Cal-Arizona Postgame Quotes
Nov. 16, 2002
California head coach Jeff Tedford
On whether this game was a letdown:
"I guess you could put it that way. We didn't make a lot of plays. We didn't tackle very well. All week long, we tried to talk about how they're not our issues; they're their (Arizona's) issues. But you don't know how much of it sinks into the players when they're seeing the media and they're seeing the interviews and they're reading stuff. I'm not going to blame it on that, though. I'm not going to blame it on what went on. It's our job to get them ready to play and if our guys weren't ready to play, then that's my fault."
On Cal's pass defense:
"They (Arizona) were better than we were. It's pretty simple. They were better than we were today. We couldn't cover them. They did an excellent job of catching the football. You have to give Bobby Wade and the rest of the receivers a lot of credit. They did an excellent job after they'd catch the ball, making people miss and fighting for extra yardage. Bobby Wade is maybe the best receiver in the conference. He's an excellent player. (The Arizona receivers) are very quick, very fast. They did a nice job. A lot of credit goes to them, but we didn't do our best job of covering them."
On Cal's special teams:
"I thought special teams played well, except for the punt we had blocked. I don't know the reason for that. Besides that, our special teams played well. When a guy kicks a bad kickoff and it hits our guy when he's trying to get out of the way...what do you do? It's not something they were planning on doing; it was a mistake. But besides that, the special teams played excellent. The way we're covering kicks is great. They returned a kick for a touchdown and blocked field goal for a touchdown. They played excellent".
On Kyle Boller:
"Kyle didn't have his sharpest day. He didn't seem comfortable in the pocket. He seemed to be rushing some things and just didn't seem comfortable. There were a couple of times that Kyle just missed people today."
WR LaShaun Ward
"Unfortunately we didn't have too many breaks that went our way today. They scored a couple of touchdowns in a row and took us out of our game plan."
On the way the offense struggled:
"You definitely need to be able to establish the run to set up what we want to do offensively and we just could not get it going consistently today."
On playing in The Big Game next week:
"We can't afford to hang our heads on this one. I'm a senior and I'm definitely looking forward to next week."
LB Marcus Daniels
"Arizona has some talented receivers who made some good moves to gain yards after making the catch. We tried to bracket (Arizona receiver) Bobby Wade, but he was able to get free on us a couple of times."
"We did our best to stop the run, but they made some big plays. They played really well in this game as a team."
On playing in The Big Game next week:
"We'll be ready for next week. Stanford is going to come in ready to play, so we really have to do a good job of preparing for them this week. We want to go out there and make the University proud."
Arizona head coach John Mackovic
"I told the guys this game was really about them and what they are made of. I didn't say it as a challenge. I got all the publicity, but it was about them. And they showed unbelievable courage, unbelievable character and heart."
"It was an unusual situation. I don't think they'll ever forget this game. Not that it was the most important game they've played, but this game they can use as a lesson for themselves and a lesson for others."
"This game, I'll remember a long time. I just don't have as much time left as they do."
"You get in a game sometimes and something happens against you and you feel deflation. That didn't happen. We got the lead and that was critical. They'd come back and we'd get the lead again. It was a fun game. I wanted them to play hard and have fun. You may not win all the time, but it's fun to watch when your team plays hard."
"I never really worried about the team playing well today. I thought when all was said and done, they'd want to play a good game."
"We didn't talk a lot (before the game). There was a lot of talking Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, we didn't talk a lot. We just worked hard."
On Arizona's offensive performance
"We're not very balanced. We know that. We just do what we do."
"Bobby Wade and Andrae Thurman - I don't think I've had two receivers ever play better. Not just their stats, but the way they played."
On Mackovic's ESPN GameDay interview before the game
"I did the TV interview this morning with the GameDay guys because I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about Arizona football - what it is and what it can be. I had second thoughts about it being too close to the game or that I might say something, but I thought it would be good for the program."
TE Justin Levasseur
"This was my first game with two touchdowns, it was a really nice thing for me. I'd like to move all our home games here next year. After last week, I just prepared myself to play harder one game at a time."
What was your mental state coming into this game?:
"Coach Mackovic said this is your guys' game and play for yourselves. We just came out and played as a team. We were one unit playing together ... offense, defense and special teams was making plays. We knew we had to come in and play well in this game. We got ASU coming in next week and we were really focusing on this game."
On being back in the Bay Area:
"I was trying to put on a good show for my family. My dad makes all my games, but I really just wanted to make plays for my team."
LB Ray Wells
"Our team really responded to a lot of criticism that we've received from outsiders. I think that helped us to rally. There's been a lot of negative publicity towards us and I think it helped us to focus and really concentrate on this game."
How did the team come together?:
"A lot of frustrations that guys needed to get off their chest were voiced. I wouldn't say that it resolved everything, but it cleared the air. Once that meeting was over, it was all about playing Cal this weekend. I think winning the way we did today will really help things."
Were you worried that you guys wouldn't come together today?:
I thin that the majority of players really wanted to come together so that we can end our season on a positive note. The team in general has been close as a group all year."
WR Bobby Wade
"The victory was just so important for the coaches, players, seniors and the university. With all the hoopla and controversy that's been going on all week it was so important for us to come in here and get a victory. It also says a lot about the character of our team. It's something that I've been saying all year ... regardless of the losses, we come back and work hard. I've always had faith in these guys showing up every week. I think the most important thing that was different today from the other weeks was that we were free to play. I think that was the message from the players with the whole situation. These guys wanted to be out there, be free and play. I've never felt restricted, but I think some of the players did feel that way at times. We had a great game plan today and it was executed well."