Sept. 12, 2009
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH JEFF TEDFORD
"I don't think we're as sharp as we need to be. You have to give them (Eastern Washington) a lot of credit. They got the ball out very quickly and got a lot of third and short situations, and I thought their quarterback did a nice job. They are a well-coached team. They did a nice job controlling the football. We didn't have it much offensively."
"They played really well. They are really good at what they do, the no huddle thing. That quarterback is very experienced and knows where the holes are in the defense. I thought he did a really good job making plays with his legs and making some first downs. That's a tough team. They do a really nice job. They are very well-coached and have some good players."
"I don't know that it wasn't that we weren't sharp as it was that those guys (the Eagles) did a good job. It took us awhile to make some adjustments. I didn't think we controlled the line of scrimmage like I thought we would be able to going into this game. Those guys played really hard. They got a lot of penetration, chased things down and played hard inside. I don't think it had anything to do with our guys not being prepared to play."
On the running game:
"I don't know how many yards we rushed for, but it seemed like it went fine except a couple of times they (Eastern Washington) were in our backfield. They had some run-throughs that we didn't get blocked. We had some points of attack that we didn't block very well. We whiffed on a couple of guys. They are a big move team; they're not going to just stand there and let you block. They are a moving target, and we missed a couple of guys today. That's something that we can definitely improve."
On QB Kevin Riley:
"Kevin played fine. He was efficient. He didn't do anything great, he just ran the show. Overall, Kevin's doing a nice job staying poised and didn't turn the football over. I think he's running the offense the way we want him to run the offense. He has a good grasp of it and is doing a nice job. We just didn't throw the ball all that much today."
On TB Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson:
"He did a nice job. He secured the football and ran hard. It's nice to be able to get him into the game. It's nice when those guys get an opportunity after working so hard during the week."
On FB Brian Holley:
"We expected Holley to be very solid at fullback. He's done a really nice job. He caught the first ball and ran over a guy. He catches the ball well and has done a nice job at the point of attack. He's got a really good feel about where to insert and make blocks and cut people. He's got a good feel for the game."
On LB Jarred Price:
"There was a reason why we recruited him. He's a hard guy to block. He plays really low and he's really quick, so he can bend an edge and get under you. He gives our tackles fits so we know what he's capable of. If you just cut him loose, he's a good player."
On LB Mychal Kendricks:
"Mychal is a solid player. He has great instincts to play the game and he's got a lot of physical ability. He can really run. He puts himself in position to make a lot of plays because he is so athletic."
S Brett Johnson, S
On making changes to stop the Eastern Washington offense:
"We just changed up the coverage a little bit. It seemed like they were on to us a little bit with what we were doing. So we made a slight little adjustment to take away the short game. I like to think that it means we're a smart defense. We can make adjustments on the fly like that, achieve it and actually do what we're supposed to do and stop the progress. I think it says a lot about our defense."
Kevin Riley, QB
On the play of Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson and Isi Sofele:
"We saw a little bit of him last week and he ran hard, and he ran hard again today, and then Isi, that was a nice run. He made that safety look goofy. During camp, we saw his abilities to make plays. This is actually the first week that we saw him at running back, and I think we'll see a little more."
On going on the road:
"We have to improve. Every loss we had last year was on the road, so we definitely have to improve on that. It takes more concentration and you have to be involved more in the game plan. You just have to do your job and don't worry about anything else."
Isi Sofele, TB
On his touchdown:
"I just made a couple moves and I was able to get into the end zone, but that was fun. I came to the sideline and everybody was hitting me. It was fun, celebrating as a family."
Mychal Kendricks, LB
On getting more playing time and playing inside linebacker:
"Last year I was just on special teams. Now I'm playing and I just want to play. I haven't really got a chance to play a full game outside (linebacker). I like the inside, I feel like it comes natural to me. Coach (linebacker coach Kenwick) Thompson feels like I need to be playing inside so I'm going to go with his judgment."
On the defensive adjustment:
"They were getting the ball out pretty fast. They had great timing and chemistry between their quarterback and their receivers. We made simple adjustments, nothing too complicated. We just spread the defense out more to get more coverage."
