Cal-Michigan State Postgame Quotes
Aug. 30, 2008
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Jeff Tedford
On Cal's win:
"It feels great. I'm very proud of our kids. They've worked very hard. They've invested a lot of time and a lot of energy to create good chemistry. When you invest as much time and energy as we have, you're just really proud that they come away with a victory. "
"It's the first one. We feel good that we're 1-0, but we have a lot to improve on. We'll watch the tape and just try to get better each and every week. We go to Washington State next week and we're going to have to be better."
On Jahvid Best:
"Jahvid is a special player. The touchdown run that he ran around the edge - it looked like it was going nowhere and he just beat everyone with speed. He's a tough guy. He ran hard tonight. Not only is he fast, but I thought he ran inside pretty well, too."
On the blocked Michigan State punt:
"It was great to get a block down there. We saw the first one had a bad snap, and they were a little slow with the snap, so we came after it with the second one and got it. It was great."
On Cal's mishandled snap:
"One of the problems with having such a great snapper like Nick Sundberg is he snaps it so fast and so hard that you really have to be a great athlete to catch it. That thing was smoking when it got to Bryan (Anger) on that last one and it went through his hands. Obviously, we don't want that to happen again."
On Kevin Riley:
"I thought he did a nice job of making good decisions. He protected the football. I think maybe the play of the game for us offensively was on the third and long where he was in the grass and he threw it to Cameron (Morrah) for a big first down. That was a great play."
"He played within himself. He did a nice job of running the clock and running the huddle. He did a really nice job."
Kevin Riley, QB
On Cal's performance:
"It's a win. We've got things to work on. But overall, for the first game against a tough opponent, I thought we played well. We passed the ball well and blocked the ball well. The new receivers' first game, they all made plays when they had a chance to. It was a good first game to improve on."
On Cal's performance at quarterback:
"When it came down to make plans, made some and got lucky on some probably. We did our job. We got first downs and went down the field when we had to."
On Cal's offensive line:
"I think [Michigan State] got one sack, I don't even know, but it was more of a coverage sack. I was about to throw it and they touched it. What can you say about [Cal's offensive line]? It was their first game and they did awesome. They got rushing yards, they got passing yards and we won. You couldn't ask for more."
Darian Hagan, DB
On his performance:
"I think I played a pretty good game. A few plays, I kind of lost my technique. But overall, I think I did pretty well. I would like to get more focused on my technique and being more relaxed out there. I was relaxed out there but a few times I tensed up a little bit."
On playing against MSU's running back Javon Ringer:
We had a lot of focus on stopping the run game because he was like he is. I think pretty much overall, though, we did a good job of stopping him.
Sean Young, WR
On playing in the season opener:
"There was a little nervousness, but everyone goes through that. I wasn't scared but I was a little nervous. After the first couple of plays, everything settled down and it felt like practice. It actually felt like it was similar to practice, so I felt used to it and it felt good."
On his 52-yard gain:
"They told us before the game that we would run a deep run and to be ready for it. So when they called it, I just kind of felt like I had to make it happen. I just felt like I might catch it. I ran it as fast as I could. If you get bailed, you get bailed. It wasn't really pressing or anything. I just took it deep and focused on the ball and made it happen. I really wasn't thinking about the defender actually. I saw the ball. We go over these routes and over-the-shoulder catches every day in practice, that's kind of my mindset. I was just looking at the ball the whole time and I wasn't really worried about the defender at all. I knew he was right by me and playing me all the way. I know Riley trusts me enough to throw the ball so I just felt good.
MICHIGAN STATE HEAD COACH MARK DANTONIO
"You get down there and have to make plays. We kept playing; I like the way we competed. Give credit to Cal, they played with class and came ready to play as well. We had chances and came back. One of the key plays of the game was (Kevin) Riley's throw to Cameron Morrah when we had him trapped. He just fluttered it up there and the guy made the catch. We had chances; I think we were down by three at the time. We will go back and critique what we got; we will be ready to play next week. There is no quit in this football team."
On Failing to Capitalize On Opportunities:
"Obviously we left some points off the board in the first half. When we had some opportunities down there and found ourselves inside the 30-yard line, you have got to get some points. We missed a field goal, had a punt blocked; that's 10 points. We had a (Javon) Ringer touchdown called back because of holding. Mark Dell makes an outstanding catch, but they re-play it. (B.J.) Cunningham makes an outstanding catch, but they call interference."
On the Team's Youth:
"We got a little worn down. We are playing younger players. It's really loud out there and you need to call a guy into the gap and couldn't hear him and experience didn't allow him to get in there, but our guys kept playing. We had some big plays from (Otis) Wiley. (Javon) Ringer played well, Mark Dell played well. We made our share of plays, and even at the end we kept playing."
On Michigan State's Penalties:
"I am going to have to look at some of the penalties. I would say there are some things you can control and maybe some things you can't control. You get a hold on the goal line, that's a big one. A facemask on the reverse. We had a lot of penalties; that's uncharacteristic of what we did last year. We have got to work on that."
On Making Mistakes:
"We cannot beat ourselves. Bad snap on the punt. It wasn't something they did; it was a bad snap. They had one too. Sometimes early in the season those things happen. We missed a filed goal too; that's 10 points. We had a touchdown and got called for holding; that's 17 points in the first half alone. When those things happen, it's tough to rebound. "
MICHIGAN STATE PLAYERS
Brian Hoyer, QB
On constantly trying to get back in the game:
"I think our defense did a great job and we came back in the second half and put some points on the board. We need to get on the same page at the same time. Give Cal a lot of credit, they made plays when they had to, but I really think that we took this game away from ourselves. We made too many mistakes, whether it was turning the ball over or penalties. We can't do that when we're inside the 30 and have the opportunity to score."
On the Cal defense:
"I think we did a great job preparing. What we prepared for, they came out and did. Obviously, they came out in the 3-4. They mixed it up a little bit, but I don't know if they confused us, it just took us awhile to get going. Thank God our defense kept it close in the first half."
Otis Wiley, SS
On the tough loss:
"This is a tough loss, of course. We made some mistakes in the beginning. It's hard to capitalize, but we fought back. That just shows how tough our team is. It's victory in defeat because we're going to learn from this and we'll be back next week in East Lansing against Eastern Michigan and hopefully capitalize and get a win."
On Michigan State's defense getting worn down in the second half:
"I don't really know what was going on. They were just pounding us. I don't know if it was miscommunication or the calls, but we need to get better at that. We'll capitalize on the film tomorrow and get better as a defense."
Mark Dell, WR
On feeling like he would be the go-to receiver tonight:
"It's just about getting open. Going up to the line, you don't expect to get the ball like that, you just have to do your best to try to get open. It wasn't just me. B.J. (Cunningham) had some good catches early on and throughout the game. Blair White made some good catches in the two-minute drives. It was good all around for our receivers."
On any positives of the game:
"Well we didn't win the game, so we didn't do enough and that's the main thing. We didn't come to California just to play well and almost win like last year. It was about getting over the hump and I don't think we performed like we should have. We came out in the first half and we were flat. We have to go all four quarters, not just the second half."