Sept. 12, 2006
BERKELEY - The University of California football team will take its momentum from last week's victory over Minnesota into its matchup with Portland State this Saturday. The game will be broadcast live on Comcast at 3:15 p.m. (PT). Cal held its third press conference of the 2006 season on Tuesday in the Hall of Fame room at the historic Memorial Stadium. Head coach Jeff Tedford and numerous players attended to speak with the press.
On the Portland State defense:
"Very stout, very good defensive group as a whole, very physical up front, big, and they play very hard. The linebackers do a great job, great instincts, run very well. They haven't given up a touchdown yet this year, so they're really doing a nice job on defense. You're talking about a bunch of seniors and transfers; they've really assembled a very good unit there. They do a nice job of coaching them; they're very multiple on defense."
On the team overall:
On both sides of the ball there are 13 seniors and the rest are juniors and they have one freshman playing, but no underclassmen are really playing. They're a veteran group, know what they're doing and really look comfortable out there. They look like a very good 1-A team to me. They're a really good football team. I saw they were ranked No. 13 in 1-AA. They're very well coached. They're very multiple, they do a lot of things on offense, they do a lot of things on defense and they do them well. They don't give up big plays on defense, they fly to the ball; they're very well coached."
On quarterback Nate Longshore:
"Nate played really well and it was great to see. That's more of what we expected. The difference is that this week [against Minnesota], we had guys blocking, we had guys catching and he did his part. Nate was very sharp, ran the offense really well and that's really what we expected to see."
On preparing for Portland State's offense and defense:
"They're both very challenging, and their special teams is a concern as well. In all three phases of the game, going into this week, our mindset is that we need to prepare to play up to our potential always, no matter who we're playing, whether it be Minnesota or Portland State, it's about us, about how we prepare and about how we perform, no matter who's on the other side of the ball. That's how we need to practice and that's how we need to go into the game."
On the Cal receivers:
"I was really impressed with the way our receivers played last week. Not only catching the football, but the way they blocked. They played really hard because they practiced really hard and it carries over into the game. The same thing has to happen this week."
On special teams:
"It's very important to make plays in the kicking game, whether it is returns or creating field position. Obviously to score on special teams would be great, but just to win the field position battle would be something that would be critical in this game or any other game to be successful."
On Marshawn Lynch's kick-return game: "I think we're averaging about 20 yards a return, except for the one when he went backwards, those never help the average. The first one was bobbled, I think if we would have got that one clean, there was a huge hole, but we were late getting there because the ball was bobbled. He was pretty close the other day [to a touchdown], if we field that one clean, he may have had a chance there. The next one he had a nice little crease and got to the 25-yard line. I think he's good at it and to utilize him in all ways we can, as long he stays healthy, it will be something we continue to do."
On the pace of the Minnesota game:
"The pace was a little slower. Our tempo was a lot better. We really stressed tempo last week. Getting to the line of scrimmage, getting set and going, tempo was a big thing. I assume every conference's officiating crew is a little bit different. I thought the pace of the game was fine as far as that is concerned."