Vedder, Sanyika Assess Cal's Play
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

October 8, 1998

BERKELEY - Senior quarterback Justin Vedder and junior outside linebacker Sekou Sanyika take a look at how the season has gone so far and what they expect in the future.

Quarterback Justin Vedder

On reviewing this season's successes:

"We went back and reviewed the last four games, looked back at what was successful and made two tapes of successful runs and successful passes. We showed it to everyone, and the tape showed that we ran the same plays over and over. Sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn't. But when they did, it showed us executing, doing our assignments, doing the right job."

On reviewing the record:

"We don't talk about 3-1 in the locker room. We don't talk about that the fact that if we win three or four more games, we are in a bowl. We don't talk about those things. We talk about beating USC because we believe we can beat them and because we want to beat them. And then we will worry about Washington, then UCLA, and the road we are going to travel. We worry less about numbers and everything else, but if we win 12-11 or 42-2, it doesn't matter, we just want win number four."

On the week off, extra time to prepare and being healthy:

"I think we are very confident. Last week, going into practice, it was good because people went out and worked hard and did the things that people need to do in an off-week. It is not really an off-week. It is a week to get better, and we did that. It helped our confidence level because people are taking this season very seriously, and the way we practiced last week was a great indication of that. It was a great chance for us to rest some people and get healthy. But even with that, things didn't fall off, and that is a great sign of the attitude on this team. Getting an extra week off, you really get a chance to sit back and take a look at what is going on. I'm really glad about where the bye-week is this year, because last year we had it after the first game and that didn't give us a chance to reflect on anything. You beat somebody 35-3 and you feel pretty good about yourself. Well, we beat Washington State 24-14. The defense played great. They know what they are going to play against this week. We didn't play well. The first three games we started to get better, but I think coach said it, we took a step back. We had a chance to spend a week upset about that, and to get better at it, and this week we can move on and just get it done."

On Deltha O'Neal:

"He is dynamite, what he does on the field. Deltha doesn't even realize how good he is, I don't think, at all. I think he has a lot of talent that we haven't even seen yet. I'm sure it will show up as the season goes along, and he is going to keep impressing people."

Outside Linebacker Sekou Sanyika

On practice during the off-week:

"It was good because we went up against our offense all week, and they run a similar package (to USC), so it was a good, fast look at what we are going to be seeing. We just started really game planning USC on Sunday, so it wasn't like an extra week of just straight preparation for USC. We got back to basics and did some of the drills from camp."

On the offense during practice:

"They did look good against us in practice. But they have seen us a lot, so they can almost scheme us in a way. But they did look good against us last week. They were able to move the ball a little."

On playing No. 19 USC:

"I don't think about things like that. People asked the same questions about Nebraska. I don't see things like that, thinking over what the game is going to be like. They are just another team."

On playing in the Coliseum:

"It is pretty fun, actually. I enjoyed myself last time I was down there. It is a great stadium to be in. They have the band playing all game, and that song kind of pumps me up. I like it. They play that song a lot."

On defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich:

"I like his style, because he knows how to win and play a good defense. It is all about mentality, and he instills that mentality in us very well. He doesn't get overly excited when we lose, and he doesn't jump up and down when we win. We can see that in him. He jumps on us because he wants us to play perfect. It is all about execution, and he puts us the right places to win, because if we don't win, it's on us. Every now and then he will take responsibility for something that went wrong, but I love his style of coaching, and it fits me perfectly for my game."

On being part of Setencich's defensive unit:

"Defensive football is about attitude, and believing that you are going to dominate the man across from you. You have to be tough, tough-minded, and tough in your play, and he (Lyle Setencich) has really put that in our brains. He stresses it all the time. Who is going to be tougher? Dig down deep when you are tired. Who is going to run the extra yard to make the play, who is going to do stuff like that? That is the kind of mentality that he has really emphasized with us, and it has done a lot for us."

Reflecting on the defense's improvement:

"Two years ago we were probably paddy-cakes and laughing stocks of the Pac-10. Last year we improved, and this year we are much better. You can definitely see the transition and the difference coach Setencich has made with us."