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Tom Holmoe's ESPN Chat Transcription
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  09/28/1999

Sept. 28, 1999

Tom Holmoe: I am here and ready for your questions. Let's get started.

COUGFAN: What do you consider the greatest strength and the greatest weakness for WSU this year? How will you counter the strengths and exploit the weaknesses in this week's game?

Tom Holmoe: I think they have an experienced QB in Birnbaum and he is a strong-armed kid. He is great for their style of offense -- they spread you out with five recievers and at any time they can bust one. That is their strength. Their weakness is that they turn the ball over A LOT. So mistakes have hurt them badly.

Cal Fan: How important was it for Boller's confidence to lead the team to a victory in his first start?

Tom Holmoe: I think it was big. He is a guy that has a lot of confidence anyway, but to come from behind and get a win was a big positive.

Rory: What was the difference between this year's Huskers team and last? (You really slowed them down last year at home.)

Tom Holmoe: Home field advantage. We played the first quarter very close. But then we made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized and they got the big Red Machine rolling and we couldn't stop it.

Cal Fan: Any surprises at this point in the conference season?

Tom Holmoe: I think the parity. I really thought there were going to be some stronger teams then they have shown. But now things look pretty even. Eventually I think things will slot out, but where, I don't know. Look at ASU and UCLA, the loser after this week's game will be 0-2 in the conference. No one could have predicted that at the beginning of the year.

Paul F.: What sort of recruiting effort goes into regions outside of the far west? How much effort is directed into "hotbeds" like Florida and Georgia?

Tom Holmoe: Right now, we recruit the state of California 100 percent -- we recruit hard. The states in the Pac-10 we also recruit hard. Regionally we touch on some of the best players. But as far as the rest of the country we don't usually recruit around there unless they contact us. I will add that we recruit great student athletes -- someone that is a great student, we will go after because they may be attracted to our academics.

doubledown: Coach, During the ASU game you showed alot more offense than during the Rutgers or Nebraska games. Was that (a) deliberate strategy, (b) because your offense is still developing or (c) a little of both?

Tom Holmoe: A little bit of both. We didn't want to show it against Rutgers, we couldn't show it against Nebraska and we thought it was a good call against ASU.

jgold: With a large portion of our defense graduating after this year, is there particular emphasis on finding replacementds during this years recruiting class?

Tom Holmoe: Yes, obviously. Defensively we have stablized recruiting wise -- meaning we have good backups right now. But we will continue to emphasize the defense. But we are very high on the backups right now and feel they can step into those positions next year.

CSUFANw/PEPPERSPRAY: Coach, What is your opinion of The Mountain West Conference? Are there good teams to schedule or to stay away from?

Tom Holmoe: Depends on the school. They have a few very good schools and a few that are on tough times. It is a very tough conference.

BrooksatASU: Coach, do you think that the teams from Arizona were very overated or have they simply been hurt by either lack of team unity or bad coaching?

Tom Holmoe: I think that you would have to say they were a little bit overrated. Expectations are tough to live up to. Arizona is a surprise, but they have played some good teams, but looking at what they had coming back, you had to think they were going to be very good. But they did lose some great players.

CalJunior: How do you feel about the tough non-conference scheduling, like the planned series with Michigan? The Nebraska series was worth money and exposure, but we risked alot and I feel we really got hurt when we lost Matt Beck.

Tom Holmoe: Matt's injury was a freak accident and had nothing to do with Nebraska. You play a team like that for different reasons. There is no reward without a little risk. Our fans enjoyed seeing Nebraska and we gained a lot of respect last season. This year we didn't play very well. You have to look at the postitives and the negatives when you schedule a team like that.

Geebear!: Coach, what are your thoughts about your young recievers?

Tom Holmoe: They're young and inexperienced. A key this year is to develop them and get them improving every game.

Andy: What was your most memorable experience from your playing days?

Tom Holmoe: In college it would be "the Miracle Bowl" -- coming back from 20 points with 2 minutes to go in the Holiday bowl. We won on a Hail Mary from McMahon. In the pros it would be just getting to play with the 49ers.

BrooksatASU: Coach, what kind of expectations do you have for your program long term? Would you say a successful program makes it to bowls every year, competes for a national title, what?

Tom Holmoe: You need to transition. The ultimate goal is to compete for a national title. But you don't get there overnight. So right now our goal is to be consistent and get to the point where we can compete with anyone.

Tom Holmoe: That's all the time I have for now. I appreciate all the questions. Take care, keep rooting for us and Go Bears!


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