Cal-Rutgers Postgame Quotes

BERKELEY - Below are postgame quotes from both head coaches and selected players from the Sept. 4 Cal-Rutgers game: Cal head coach Tom Holmoe: General comments on the game: "Our last loss was a ver
By Cal Athletics on Sat, September 04, 1999

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Sept. 4, 1999

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BERKELEY - Below are postgame quotes from both head coaches and selected players from the Sept. 4 Cal-Rutgers game:

Cal head coach Tom Holmoe:

General comments on the game:

"Our last loss was a very tough loss, and we talked about that before the game. To come in and have a win is a great feeling, and that's what we're trying to do- to win every game that we play. Our players were subdued after the game because they realize that we have a certain standard they want to play to, and they don't feel we played to that standard."

On the Cal offense:

"The offense made some nice things happen, but we made some silly mistakes that cost us a few points. We have to get better at decision making on the offensive side of the ball. The offensive line played really well. We had a good balance in there, but we just couldn't get on track, we couldn't get it going and put them away."

On Cal's special teams play:

"We made some really fine special teams plays, and not just in the returns but in some core stuff. Nick Harris was great, and we need to continue to build."

On Deltha O'Neal's fumble:

"We maybe should not have had him in there. He sprained his thumb and went back in and tried to return (that punt). I think he was nervous about trying to catch that ball because that's not like him."

On Deltha O'Neal's play:

"His great play on defense to give us the lead was the turning point in the game. He had a great kickoff return, a great punt return, and an interception return. But he was a little bit winded out there. For a first game, he was hurting a little bit."

On Cal's quarterbacks:

"Both of the quarterbacks went out there and made some mistakes. We would have liked to have seen both of the quarterbacks play better. Kyle (Boller) made a couple of nice passes. But we can't say right now that one is the guy and the other is not. We haven't decided who will start next Saturday"

Cal Player Quotes:

Kyle Boller

On If he was going to play: "I was real unsure about when I was going to go in the game. I didn't know anything going into the game about when I was going to go in."

On his play: "Things go a lot faster than what I was used to, we did some good things but we have a lot to work on. I didn't play very good, I missed a lot of reads and throws I've got to make. The first play is the hardest play, but you just got go out there and have fun, I did alright but I did a lot of bad things I have a lot of stuff to work on. I think the Offensive line did an awesome job though I was real impressed with the offensive line and the receivers catching the ball."

On comfort: "I had jitters, you know, being the first time I'm playing Pac-10 football. As it goes you try to forget about everything else and just play the game."

On being the Number 1 QB: " I go out each day and play and we will see what happens"

Daniel Nwangwu

On his performance: "The tempo was a little shaky. My coach sat me down and talked to me. The second half I was able to play a lot better."

On what he did best: "I was scrambling to the ball while the QB was in the pocket, I was running to the ball I got a few sacks I felt good."

On his continuous pressure on the QB: "I really didn't expect it on the first game, but I wasn't shocked or I wasn't going to back away from it."

On playing Nebraska next week: "This is where we are going to rate ourselves both nationally and our hunt for the Rose bowl. I know we can do it we are in the position Rutgers was in today. We're the underdogs we are just going to go out there and come out with a win."

Sekou Sanyika

Was Rutgers a surprise?: "We pretty much expected what they were going to do but they showed us some formations we really did not see on film and it just confused. We gathered ourselves after the first half and made the adjustments we needed to make and played better in the second half."

General comments

"First of all, congratulations to Cal. They have a very solid team. We lost a damn tough football game. It wasn't because of our effort. It wasn't because of our courage. We didn't leave anything out on the field. I'm proud of our team. I'm proud of our effort. We just didn't make the plays when we had to. That's the skill part of the game."

"The kicking game was not as sharp as it needs to be. We did not win in the kicking game. I think that could have bridged the gap caused by Cal's defensive effort."

"We came out in the second half and had to come out with a third-string offensive tackle. We had to be very good about play selection. We had to be in a much more conservative vain than I'd like to be. We came out in the third quarter and didn't function well offensively. That's where the game turned, I think. We had to earn every completion. They're a tough man defense."

"I think we can carry out from this game that we obviously played with great effort. We're supposed to play at a high level every game. But you have to make plays at that level. That's how you win games."

On Rutgers' defensive effort

"Somehow our defense put it together. I don't know how well Cal will play the rest of the season, but our defense played up to the challenge today. I thought our defense played well enough to win today. I saluted our defense. Are we gonna be good enough for our next opponent? That's all relative."

On team injuries

"This team has a lot of grit and cement. I wish I had a magical answer to the injuries. Football is a tough-ass sport."

On Cal's Deltha O'Neal

"He's a pretty darn good college player. I knew him when he was an outstanding high school player. He's versatile. He's got good size with that speed. He's a tremendous player."

Rutgers Players

Sophomore Tight End L.J. Smith:

On his touchdown reception:

"McMahon told me in the huddle that this one was for me. I know he told me in practice that he was going to throw it up there for me to get it. He knew the defensive backs were going to be shorter than me, so he threw it up, I saw it and went up and caught it."

On a struggling offensive unit:

"I felt bad for the defense for the whole game because the offense was struggling. I think we were a little frustrated, but really we felt bad that the defense was on the field so much. We wanted to score, and we knew we had to score. I don't know what happened, why it was three and out all the time. We were looking for answers to some questions that we just couldn't find. We were really shooting ourselves in the foot a couple of times. We just need to go back to scratch and focus on the fundamentals in practice. We have to get the guys focused again."

Senior Linebacker Dax Strohmeyer:

On Rutgers' defensive effort:

"It felt like we were going out a lot. It's definitely a difficult situation to be in when you keep having to go back out on the field, but at the same time, if the offense isn't doing the job we have to set-up and pick it up. I knew how good of a defense we have, and I knew we'd come out and play as hard as we possibly could. Cal has a great defense. I knew our offense would give it everything that they had, but they were struggling at times."

Senior Tailback Jacki Crooks:

On the Rutgers offense:

"We had too many mental mistakes. Our tempo was going pretty well at the start of the game, but as the game progressed I think our tempo slowed down. As a whole, I don't think we ever got into a rhythm. I think that along with our mental mistakes really hurt us down the stretch."

On Cal linebackers Matt Beck and Sekou Sanyika:

"They are great linebackers. They are big guys who are fast and play very well. They are great and I expect great things out of them this year."

On facing the Cal defensive unit:

"They are a great unit, and I can't take anything away from them, but I think we did make a lot of mental mistakes. I think we did cut the game a little close."


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