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2009 Cal-USC Postgame Quotes (Saturday, October 3)
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  10/03/2009

Oct. 3, 2009

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH JEFF TEDFORD

General Comments
"They (USC) played better than us, stopped the run, and they put pressure on the pass. We didn't execute very well in the passing game. We had a chance to make some plays in the passing game and we didn't do a very good job of it."

"We can't be one-dimensional. We have to be able to throw the football in order to be successful. We were zero-dimensional today, because we couldn't run it and we couldn't throw it. We moved the ball at times okay."

"Give USC credit, they are a great football team, no question about it. Their defense is one of the best in the country. You have to give them a lot of credit for how they played. But there were chances out there for us to make plays today and we didn't make them. There were a lot of missed opportunities. We have to play more consistently."

"We have to play together as a team. I think they (USC) scored touchdowns with defense, they scored a touchdown with special teams and they scored touchdowns with offense. It's a team game."

On the team's mentality following today's game
"I have confidence in these guys. I don't know what is going to happen against UCLA. All I know is that I have a lot of confidence that we will prepare and we'll have good attitudes. There is a lot of football left to be played. There is no way in the world that we are folding our tent. I don't believe that about this team. We'll have a great bye week, we'll get healthy and we'll bounce back.

On Cal's opening drive turnover
"I don't think any air came out of the balloon. I don't think the guys ever quit or gave up. It was never a lack of effort."

On whether USC was that much better than Cal
"They are that much better than us if we don't execute, and we don't throw and catch the football and protect the pass and those types of things. You have to make plays. You can't turn the football over against them. If they don't turn the football over, they're a tough team to beat."

CALIFORNIA PLAYERS

ANTHONY MILLER, TE
On the past two weeks
"We just really haven't been executing like we were in the first three weeks. We haven't put touchdowns on the board. It's mostly been on us for not executing. We were one play away here and there, or one block away here and there. We just have to keep going."

On his performance
"I'm just taking it one step at a time. I'm just trying to do my job out there the best that I can. Catching, blocking, whatever I have to do."

MIKE TEPPER, LT
On protecting Kevin Riley:
"He's a great quarterback. I'd never doubt him for a minute. They brought everything we thought they were going to bring, and I thought that we picked it up pretty well."

On next week's bye week
"It's going to be a good time for us to heal as a team for the guys who are injured. It'll be good for our team to get back to work and fix some things that we're not doing too well."

BRETT JOHNSON, S
On not letting the season slip away like in 2007
"There's always that concern, but we don't have the same guys from the '07 team. The '07 team had a lot of different guys with different mentalities. This team has a lot of guys with better personalities and guys that won't let this drag them down."

On the team's overall confidence
"We know what we're capable of doing. We have the personnel, as well as the game plan. We just need to put the two together, and we haven't been able to do that for the past two games. We just need to get that done."

MIKE MOHAMED, ILB
On stopping the USC offense
"They're fast and athletic. They're really good at trying to get you out of position. They got us a couple of times, but a couple of times we got them. It was a good battle."

On USC RB Joe McKnight:
"He's fast and explosive. He's pretty good."

USC HEAD COACH PETE CARROLL

On USC QB Matt Barkley
"There were so many tough situations with a good looking football team. We are growing, it's a process to come together; we are in that process. This was a game where you were going to tell if Matt (Barkley) was comfortable and could run the offense; there isn't any doubt. He might be a freshman, but he isn't a freshman in my book he just plays football like a real football player. I thought he looked great tonight. The way we were able to move the offense around was really comfortable and familiar to how we did it in the past. That's because of the QB, it's just taking us a little while."

On the USC defense
"The consistency of our defense is just great. We love the guys (on defense) that left, but the guys that are here are playing really good football. We made a big transition from the penalties from a week ago. We did a lot of things in preparation this week. The consistency on special teams and the big play by Damian [Williams] on the punt [return for a touchdown]. I am really fired up about a lot of good things that are happening. This is a win we take a lot of pride in; we are just going to keep on pushing."

On the interception by Taylor Mays on the opening drive by Cal
"I think it was a great statement that we weren't going to let it [a touchdown for Cal] happen. They had a couple nice plays on that drive and got it moving. We got them to the down for the pick, and it was just a great statement. Even better than that was the drive after that, 80 yards down for the touchdown."

On QB Matt Barkley's progress
"Matt is our guy. He absolutely has done everything we can expect him to do. He did it at Ohio State, he did it at the Coliseum, he's done it here in the conference; we are ready to go. You can talk all you want about him being young, but he is a real football player. He is playing as good of football as anybody we have ever had, already. It's not a big deal to him though; he is very humble and collected about himself. He is very grateful for being part of this. I'm just excited now that this isn't the question, it isn't about having a young quarterback; we can get back to football."

On Cal TB Jahvid Best
"Against a great running back you want to get to him early, and that's what we did. We never let him get into a rhythm. Because of that they had to pass the football, and that's what we wanted."

USC PLAYERS

Matt Barkley, QB
On the outcome of the game
"I thought it was a great victory. I was really happy with how we came out and how we finished. I was also really happy that we could play this game for Stafon [Johnson]. He was in our hearts the whole time. It was a great victory for us and for him."

On the crowd's factor
"No, the crowd was not a factor at all, and it usually never is. I didn't have any problem with the cadence or with hearing myself. It was fine. I thought our crowd was awesome over there in the corner giving our chants. Even on third downs, it wasn't a factor."

On the offense
"They played well. All of them. We eliminated our penalties which was really big for us. We didn't get the ball in the end zone as much as we had wanted to, but we put points on the board and that is all that matters. If our defense is playing like that, then we don't need a whole lot of offense. I thought we executed well when we had to. We moved the ball and had a lot of good drives."

On tonight's improvement of third down conversions
"Third down is a big down. But we try to just get down to it and execute it. On that first drive he [Anthony McCoy] got open and caught it. We stretched them [Cal's defense] vertically a little bit as well, and our guys did a great job getting open and catching the ball. But like I said earlier, I had all the time in the world to pass the ball, so kudos to the offensive line."

On the confidence of his coaches in him
"I think they've had that faith the whole time, but they've decided to open up the playbook now. I'm confident that the coaches believe in me, and they do. We'll open up the playbook when we need to."

On the play of WR Damian Williams
"They came on a lot of comeback routes. I would look downfield for the seams and when they weren't there, those comebacks were there every time because I had so much time in the pocket. He did a great job."

On the bruised arm
"I didn't feel it at all tonight. It really went away. On Thursday it started feeling a lot better. Those hits didn't hurt. It was the rotation that hurt."


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