September 5, 1998
BERKELEY - HOUSTON vs. CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 5, 1998
CAL HEAD COACH TOM HOLMOE
"It was a hard fought win. Throughout the day, as I looked around and saw a couple of breakdowns and execution mishaps, it became more and more apparent that we just had to win the game. Somehow, this team has to show itself that it is not going to fold up like last year."
"Overall, the defense played very well. Houston tested our defensive coverage a number of times, and we responded very well."
"The offense struggled. There were a number of poor executions and missed opportunities, and we struggled with some of our protection schemes. Obviously there is a ton of work that needs to be done there, but the silver lining is that when it came down to it, we had to count on the offense to win the game."
"The special teams were poor. I take a lot of pride in the fact that we should be a darn good special teams team, and we were horrible. A blocked punt and a couple of penalties left a sour taste in my mouth."
"I had Dameane Douglas on the sideline before the drive and said to him 'we're going to you; you've got to win the game for us.' He is so courageous and competitive that it was a pleasure as a coach to watch him today."
"That is a much more competitive Houston team than we played last year. Our guys were flat. For the first two series, Houston moved the ball on our defense. We were a little soft and a little tentative, much like the old 'bend but not break ' defense, and that's not what we're about. But it was a long drive, and we got off the field without them scoring a touchdown."
"Our running game is nowhere near where it has to be for us to win. We overcame it with the passing game, but we can't count on that to win every game. We have to get better." HOUSTON vs. CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 5, 1998
DAMEANE DOUGLAS, Wide Receiver
" I expected a lot more double teams for myself. It helps a lot when the guy on the other side of you, on the first series, catches a go-route for a touchdown."
"Our defense kept us in the game. What I did was what I hope everyone expects me to do; that is to catch the ball and run up the field and score. Our defense came out and played a great game, kept us in the game, if it wasn't for them, my run would be nothing. We'd be talking about why Houston beat us, and how is it we let them beat a Pac-10 team."
"I'm the guy who wants the ball in my hands. I want to lead this team and the only way I can be a leader is if I have the ball in my hands and I get my blocksour running game wasn't on today but it'll be on next week."
On his game-winning touchdown: "Every time I get the rock in my hands, I think I can score. When I got the first guy off of me, all I saw was the endzonethat's where I was headed."
JOHN ROMERO, Center
"We need to gel as a unit. I think overall we just need more experience."
"They played a style of defense that they hadn't played all last year. So we really didn't foresee that coming."
JOHN WELBOURN, Offensive Tackle
"The coaches have an understanding of what they want to do and its not a matter of no confidence in usit just that have an ides, a set plan, of what they want to do, what they want to get done."
On the final drive: " It was really good. I thought we were reallly clicking well. The pass protection was really solid. I think that everybody just pulled out of the little nerves and jitters and realized that we had to win that game."
" I think as we get farther along, we'll probably run into some teams that have really solid passing defenses. I think we need to get our run game going to the point where (it) can carry the passing game."
JOHN McLAUGHLIN, Defensive End
"As Coach Dutton would say, we dug down into the 'gut bucket' and were able to just save our butts."
On his 15 yard penalty towards the end of the game, after comically walking away when asked about it, McLaughlin returned to respond: "I didn't want to do it. I couldn't help it, there was just something inside that you know set me offThat got a 15 yard penalty, gave them pretty good field position and I just felt like a butthead."
Asked if he felt the defensive line played like the top-rated line in the Pac-10: "I feel like we got our first game out of the way. I feel that we ought to be the best in the Pac-10."
HOUSTON vs. CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 5, 1998
HOUSTON HEAD COACH KIM HELTON
"I thought our defense improved greatly, a great defensive effort. I expect our defense to play well and they did. A bunch of rookie linebackers, I thought they'd play well, they did. All in all we played good enough defense to win the game."
"We came in and were 26 points better against them than we were a year ago. Defensively, we obviously improved in the defensive front and linebacker position. We gave up two big plays defensively. Offensively, it was a series of mishaps for us. From the 10-yard line, we hold and we get out of field goal range. We hold again and miss the field goal. We throw a 37-yard pass, some kid lined up in an illegal formation. Whatever we needed to do offensively to shoot ourselves in the foot, we did. It was not a good offensive performance by our receiving corp, it was not a good offensive performance by our quarterback."
"We've got 10 football games left and I still think we're going to be a good football team. Today was a good start for us against a big, physical Cal football team. They (Bears) think they're a good offensive team and our defense played well against them. They (Bears) thought they were a good defensive and their defense did some good things against us.
"We've got some growing to do. We've got two seniors of the football team that start for us. I'm disappointed that we lost, the kids played hard against a good football team."
"I know they don't the way they played and I don't like the way we played and they won and in a close football game they made more plays than we made."
HOUSTON vs. CALIFORNIA, SEPTEMBER 5, 1998
Ketric Sanford -
On the final score: "We were not able to capitalize. It's still the first ballgame, and something we'll have to get over. We have to look forward to correcting."
On losing to Cal two years in a row: "Any loss is hard to take. This one is even worse because we came out here trying to redeem ourselves from last season."
Looking ahead in the season: "We have a lot of talent. This is a team where everyone backs each other. I think we will be back next week."
On the team's attitude: "We felt coming into the game that we could play with anybody. Once we got on the field, we should that we could play with them (Cal). That wasn't really a factor. We were handed a job, and we went out there and did it. We felt like we were going to take it away."
On tying the game before half-time: "It gave us a big boost, coming into the second half. It did a lot for the team. It showed us that our team could play anyone."
Mike Waddell -
On recovering from failed attempt to hit 52-yard FG: "That showed that Coach Helton has got a lot of confidence in me. I hit 52 and 55-yard ones all day in practice, and he sees me do that. It is just a matter staying relaxed and doing it just like I did in practice, that's all there is to it."
On hitting the 52-yard FG for a 13-10 lead: "That made me feel great. I knew our defense was playing tough, and I knew we could probably win the game with that one. But things didn't go the way we planned."
On Brache's 4th quarter extra point: "I was hoping that guy would miss the extra point. He missed that first one, but we got that penalty called. I was hoping he'd miss it so I could do down there and hit another one, but it didn't happen."
On special teams: "We've been working hard on special teams. We've got a lot of young guys out there stepping it up for us."
On wanting to kick a game-winner: "Being a kicker, you have to want to go out there and make the winning field goal. You can't be scared about it. The defense was really holding up. Our luck just wasn't going our way."