Andre Carter Talks about Illinois and Upcoming Game
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  09/21/2000

Sept. 21, 2000


Sept. 21, 2000

I feel good about how practice has gone this week. The coaches and players are excited about going down to Fresno State and playing in that type of environment. The word is that it will be worse than playing at Oklahoma with the crowd and the noise. We hear that the crowd will be right behind the bench, talking trash. But that's nothing new to us. It's the same way at Oklahoma or other places we've played. You just have to go ahead and play football.

We missed an opportunity last week at Illinois. That was a game we should have won. We hung in there, but in the end, we had some little things that destroyed us. We gave up too many plays on defense. But, I guess we can take out of the game that we played a Top 20 team to the wire on the road. But, we need to get wins. That's our total focus this week.

It was really fun playing against a pre-season All-American tackle in Marques Sullivan of Illinois. Last year, I got to play against USC's Travis Claridge and it was the same type of thing. I always want to play against the best. It was bone on bone the whole game. I can't comment on who was better, because that's not my style. Coach Dutton did evaluate my performance highly, but really I let others do that stuff. I just play.

It was tough on us to get up that early and be ready to get on a bus at the stadium by 6:00 a.m. last Friday. One of the student trainers had the duty of calling everybody on the team and I acted like she had the wrong number when she called me.

I played every play again. I feel fortunate that I came out of that game without any injuries. That Astroturf was like concrete. It reminded me of Kleeberger. So many guys got turf burns, especially Joe Igber on his arms. It's just nasty stuff.

I don't know where I'll get drafted, but hopefully it will be on real grass. The team I really like is Tampa Bay. I love the style of defense they play. Plus, they're a lot of Cal guys on the team.

I've been watching some of the Olympics on the TV, mainly the women's gymnastics. I was impressed with the Russian team and how they competed. You end up feeling bad when a team that representing their country loses and how the reaction will be when they return home.

A few days ago, I got to watch On Any Given Sunday again. It was the third time I've seen that movie. I love that movie. Al Pacino is great. I don't know who my favorite actor is, maybe Jim Carrey. He was just great in Me, Myself and I.

Our team seems ready to compete. Our mood is to win, period. Usually on Friday nights, we meet as a team after the coaches leave and we'll talk about the importance of this game and keeping our poise and finding a way to win. Guys like Jacob Waasdorp, Chidi Iwuoma and Chris Ball are all good leaders. I'll probably have something to say as well.