Sept. 5, 2000
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from Tom Holmoe's weekly football media luncheon. The Bears open the 2000 season against Utah Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:15 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
"We're really excited to get this season underway. It's the first time we've started the season with a bye and I've had mixed emotions about this bye the whole time I knew it was on the schedule. Now that we've had that extra week of preparation, I'm all right with it. We won't like it later in the season when we miss a week of extra practice. But I'm glad that we got to see Utah play a game and they didn't get a chance to see us. Now, it's just up to our boys and the coaches to get out and perform and execute the way we can. I think it's going to be a good game.
"I was very impressed with Utah's defense (against Arizona last week). They played extremely well. Their offense did not play well. They got a lot of yardage, but they turned the ball over an awful lot. I know the coaches on that staff very well. They're a hard-nosed bunch of coaches and players. They'll come back loaded for bear. It's going to be a tough battle. It's going to be very physical. They'll come back not wanting to be 0-2. And obviously, we want to start out with a bang.
"Our guys are ready to play. The last scrimmage that we had on the practice field, a pretty big fight broke out. That was pretty good to see. It was the first time in quite a while. The time has come, and now we're ready to go."
On Utah's defense against Arizona:
"I think Utah's defense plays very well. They return a lot of good players. They played very well in the secondary. I don't think Arizona ever got on track. They missed a lot of balls and the quarterback threw some bad balls. They only had 11 yards passing. Arizona felt they could run the ball and they tried to run it. When they got control of the game, they really played it close to the vest and didn't try to blow them out. They just tried to get out of there with a win. They felt that Utah was moving the ball pretty well against their defense. I think they put it on the defense's shoulders to stop them and then tried to run the clock down with their run game. But they couldn't throw the ball against Utah."
On Cal's offensive line vs. Utah's defensive front:
"It's a good match-up. It's a great challenge for our first game. We get Reed Diehl back at center (Monday in practice). We'll see how he's going to play. He hasn't played in about a week and a half. He's deemed ready to go in the game. Hopefully, he's not too rusty. Having him back with the other guys in pretty good. Robert Truhitte is going to play at the right guard. This is going to be a very competitive battle in the trenches between our offensive line and their defensive front seven. That will be where the game is won and lost. If we can control the line of scrimmage and run the ball, then it will allow us to throw the ball. But if we can't run the ball, then they'll just jam down our receivers and kind of lock things up."
On Utah head coach Ron McBride and his staff:
Ron McBride-coached teams are very tough. They are physical and they're aggressive. They play very hard, and they'll play for four quarters. I respect him a lot. I have a nice little connection in this game in that the defensive coordinator for the University of Utah is Kyle Whittingham, who was one of my best friends and teammates at BYU. We played together for three years. While I was at BYU, his father, Fred Whittingham, was my defensive coordinator. Now, Kyle, the son, is the coordinator, and Fred, the dad, is the linebacker coach. I think Fred Whittingham is one of the greatest coaches on the defensive side of the ball there is. So, when you put a McBride-coached team and Fred and Kyle Whittingham together, that's why they're good on defense. He gets good players to play hard, and they're well coached."