Sept. 9, 2000
Below are quotes from players and coaches following Cal's 24-21 victory over Utah Saturday.
Cal head coach Tom Holmoe:
General comments on the game:
"We've been anticipating this game ever since the last game we played last year. When you lose your last one, you have a long time until your next one, and that's an awful feeling for a player and a coach to have. It's great to get that feeling out of your system."
"I'm proud of the way the players played. We made a lot of mistakes, but we did a lot of really good things out there. I would say that we made some progress, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. I think you can see there are some things in our offense that are a little bit better, but the total control and domination of the game was missing."
On Cal's no-huddle offense:
"We felt that we could keep Utah out of some of their personnel changes, so we went with a no-huddle (offense). It wasn't a hurry-up no-huddle, just something to keep the tempo going,. The first quarter, it went well. The second quarter, the plan was to get out of the no-huddle and then change the tempo and go back, and give ourselves a little bit of a rest, but it didn't go quite as well. When we came out, some people might have thought we pulled our stinger in. That was not the intention. We went no-huddle and we could still keep the clock going, but we didn't execute very well. Offensively, subconsciously I think the players and some of the coaches just got a little bit safe."
On the impact of Reed Diehl being taken out of the game:
"We wanted to run the ball a lot, and I think we did. We can't go out there and have our offense dictated by who is in and out of the game. Obviously, Reed Diehl is a pretty important player. When he came out, I'm sure Steve's (Hagen) calls were affected by that, but not much. We didn't really back off too much in what we were doing."
Cal player quotes
QB Kyle Boller
On the start of the season
"After spring ball and summer and (fall) camp, I felt a lot more smooth and relaxed. I felt a lot better. In summer and in camp, we just hooked up with the receivers and worked line after line, throw after throw to develop a bond between them."
On the opening TD drive
"It was huge. I was a little nervous in the beginning and at practice we were nervous too. It was a nice way to start the game out."
On the young wide receivers
"They're a great group of guys. They know how to win and how to play. They're just gonna keep getting better and better. I'm real happy with them. You can throw a ball up and have 100 percent confidence that they're gonna go up and try to catch it. I mean it makes a world of difference."
WR James Smith
Comments on first touchdown
"We were just looking for what's a lookie route, and Kyle was supposed to just play it at the last second and he saw that there was no safety. Charon was inside of me, but we switched it and I went inside and he just threw it and I caught it just like in practice everyday."
On the wide receiver core
"I'd say this core has more heart than last year. Last year, we were more individuals, we weren't as together. Coach Hagen did a good job of bringing the offense together. We sing the fight song - I didn't even know what the fight song was -but now we do that."
On spreading the ball around
"It definitely helps a lot. You can't go to the same guy, because if you go to the same guy, you just keep wearing him out. Then they start double-teaming him. And they have nine in the box. Our goal was to give (Joe) Igber room, so they won't put nine in the box."
On the last defensive drive
"I was thinking just don't get beat deep. We can't give up big plays. We haven't been giving them up the whole game. It'll be pitiful for us to give it up now. Everybody was looking forward to us, because everyone relies on our defense. I was thinking that I didn't want to be the one (to get beat)."
On keeping the "Hit Squad" tradition alive
"There is a lot of pressure on your shoulders. You don't want to be recognized as the downfall of Cal's defense. If you have a past history of a tight defense, you want to keep that tradition going. Off-season, we worked hard to get that communication and get that bond between the defensive players. We still have a lot to work on, but it's coming along real well."
Utah head coach Ron McBride
On Cal's offense
"Cal did a good job executing their offense. They moved the chains a little bit. Obviously their quarterback (Kyle Boller) improved a lot and Joe (Igber)'s a good runner. I think their quarterback's gonna be a nice player for them. Their offensive line is better than a year ago. They played smashmouth."
On Cal's defense
"Cal had a real good defense a year ago. It looks like it will be good again. But our ineptitude on offense...we waited until the fourth quarter to do anything."
On the overruled catch by Steve Smith in the endzone at the end of the first half
"That wasn't even a tough call. I was sitting right there and saw him catch it. That was an easy one. I'm not gonna criticize the officials. I'm sure that's what he thought he saw."
On Cal's Andre Carter
"We watched a lot of film on him. He's a really good athlete. He has a big impact on the game. He's one of the premiere defensive linemen in the country. He's got long arms. He's a strong player. Great vertical. He can really turn a game around."
Utah Player Quotes
LC Andre Dyson ~
On the first half: "We have to come out and play better in the first half. "
On Cal's no huddle offense:
"We didn't expect it, but it didn't surprise us. They got us a little tired with it in the first half, but you just have to work through it."
On his touchdown:
"My goal was to get in the endzone once I caught it."
On the defense's mentality:
"We know our offense can score anytime. Our job is to just contain the other offense and give our team a chance to pull games out."
WR-X Steve Smith ~
"I come into every game thinking I'm going to do something."
On his incomplete pass in the endzone:
"Everyone in the nation knows I caught it but the guy in the stripes and he's the one that matters."
On his touchdown:
"I've been waiting 10 months. I got my opportunity and they showed me no respect. It came from practice and concentration."
On the offsetting penalties:
"I was just trying to fight for the ball and I just happened to get his facemask. Just because it's the fourth quarter doesn't change anything. You still have to go 110%."
On the first half:
"I felt like we were just shooting ourselves in the foot."
RB Nick Morgan ~
"We've got the mechanics to have one of the best offenses around. I'm guaranteeing that the rest of the season we are coming out ready to play."