'm disappointed in how we played the game today. Cal had a terrific game. Jeff Tedford had a great plan. It's a marvelous day for them. In the second half, we made a couple of mistakes and that made the difference. You get on a streak like this and you think this can't happen, but it did. It was a heck of a football game today."

"It wasn't an energy thing. We had a lot of penalties. It didn't feel like us in the first half. Too many things got away from us. Our tackling wasn't good. We focused a lot on the passing game and I feared we didn't emphasize the run enough. Because of the way they ran right at us, some stuff we wanted to do pass rush-wise, we couldn't do."

"I'm disappointed. We looked like we were playing the kind of game where you're out of wack. I'll probably take some heat next week for not getting them ready."

"We talked (after the game) about taking every opportunity we're faced with. We can't do anything about this game, but we can get ready for the next game and the next opportunity. That was the message: hang together, get ready for the next week."

On USC's running game:
"It wasn't consistent at all in the first half. I felt better about it in the second half. It really threw us off our tempo in the first half though."

On the second half:
"We needed to regroup. I thought we came out in the second half and did that."

On the play of QB Matt Leinart:
"I thought he played the game efficiently, but he missed some opportunities. And we needed to run the football better to give him good opportunities."

USC Players

MATT LEINART, QB
On losing the game:

"We knew we had a good game plan all week, but they were a good football team. I take blame for it because I had some chances, but Cal just played great tonight."

On the running game:
"I'm a little bit disappointed. We didn't execute at times. We can't hang our heads. We just have to get ready for next week."

On second half:
"In the first half, we lost our focus at times. Second half we got fired up and scored some. I've always thought we were a second half team, but we just couldn't bounce back."

SHAUN CODY, DT
On losing the game:

"They definitely came in and stung us. They just had a few more punches than us. They came out and punched us in the mouth."

On getting over the game:
"It's gonna take us a few days to get over this one. We have to just take it one game at a time. We will come back out and play hard again.

On Cal's offensive attack:
"They switched it up on us a little bit. They have a good running back and he was able to do some things against us."


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