Dec. 17, 2003
BERKELEY - Below are selected quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his press conference heading into Cal's game against Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl.
On the possibility of a high-scoring game
"I hope it doesn't get to that, but if it does we'll do our best to keep up. I know they are explosive on offense, and they are also extremely well coached on defense. You never know how you are going to match up in these types of games, however. When you are playing in your conference, you have a little better feel of how you'll matchup. But I have watched a lot of tape, and one thing you can count on is that they are a very good team and very fast."
On how a bowl game affects recruiting
"I always think it is beneficial if you are practicing during this time of year. It gives the recruits the opportunity to watch practice, watch the offense, and see how the coaches coach. I really think the recruits enjoy watching you practice. I think you grab the attention of the recruits by being in a bowl game.
"We bring in recruits on the weekends. During the season, it is usually a game weekend, so they don't see everything, and also as coaches, we get sidetracked because of the game. Now that we are practicing on the weekends, we can talk to the recruits during an actual practice. This way it is a lot more relaxing and informative for the recruits."
On preparing for Virginia Tech's offense
"You cannot panic. Schematically, you have to sound. The speed of the game increases the higher you go up, so we can't waste steps against them. We most stay fundamentally sound."
On special teams preparation
"I don't think we'll change a lot. I believe we'll do what we would do normally and just make sure we are sound with it."
On the players handling a new practice schedule
"I think they have done a nice job in juggling, finals, hosting recruits and practice. I have been pleased with the way this team prepares and practices. They don't get to up or down, and they have approached the bowl game the same way the have any other game in terms of work ethic and their focus."
Comparing the two tailbacks - Kevin Jones and Adimchinobe Echemandu
"Ech is bigger and a bit more powerful. I would think that Kevin is a little bit more elusive and a little bit better going sideline to sideline. Ech runs down hill; Kevin can run down hill, but he has great lateral movement, which I feel is one of his strengths. I think they both will be productive on the next level. The abilities the two bring to the table are needed on the next level."
On Virginia Tech's linebackers compared to Pac-10 linebackers
"They have bigger and more physical linebackers than those in our conference. Our conference has linebackers whose strength is speed. They want to stop the run first, even their safeties stack the box and tackle like linebackers."
On how to attack Virginia Tech's defense
"We are trying to figure that out now. I think we are going to have to be balanced."
On the team's maturity as the season has progressed
"I think offensively the more comfortable Aaron got with the offense, the more he would take care of the ball, scramble for positive yardage, and /or throw the ball away to avoid a sack. I thought our defense began to illuminate the big play toward the end of the season."
On opponents' perception of Geoff McArthur
"I guess by where he finished in the all-conference race, teams don't fear him as much as a Mike Williams. What their (opposing coaches') perception is of him I don't know. He is the most productive player in the conference, but I guess opposing teams don't view him as such. We cannot afford to worry about that, however. Geoff is a good player and he'll continue to be productive and make big plays for us."
"With his (McArthur's) numbers, I guess you can say he is an overachiever. He doesn't look like Mike Williams or Reggie Williams, he doesn't have the burning speed of a Keary Colbert. But how can you argue with production? But I think a lot has to do with hype and what happened before this season started. I suspect next year Geoff will be looked at in a different light."