Postgame Quotes

"It looked like they protected and hit down the middle. They had some holes in the middle where guys got free coming down the middle of the field. They protected (Jason) Gesser pretty well most all da
By Cal Athletics on Sat, September 28, 2002

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Sept. 28, 2002

Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford

On WSU's Second Half Play:
"It looked like they protected and hit down the middle. They had some holes in the middle where guys got free coming down the middle of the field. They protected (Jason) Gesser pretty well most all day and they have a corps of receivers. If they get a step on you, they're going to be able to go."

On Cal's Defensive Backs:
"I don't think they were tired. They (WSU) have great range. They have a guy, (Mike) Bush, who is 6'6" and you throw a ball out to him and he makes a diving one-handed catch... Those tall receivers are good players."

On Cal's Special Teams:
"I thought special teams played pretty well for the most part, except for the punt block. They have a great returner and we could have done a better job of wrapping him up a couple of times. He got a couple of big returns. Special teams have been playing well all year long. I thought they played adequate today. I know they play hard."

"I think as a whole, we need to tackle better. We let some people get away on special teams and a little bit on defense. We had guys in position to make plays and they (WSU players) bounced off and went for extra yards. We'll have to work on that a little bit."

On Cal's Penalties in the Secondary:
"I thought for the most part, they were good calls. There were one or two that might have been a little questionable. Our guys are trying to cover them and the balls are ally-oop balls. We should probably do a better job of looking for the football. That would probably help. But those are great receivers. They (WSU) have a great corps that is very, very tall (and) very good."

Cal Players

CB James Bethea
"Unfortunately I didn't make the plays that I needed to make. The only way we win is if the DB's make the plays, and today we didn't."

On WSU QB Jason Gesser:
"He's good. But I look at it like we were beating ourselves the whole game. He wasn't sitting up there firing curls and outs. He was running around and we were doing our coverages. It was on us, we didn't do what we were supposed to do."

ROV Nnamdi Asomugha
"We were playing against a big receiver (Mike Bush). He's not as quick as a small guy. With offense, timing is important. If you let them run, then he can do whatever he wants to. But if you get up in his face like any other tall receiver, it slows him down. Then they only have one route, and that's the fade."

"(It's your decision) that if you think you're beat, to turn around. That's when they start to separate from you and you try to make a play on the ball."

"We're a lot lower than where I expected and the team expected after those first three games. Those first three games we were on a pistol. But now we're 0-2 in the last two games and that hurts us. We have to be able to bounce back from it, which we haven't been able to in the past."

WR LaShaun Ward
"We made a lot of mistakes penalty wise. We need to bounce back. Our Defense came back and made some plays. We were fortunate enough to make some plays on special teams. When they started scoring we starting scoring. We felt good about getting back into the game."

On not taking the lead in the 4th quarter off of the turnover with the ball on the 5-yard line: "It was frustrating, but at the same time we believed in ourselves. (Mark) Jensen came out, kicked it to tie the game. We felt that if it came down to it (overtime) we were in a good position to pull it out in the end. WSU did a good job: they held the ball, they drove the clock, had some big plays and scored the touchdown. We tried to execute our fundamental football that we've been doing all year."

Washington State Head Coach Mike Price

"It's something we talk about all the time. You've got to finish. You've got to finish every play, finish every game. It's a long season. It's not how you start the race. It's how you finish the race."

"They had us off balance in the first half. There were a lot of big plays, especially on special teams. It had to be a heck of a game for the fans."

"We showed great, great character."

On WSU QB Jason Gesser
"Jason played really well - maybe his best game seeing things."

"That guy is tough as steel. He played great. He wasn't gonna let me not play him. He probably would have quit if I tried."

On Cal
"They've done a wonderful job here. They deserve a lot of credit. It was a real battle of the quarterbacks. Kyle Boller is a heck of a player. He's been through a lot more than Jason (Gesser). They ran really well in the first half. That (RB Joe) Igber - is he a senior? It seems like he and Boller are on the eight-year plan."

Washington State Players

DE Fred Shavies, Defensive End
"It was good to come home and play. This is my last time to come home and play. I had a good time ... it was fun."

On the difference between first and second halves: "We know how it feels to come out in the first half and not play so good and play better in the second half. We've experienced that in a couple of games so far this year. The talk in the locker room was to finish. Let's just finish."

On Joe Igber:
"Igber is a good back. We just tried to get to him in the backfield. They were running a lot of the same stuff that Oregon ran last year with Onterrio Smith. So we kind of knew what was coming and we were able to get our tackles in position to make the plays. He's a quick little dude and we had to get to him in the backfield ... and we did that in the second half. In the first half, we were getting pass blocked and they were just opening up the middle and making someone miss in the hole. In the second half we just made the plays in the backfield."

On winning the Pac-10 opener:
"It felt good. No matter what Cal's record would have been, it would have felt good. A Pac-10 win is a Pac-10 win. It was good to open up the Pac-10 season with a win. The crowd was yelling 'overrated' early in the second half and we thought to ourselves, 'this is too early in the game and the season to be yelling that.' It feels good to get a win out there."

DB Erik Coleman
"Cal throws a lot of misdirection at you and we eventually had to adjust to it. Cal is a good team with a great offensive coordinator and a great quarterback. They just made big plays and we didn't really get a lot of big stops in the first half. We eventually caught on to what they were doing. Overall, they are a good team and they challenged us out there today."

"The difference in the second half is that we came out playing with a little more heart as a team. Our second half performance will carry us into the rest of the Pac-10 schedule and in order to do well in the Pac-10, we had to come out and play well and finish this game off. There weren't any doubts in our minds that we could play a lot better and eventually win the game. It was just a matter of going out there and performing."

QB Jason Gesser
"I pretty much gave coach Price no choice in playing me today. He was trying to keep me out of practice earlier this week, but I wanted to practice even though I was hurting. I wanted to get the looks of the Cal defense and get on a roll again, and he didn't want me taking reps. I was yelling, 'get me in, get me in.' He yelled back, 'no, you need the rest.' We have the kind of relationship where we can do that and it worked out pretty good."

"Ever since I knew I was hurt, I knew that I would play this game. I played with a cracked rib last year and I knew I could play with it this year. I had no question that I was going to play today."

"My timing came along real well in the second half. The first half it was there, I just wasn't making the right passes. Our offensive line was playing great and the backs and receivers were getting open ... I just didn't get the ball to them. We knew we should have had more points in the first half, but I missed a couple of touchdown throws. We fought back in the second half. The receivers kept on believing in me and the offensive line gave me time enough to get the receivers the ball. I missed a couple of big throws at the end of the game that should have been touchdowns. When you try to blitz as much as they did, that's what's going to happen. I will probably be in more pain tonight or tomorrow morning than I am now."


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