Oct. 15, 2002
Below are selected quotes from head coach Jeff Tedford from his press conference heading into the Bears' next game against UCLA. Cal will host the Bruins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19 in Memorial Stadium.
On UCLA's trick plays?
I've seen it done before. The Rams do it, where Kurt Warner pulls off his chinstrap and walks to the sideline like it's a bad play, and then they snap it and throw it. The gimmick plays are always nice when they work. Bob Toledo likes to run a trick play in pretty much every game. You always have to be disciplined with it ... watch for reverses, watch for backs slipping out of the backfield and flipping it back to the quarterback, reverse passes and those types of things. There is always a trick play somewhere in there ... you just have to be disciplined. Our guys have done a fairly good job of watching out for it. USC tried a trick play on us last week, and our guys covered it real well. It's important to be disciplined with your assignments.
Does UCLA have a marquee player this year like they had in DeShaun Foster last year?
They have a lot of very good players, I don't know that they have a DeShaun Foster ... he is a very special player. They have a lot of talented players like receiver Tab Perry, tight end Mike Seidman and they have a big physical line. Ricky Manning is a great player, probably one of the best corners in the conference. But DeShaun Foster is very special ... they have great running backs ... but DeShaun Foster is a cut above most people.
Is UCLA the most run-heavy team you have faced other than Air Force?
Yes, they take it to you. They pound you pretty good and they're big and physical up front. We expect to see that without a doubt. They are going to run it at us. I would expect UCLA to run the ball at us and use the clock like USC did.
On Kyle Boller's status
Kyle is doing fine. He practiced yesterday. He has a bruised hand and it looks like he'll be fine.
On the big plays
You have to limit the big plays from them. UCLA is a very big play oriented offense, and they throw the ball up to those tall receivers and let them go get it. We have to make sure that we limit the big play and make them earn everything that they get. They will always run a trick play and that falls into the category of the big play. We have to make sure that we stop that.
On the team's confidence level after a difficult loss at USC
I don't think that our confidence is down. Our guys know that they can win and we've been in every game. We've lost three games by a total of 14 points and we've won some good games. We beat Michigan State and we beat Washington. So, I feel like our guys are confident that we can win and they show that in practice. I never see any doubt in their minds whatsoever. Before our last drive last week, looking in their eyes on the sideline, they knew they were going to get it done. And they had a lot of confidence when they took the field for the last drive. There wasn't a lot of time left on the clock, but they took it down and scored and gave us a chance to kick an onside kick to maybe do something. I don't think that they were doubting anything and I still believe that. When they go into the game this week, they are going to be confident that they have an opportunity to win.
On Cal's play in the second half of games
We talked it about it as a team, that we need to make sure that we come out stronger in the second half. You have to give the opposition some credit also. They have seen some things and adjusted to it. Looking at the tape of the UCLA game, it was evident that our guys played very, very hard. They were giving it everything that they had ... they were leaving it all on the field. We missed some tackles and they broke some tackles. Sultan McCullough did a nice job. He ran through some people, he bounced up in there, broke it back outside and made some big plays. Carson Palmer spun out of three tackles and throws a good ball. You have to give some credit to the opposition too. They are very good players and they make plays at times. Even offensively, when I had said that we played horribly in the second half - after thinking about it, I thought that was a little harsh. I think I was frustrated by it. After I looked at the tape, there was really only one series where we didn't convert what we should have. The rest was all on the USC defense. The interception was a pass interference call that didn't get called. It was almost like we were playing Air Force again, where they just eat the clock and make every possession count. It wasn't that we weren't playing hard, we just made a couple of mistakes and didn't make a couple plays that we needed to make to keep our defense off the field and would've kept our drives alive. I don't think that we are flat coming out in the second half, I think the other team sometimes picks up on things that they feel like they can exploit in the second half. I don't it's because our team lets down at all.
On officiating in the USC game
I had a lot of issues with the officiating in that game. There were a couple of issues - the pass interference call that wasn't made and the touchdown that wasn't a touchdown. But to go through a whole game that had as much action inside the middle as it had, and not have one holding call in between the tackles, is pretty unusual. I don't think that was a stellar performance by the officiating crew by any means. You grade the officials every week, and we wrote down all the things that we saw that were poorly called. It goes on both sides of the ball. There was one where we had an illegal motion and it didn't get called. So we reported ourselves too because that's what we have to do to help with the officiating. We have to make sure that they see what they are supposed to be seeing. They have a tough job ... I'm not saying it's an easy job, but I thought the officiating in the last game was sub par.