Nov. 10, 2001
Cal head coach Tom Holmoe
General comments on the game
"Before I open up for questions, my initial remarks are going to only look forward. We have a huge, huge game with Stanford, because what this team is fighting through is not known to most people. The game this week is as big of a game as there is for the guys who are here. Cal is about good people and this is a situation where our players are going to try and prove that they're pretty great. This is a huge game for us ... from this point forward I am looking ahead. This is the most important game that I have ever been in and I would like to think that it would be the most important game the players have ever played.
Were the players 'mailing it in' today?
"No. Absolutely not. People don't understand what we're going through. They have no idea. They are going through some tough struggles. It's hared and very difficult to overcome the constant emotions that they are hammered with all season. They never quit, they just get down. The teams that see us and see a crack and break that crack open and go for it, we're not good at responding to that. If they were mailing it in, they wouldn't practice hard. I'm proud of how they are. We have a huge game coming up and there's a lot at stake for this upcoming game and the week after that too."
On playing a complete game
"Our first drive was outstanding. We moved down the field and made some nice plays, executed, caught passes, blocked well, we ran, we completed a lot of good throws ... it was a textbook drive. We just haven't been able to maintain that for whatever reason. When there is adversity in the game its hard for us to come back. The answer, I don't have it. That's why I'm not going to be the coach next year ... I don't have that answer. I wish I did. We've tried a number of different things, we've worked at a lot of different angles but we've yet to find an answer to that question. But we have two more weeks to try and find that answer and I'm willing to do that and I know the players are."
On Kyle Boller
"He got hit in the jaw and we wanted to make sure he was okay. He would never take himself out of the game so we had to pull him out. He's going to be all right. From all the indications from the examination on the field, he just has a bruise. The guy would just play until he's dragged off the field so we took him out."
On the emotional impact of this season
"It's tough. This isn't just about me. It's just as rough on the players, the coaches ... its all relative. We're all going through a very difficult season. It's professional ... not personal. Every once in a while you have to put it in perspective. There are other people who are going through much tougher stuff than this. But, it's important to the players and the coaches that we finish as strong as we can. You can't let them lay down. They don't want to but some of them have the inclination to do it. But you just can't let them do it. It's hard on the Cal fans ... I understand that. But if they're Cal fans, they should be here with team. They have the right to not be here, but all but 13 guys will be here again next year and a lot of their future feelings about Cal football are being formed right now. And I want them to be positive emotions not negative. That's why we do what we do."
WR LaShaun Ward
It's a game of inches, of ups and downs. Our whole mental aspect is to go out and have fun. We're playing a game most people don't get to play.
On the first quarter
We got off to a good start. We had to execute on a couple of drives, but we didn't. We got into that slump area, where someone needs to make a play. We got down, and it's tough to get back up again.
On the first quarter
We came out and we were rolling. I don't know what specifically the breakdown was.
On the Big Game
If guys keep working hard, I feel real good about this game.
On the team
For the most part, guys are fighting each time, playing hard. You never expect something like this to happen, especially with the work we put into it. You just don't expect it.
OLB Scott Fujita
It's hard to say (what went wrong). We stick together, we come back on Tuesday, and we're ready for practice. It's hard to do, but we continue to fight. That's one of the beautiful things about football: you get another chance each week.
On the team
We tried some new things, tried to mix things up defensively, but we can't even do our base stuff. One of our downfalls is we can't battle back from adversity.
USC head coach Pete Carroll
General comments on the game
"I'm real pleased with the way we played the game today. It's important that we took care of this week's business. I knew we could win going in, but it's important to understand how not to falter. I know we feel like we're moving up. It's four out of five for us. I hope we can finish strong this week against UCLA."
"The way this one went was the way it should get done. You get a lead and you get to tee off in the fourth quarter. To finish it off the way we did was real nice."
On being back in the Bay Area
"It's fun being with all your friends and the people you grew up with. It's real nice - nice to get a good win."
On playing against friend Tom Holmoe
"It's an old friends thing. I praised him for doing what he did - giving his team a chance to rally for the end of the season."
"When I play against my friends, I want to beat the heck out of them. That's how it should be. It shows how much I respect them."
"Tom is a great man. He'll bounce back. Lots of guys want to help take care of him."
FB Charlie Landrigan
"This is a huge confidence boast for the team. This was really the hump game. If we didn't get passed this game, that's the season."
"This was probably one of the biggest wins of the season."
DE Lonnie Ford
"Right now, we are taking it as if we're in the playoffs. If we lose, we're out."
"We really had to watch Cal. They had nothing to lose today and teams like that are the scary ones."
"I think our defense played well today. A lot of young guys stepped up off the bench and had a great game."
"We needed some momentum going into next week. This is a big confidence boast for us."
On the Cal offense:
"They're just having bad luck. I think their offensive line is solid and right up there with everyone else. They really are well-coached."