Jahvid Best, TB
On the running game:
"We started off a little slow, but then we got to what we do. Things started opening up for us. We felt like we've done a lot of great things, but we still have some things to clean up. We're happy where we're at right now."
On his long run that got called back for going out of bounds:
"I didn't know I was at the sidelines. Nobody even touched me."
EASTERN WASHINGTON HEAD COACH BEAU BALDWIN
"I felt going into the game that they were the most complete team I had ever seen on film. They were big up front, they are physical, they are fast on defense. In the games we broke down (on film) they had only given up nine plays of 20 or more yards. They do everything right, and on top of that they have great athletes with skill and speed everywhere. I think back to when we played Texas Tech, and they were their own animal last year, and a few years ago West Virginia. This was the most complete team I have seen as far as being well coached, disciplined and from offense to defense and special teams they have all the tools."
"We thought maybe we could get some situations where we could hit some things underneath, and when we got them in the right formation, hit them over the top. We got one of those (big plays), and it would have been nice if we had hit a couple more. They don't just give that up, they are going to make plays. We were hoping we could hit them somewhere early. That is the only way you have chance in these types of games, to get off to a fast start. Our start wasn't fast with the first possession. But with our second possession, tying it going into the second quarter. In the second quarter a play or two goes the wrong way. The fumble is huge, I take the blame for that, we were trying to take a shot at something and it wasn't there as quickly as we thought. We were coming in there going for it on fourth down. I wanted the team to know we weren't coming here to punt the football and take a paycheck. We were here to lay it on the line. We were going to play for 60 minutes."
On playing a FBS team:
"Almost all the I-AA (FCS) teams do this now (play an FBS team). The one thing it does for us is that we played one of the better football teams. We played a team that I think has a great chance to win the Pac-10, maybe that gives us that much more. I feel we played a fairly clean game. You are worried that with the crowd noise you will have five turnovers; we had the one fumble where the guy (Mike Mohamed) made the play. It wasn't an unforced error. We didn't have fumbled snaps or anything. In a game like this you have to create some turnovers to have a chance."
On Quarterback Matt Nichols:
"His first start was at West Virginia. He isn't rattled by much. He has played a lot of football; he has started a lot of games. Having him in there makes a huge difference. He isn't afraid, he isn't intimated by the surroundings. He just has to make his reads that much quicker."
EASTERN WASHINGTON PLAYERS
Matt Nichols, QB
On what it was like to play against Cal:
"Well, I've played six or seven games against programs like this; Texas Tech, last year, and West Virginia when they were ranked #3 for example. I kind of knew what to expect as far as the speed of the game and everything. Any time you have four or five 6'3" linebackers who are all faster than you, it is pretty difficult to consistently score. I think we had a good game plan. I don't think they see a lot of five-wide sets. I think we had a little advantage in the first quarter until they figured out what our plan of attack was. Obviously, they've got some of those playmakers like Best and a few on defense that make that difference. A lot of people know that the game was not a big blowout like the score showed at the end. We wanted to come out and give them a scare in the first half and show them that we were here to play. I think that if one or two plays had gone our way and if we had gone into halftime with a little bit closer score it would have been nice. In games like these you have to have big plays go your way and that didn't happen for us today."
On how Cal ranks against the other top programs he has seen:
"Other teams might have had more of an ability to score faster against us. Texas Tech's offense was pretty stellar. In terms of defenses I've faced, Cal was definitely the biggest and the fastest. They were running a lot of different coverage schemes against us."
On how they prepared for Cal:
"We watched six games of Cal's from last year and had an idea of what they were going to do. We were wary of guys like Thompson and some of the other playmakers. We actually tried to pick on Thompson a little bit because corners of that caliber can get a little jumpy and allow you to make a play. He is definitely the best corner I have ever seen."
On Cal's gamesmanship:
"It was great competition. I think they knew what we were up against. Those guys were all good sports for the entire game. They kept telling us good job and other things like that."